Being deficient of any vitamin or mineral is never a good thing, but being deficient during pregnancy should be a larger concern for expectant mothers. That’s why it is commonly suggested that women hoping to conceive take a deeper look at their diet and mineral intake - to then adapt their lifestyle to meet the specific needs of their changing body.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body and helps to regulate enzyme activity, DNA, mineral balance, energy production, and so much more.
It is then a no brainer that magnesium needs to be on the radar for pregnant mothers everywhere.
For women trying to conceive, magnesium can help to ensure their body is balanced, healthy, relaxed, and prepared for carrying a child. Magnesium can relax the body from the stresses of trying to conceive, can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it can help to prevent miscarriage and pre-eclampsia.
Pre-eclampsia is a disorder characterized by the onset of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is also characterized by increased protein in one’s urine, and it typically emerges around the 20-week mark of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia can be extremely dangerous for both the mother and baby as red blood cells can breakdown, platelet counts can drop, livers and kidneys can begin to fail, and fluid can fill the lungs. In severe cases, seizures may occur.
“On the basis of a medical records study, Condradt et al. (1984 reported that magnesium supplementation during pregnancy was associated with lower frequencies of fetal growth retardation and preeclampsia.”
Pre-eclampsia is more common in those who are obese, have experienced prior hypertension, have diabetes, are pregnant later in life (40+), are carrying a first child, or who are carrying multiples. Symptoms of pre-eclampsia include:
Blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg (at 20 weeks)
Swelling of the hands or face
Rapid weight gain (fluids)
High blood pressure
Preventing pre-eclampsia requires the mother to maintain a healthy diet, healthy weight, to exercise, and to reduce stress. Magnesium, a relaxing mineral, can help to support these preventative measures.
For expectant mothers with sugar, chocolate, and junk food cravings, taking a magnesium supplement is even more critical. Studies show that those who drink carbonated and caffeinated beverages, who crave chocolate, and who eat fast food regularly, are at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency as processed drinks and foods contain little to no useful magnesium.
It is suggested that pregnant women avoid unhealthy cravings and increase their magnesium intake - to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy baby.
To increase your magnesium intake, consider incorporating more of the following foods into your diet:
Leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.)
Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.)
Beans and lentils (chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc.)
Whole grains (whole wheat pasta, barley, oats, etc.)
Dried fruit (raisins, dates, prunes, apricots)
It’s true, dark chocolate is high in magnesium, and having frequent chocolate cravings can be a tip off that you’re magnesium deficient. So, while moderation is key, pregnant women should enjoy dark chocolate guilt free.
Magnesium and calcium work together in the body – magnesium relaxes muscles while calcium causes muscles to contract. A healthy balance of both calcium and magnesium therefore ensures that an individual doesn’t experience frequent muscle spasms and tension.
If you’re experiencing muscle pain, headaches, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, or anxiety during pregnancy, an increased magnesium intake can help to relax your body and worries.
Magnesium is not only important for the mother - it’s also crucial to the health and wellness of a developing baby. When a pregnant woman is low in magnesium, her chances of miscarriage are heightened as her fallopian tubes can potentially spasm and force her to go into premature labour.
Magnesium is also critical to the proper development the child’s organs, reducing their odds of:
Premature death due to SIDS
Developing metabolic disorders
Battling intrauterine growth restriction, and other issues.
“Scientists have suggested that a magnesium deficiency can lead to problems with regulating body temperature in babies, and that this can result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”
Magnesium is an important mineral that supports pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, post pregnancy, and everyday life. However, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any supplement or medication during pregnancy.
“Data are insufficient to support a recommendation of magnesium supplementation for pregnant women. Because of the negative balances found in healthy women consuming usual diets and the potential beneficial effects of magnesium - supplementation during pregnancy should receive high priority.”
For more information, ask your doctor about magnesium glycinate today.
Committee, Nutritional Status During Pregnancy. “16: Calcium, Vitamin D, and Magnesium.” "Nutrition During Pregnancy: Part I: Weight Gain, Part II: Nutrient Supplements", 1990.
Bara M, Bertin R, Durlach J, Durlach V, Goubern M, Guiet-Bara A, Mettey R, Olive G, Rayssiquier D, & Ricquier D (1991). Magnesium Research. Magnesium and thermoregulation. I. Newborn and infant. Is sudden infant death syndrome a magnesium-dependent disease of the transition from chemical to physical thermoregulation?, Vol. 15, No. 3-4, pp. 259-78. PMID: 12635883