The Importance of Magnesium During Pregnancy| May 16, 2023
Pregnancy is a wonderful journey that brings joy, excitement, and new experiences. However, it is important to maintain your health during this time as your body requires a significant amount of nutrients to support the growth and development of your baby. Nutrient deficiencies are common during pregnancy, leading to complications such as preterm labor, congenital disabilities, and low birth weight. One of the essential nutrients during pregnancy is magnesium, which plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, regulating heart rhythm, and supporting the development of your baby's bones and teeth. You can enjoy a healthier pregnancy and give your baby the best possible start by taking care of your health and ensuring adequate magnesium intake.
Read on to learn the importance of magnesium in pregnancy and various ways to ensure you get enough of this essential nutrient.
Magnesium Deficiency During Pregnancy
Magnesium deficiency is a common problem among pregnant women. According to a study, about 50% of pregnant women may not get enough magnesium in their diets1. This is due to the fact that the recommended daily intake of magnesium is higher for pregnant women than for non-pregnant women.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency in Pregnancy
Following are some causes of magnesium deficiency in pregnant women.
- Many pregnant women do not consume enough magnesium-rich foods.
- Frequent or severe vomiting during pregnancy can lead to malabsorption of magnesium as the body cannot properly absorb it from food which increases the risk of magnesium deficiency.
- Certain medications can interfere with magnesium absorption.
- Sweating excessively, such as during exercise or hot weather, can lead to the loss of magnesium through sweat.
- Chronic stress can deplete magnesium levels in the body.
- Alcohol can interfere with magnesium absorption and increase the risk of magnesium deficiency.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in Pregnancy
The following symptoms can indicate magnesium deficiency in pregnancy.
As a pregnant woman, you may experience headaches more frequently due to hormonal changes in your body. Headaches can be very uncomfortable and can affect your daily activities. One possible reason for headaches during pregnancy is magnesium deficiency. It is an essential mineral in regulating blood flow and dilating blood vessels.
Not getting enough magnesium can cause blood vessels in your brain to constrict, leading to reduced oxygen and blood flow to the brain, which can trigger headaches or migraines.
However, research has shown that magnesium supplementation can effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches during pregnancy. In a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, pregnant women who received magnesium supplementation experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of headaches compared to those who received a placebo2. Magnesium can also help relax muscles and reduce inflammation, further alleviating headaches.
2. Pre-eclampsia and High Blood Pressure
During pregnancy, it is very important for both the mother and the growing baby that her blood pressure stays in a healthy range. A magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organ systems such as the liver and kidneys. It is estimated to affect 5-8% of pregnancies and can lead to serious health problems for both the mother and the baby, including premature delivery, low birth weight, and even death3.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation during pregnancy may help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. A research study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology analyzed data from 11 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 7,985 pregnant women and found that magnesium supplementation was associated with a major reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia4.
Furthermore, according to another study, pregnant women who received magnesium supplementation had lower blood pressure readings than those who did not. The study also found that magnesium supplementation was associated with a lower risk of pre-eclampsia5.
3. Muscle Cramps or Spasms
During pregnancy, muscle cramps or spasms are a common complaint among many women, particularly in the legs and feet. These cramps can be painful and interfere with sleep and daily activities. Magnesium plays an essential role in muscle and nerve function, and a deficiency in this mineral can increase the risk of muscle cramps or spasms during pregnancy6.
Muscle cramps or spasms occur when a muscle or group of muscles contracts suddenly and involuntarily. In pregnant women, this can be caused by various factors, including hormonal changes, increased pressure on the nerves and blood vessels due to the growing fetus, and changes in electrolyte balance.
Magnesium regulates electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, and sodium, which play an important role in muscle and nerve function. A magnesium deficiency can disrupt this delicate balance and increase the risk of muscle cramps or spasms.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation may reduce the risk of muscle cramps or spasms during pregnancy. According to a research study, pregnant women who received magnesium supplementation experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of leg cramps compared to those who did not receive supplementation7.
4. Fatigue and Weakness
Magnesium plays an important role in the body's energy production, and a deficiency in this mineral can contribute to feelings of fatigue or weakness during pregnancy.
Magnesium is involved in several biochemical reactions in the body that are essential for energy production. It helps convert food into energy and is necessary for proper functioning enzymes in energy metabolism. A magnesium deficiency can lead to reduced energy production, which can cause feelings of fatigue or weakness.
In addition, pregnant women need more energy than women who are not pregnant to help the fetus grow and develop. This increased demand for energy can further exacerbate feelings of fatigue or weakness in women who are deficient in magnesium.
A review published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada found that pregnant women who received magnesium supplementation reported lower fatigue levels than those who did not receive supplementation8.
5. Vomiting and Loss of Appetite
During pregnancy, a low magnesium level can contribute to digestive symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and difficulty digesting food. Magnesium helps regulate digestive function and prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It is also involved in regulating appetite and stimulating the release of digestive enzymes. A deficiency in magnesium can exacerbate these symptoms and lead to a loss of appetite or difficulty digesting food. Therefore, maintaining adequate magnesium levels during pregnancy is important for optimal digestive health and overall well-being9.
6. Insomnia and other Sleep Issues
Magnesium is essential in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle and promoting relaxation. It has been found that individuals with magnesium deficiency often experience difficulty sleeping and may also suffer from symptoms of restless leg syndrome, such as twitching or cramping in the legs during sleep10. Women must maintain adequate magnesium levels during pregnancy to ensure optimal nerve function and promote healthy sleep patterns. By improving the quality of sleep, magnesium supplementation during pregnancy can have a positive impact on overall well-being. It can help alleviate fatigue and promote feelings of alertness and energy during the day, improving mood and productivity.
7. Anxiety and Depression
Magnesium helps control how much neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are made in the brain. Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter for controlling mood and emotions. A magnesium deficiency can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels, aggravating symptoms of anxiety and depression. One study published in the Journal of Women's Health & Gender-Based Medicine found that pregnant women who received magnesium supplementation had lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who did not receive supplementation11. Therefore, maintaining adequate magnesium levels during pregnancy is essential for promoting emotional well-being and reducing the risk of anxiety and depression.
Benefits of Magnesium During Pregnancy
- During pregnancy, magnesium promotes fetal growth and development, as it aids in protein synthesis, DNA formation, and cell division, and also regulates calcium and vitamin D levels necessary for proper bone health.
- Magnesium can help reduce the risk of preterm labor by relaxing the uterine muscles and preventing contractions.
- Magnesium can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, lowering the risk of gestational diabetes. A study found that women who took magnesium supplements during pregnancy had a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes than those who did not12.
- Magnesium can help ease constipation and other digestive issues during pregnancy. It can help relax the intestinal muscles and improve bowel movements.
- Magnesium can aid in improving sleep quality and reducing stress and anxiety during pregnancy. It can help relax the body and mind, promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation.
Sources of Magnesium During Pregnancy
You can get magnesium through the following sources.
i. Food Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods. Including these foods in your diet can help increase your magnesium intake.
- Leafy greens vegetables such as kale, and spinach
- Nuts such as almonds and pumpkin seeds
- Grains such as brown rice and quinoa
- Beans and lentils.
ii. Magnesium Supplements
If you don't get sufficient magnesium in your diet, your healthcare provider may recommend taking magnesium supplements during pregnancy. However, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen, as too much magnesium can be harmful and may lead to adverse effects. Your healthcare provider can help you determine how much magnesium you need and recommend a safe and effective supplement dose based on your needs and health status.
iii. Magnesium Through Skin Absorption
You can also get magnesium through skin absorption by applying it topically on the skin. In this method, magnesium is applied and absorbed into the skin through sprays, lotions, oils, or baths using magnesium bath flakes. The great thing about absorbing magnesium through the skin is that it may be more effective than taking magnesium supplements orally. This is because magnesium can bypass the digestive system and go directly into the bloodstream, resulting in faster and more efficient absorption of magnesium.
Studies have shown that transdermal magnesium may be more effective than oral magnesium supplementation for increasing magnesium levels. One study found that transdermal magnesium increased magnesium levels in the body more quickly and efficiently than oral magnesium supplementation13. Another study found that transdermal magnesium reduced muscle pain and soreness more than oral magnesium supplements14.
You can use ŐSIMAGNESIUM Bath Flakes, a natural and pure source of magnesium; they are absorbed through the skin, making it a convenient and effective way to increase magnesium levels in the body. Soaking in a bath with these flakes can help soothe sore muscles and invigorate the body, making you feel stronger and more relaxed. The magnesium in the bath flakes can also help boost energy levels, promote healthy sleep patterns, and support a healthy immune system. Moreover, these bath flakes contain chloride electrolytes, essential for various bodily functions, including managing body fluids and maintaining the pH level. Chloride also helps to maintain the right blood volume and blood pressure for better nutrient absorption and can boost skin hydration while soaking in the bath.
To use ŐSIMAGNESIUM Bath Flakes, add 150-200g (one cup) of flakes to a warm foot bath and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, or add 250-300g (two cups) of flakes to a warm bath and relax for at least 20 minutes. It is recommended to take 2-3 magnesium baths per week. With natural, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients, these bath flakes provide optimal transdermal absorption of magnesium for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium is a vital nutrient for pregnant women as it supports the development of the baby's bones and teeth, regulates heart rhythm, and maintains healthy blood pressure. However, magnesium deficiency is common in pregnancy due to insufficient magnesium intake, vomiting, medications, stress, and alcohol consumption. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency during pregnancy include headaches, pre-eclampsia, muscle cramps or spasms, high blood pressure, and fatigue. Pregnant women can increase their magnesium intake through dietary sources such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and beans to combat magnesium deficiency. Alternatively, they can opt for magnesium supplements or get magnesium through skin absorption by topically applying it to the skin or soaking the body in water with ŐSIMAGNESIUM Bath Flakes. It is essential to prioritize magnesium intake during pregnancy to ensure the health and development of both the mother and the baby.
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