Magnesium During Pregnancy – Importance and Sources

6 min read

Reviewed by Dr Lathiesh MBBS, MD (Pediatrics)
DM (Neonatology), Lead Neonatology and NICU Services
Aster Women & Children's Hospital
17 years of experience

Dr Lathiesh

Dr. Lathiesh Kumar Kambham is a Neonatologist and Paediatrician with over 12 years of experience. He has a special interest in the management of birth asphyxiated babies and extreme preterms and ha More

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Magnesium During Pregnancy

A woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy as do its requirements. The demand for vitamins, minerals, and all other nutrients increases during pregnancy.  How important is magnesium during pregnancy? When you are pregnant, you need to take good care of what you eat, keeping in mind not only your health but also the health of your unborn baby.

Any nutritional deficiency during pregnancy can bring about significant issues for both mother and child. While you can be careful about many nutrients, one nutrient that many women tend to overlook easily is magnesium. Continue reading to know more about the importance of magnesium during pregnancy and the different sources of magnesium.

In This Article

Importance Of Magnesium During Pregnancy

Magnesium is an essential mineral during pregnancy. It plays a vital role in maintaining both maternal and fetal health.

  • Magnesium during pregnancy is necessary for repairing and building body tissues
  • The purpose of magnesium and calcium are interconnected: when the magnesium relaxes muscles, the calcium stimulates muscles to contract. Therefore, by ensuring an adequate intake of magnesium during pregnancy helps to prevent the uterus from premature contractions
  • Magnesium helps in controlling maternal blood sugar levels by regulating insulin
  • This mineral helps to reduce leg cramps
  • Magnesium helps in protecting the mother from preeclampsia – a life-threatening pregnancy complication
  • It is found that the babies born to mothers who ensured sufficient magnesium intake during pregnancy are less prone to perinatal hypoxia, which is a condition that arises due to oxygen deprivation to the brain and tissues during delivery

Importance Of Magnesium In Fetal Development

Human embryo in glass ball

Magnesium plays a vital role in fetal development. Magnesium deficiency is often related to poor fetal growth.

  • Intake of an adequate amount of magnesium during pregnancy decreases the risk of cerebral palsy in the baby
  • Magnesium plays a vital role in bone and tooth development in babies
  • Magnesium deficiency can lead to SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome) as it creates problems with regulating the body temperature of the baby

What Is The Daily Requirement Of Magnesium During Pregnancy?

Daily Requirement Of Magnesium During Pregnancy

  • Pregnant women aged between 19 and 30 years will be in need of 350 milligrams of magnesium per day
  • Expecting women aged 18 years and below will be in need of 400mg of magnesium every day
  • Pregnant women aged 31 and above will be in need of 360mg of magnesium every day

The Risks Of Deficiency of Magnesium During Pregnancy

Risks Of Deficiency of Magnesium During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, magnesium deficiency can:

What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency During Pregnancy?

Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency During Pregnancy

The symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine and headaches
  • Nausea
  • General weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat

Side Effects Of Magnesium During Pregnancy Time

Healthy individuals excrete more amount of magnesium in the blood through the kidneys and go into the urine. If you take a more amount of magnesium all at once time, some amount of the dosage goes through the intestine and is once again excreted with the stool – so less amount will increase the intake by the body.

This can lead to a side effect, namely that magnesium’s slightly laxative effect mitigates constipation that occurs during pregnancy time. So Taking a few doses of magnesium throughout the day can prevent this side effect easily.

Is Magnesium Supplement A Good Idea?

is magnesium supplement a good idea

You can easily meet your magnesium requirement with a healthy, planned diet. In addition, magnesium is a part of many prenatal vitamin supplements. It is fairly impossible to take more magnesium than required through a diet. On the other hand, excess magnesium intake, which can easily happen while taking supplements, is very harmful to your body.

Magnesium overdose can cause cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, low pressure, muscle weakness, and toxicity. Therefore, opt for magnesium supplements as a last resource. Seek your doctor’s advice before you go in for magnesium supplements.

Some Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplements are not necessary as it is possible to get all the magnesium amount you require from a healthy and balanced diet. And also prenatal vitamins contain some amount of magnesium in them. If you think you aren’t getting enough amount of magnesium from your diet, you can consult your doctor about prescribing some magnesium supplements, and he will prescribe them.

How To Add Magnesium To Your Food Diet?

Magnesium can be added to your diet through a combination of a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins, and supplements also. Supplements are ideal when magnesium is not getting in the required amount from your diet, or you fail to eat enough amount of magnesium from your diet. Then please consult a doctor before taking the magnesium supplements since overdosing on magnesium leads to blood toxicity, muscle cramps, and also other health issues.

Magnesium-Rich Foods During Pregnancy

Magnesium-Rich Foods During Pregn

There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods that can be added to the daily menu so that your daily requirement of magnesium can be met without depending on magnesium supplements. Here are fifteen rich sources of magnesium

  1. Dried fruits like almonds, raisins, cashews, and peanuts. For e.g., one ounce of almonds provides 77mg, 1 ounce of peanuts contains 44 mg and 1 ounce of cashew offers 74 mg of magnesium.
  2. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, etc. Half a cup of spinach provides 78 mg of magnesium while a half cup of chopped broccoli contains 12 mg of it.
  3. Breakfast cereal fortified with magnesium provides 40 mg of magnesium.
  4. A half-cup portion of dry roasted soybeans delivers almost half of the daily required amount of magnesium.
  5. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provide 49 mg of magnesium.
  6. Baked potato with skin (3.5 ounces) contains 43 mg of magnesium.
  7. Whole wheat bread: Two slices of whole wheat bread provides 46 mg of magnesium.
  8. Half a cup of cooked brown rice provides 42mg of magnesium.
  9. Half a cup of kidney beans provides 35 mg of magnesium.
  10. Dairy products. One cup of milk provides 24-27 mg of magnesium.
  11. 1/2 cup bran cereal provides 112 mg of magnesium.
  12. Fishes like mackerel, wild salmon, halibut, and tuna are good sources of magnesium.
  13. Avocado. One sliced avocado provides 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.
  14. 8 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt provides 42 mg of magnesium.
  15. Fruits like banana, fig, apple, grapefruit, etc. One medium banana provides 32 mg while one medium apple provides 9 mg of magnesium.

Magnesium Citrate For Pregnant Women

Magnesium Citrate For Pregnant Women

Why magnesium citrate is beneficial during pregnancy. There are many reasons for it. Some of the uses and benefits of magnesium citrate are given below:

  • Highly absorbable by the body.
  • Prevents indigestion and also can be taken as a laxative.
  • Promotes easy and regular bowel movements through water retention in the stool.
  • With this no serious adverse effects take place.
  • It does not interact with many medications except a few medications like Potassium Phosphate and Tetracycline Antibiotics.

Consult with your doctor before taking on the dosage of Magnesium Citrate Intake and don’t take without the advice of your doctor.

Here is one important tip. Get enough sunlight. This will help with magnesium absorption by the body. Also, cooking will decrease the magnesium content. Just design your menu around these food sources to ensure that you and your unborn baby are getting enough magnesium!

What did you include in your pregnancy diet? Do share it with us in the comments section below.
Have a healthy, happy, and relaxing pregnancy!


1. Can Magnesium Cause Stillbirth?

There is no increased risk of perinatal death or other adverse outcomes for neonates when magnesium is used during pregnancy in needed quantities for neuroprotective purposes.

2. Can I Take Magnesium At Night While Pregnant?

Magnesium supplementation is also beneficial for sleep, bone health, and muscular cramping. Doctors advise taking 125 to 300 mg of magnesium glycinate or citrate with meals and before bedtime.

3. Can Magnesium Prevent Miscarriage?

Low magnesium levels are connected with an increased chance of miscarriage. According to one study, 100% of infertile women who corrected their magnesium and selenium levels had children. Low magnesium levels may also be linked to birth abnormalities.




Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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