Being a mom is like having superpowers. After all, you're growing an entire new human being. But at the end of the day, the wonder of new life is a feat of strength that is also dependent on a good supply of nutrients. One of the essential factors in ensuring a trouble-free pregnancy and a healthy mother and child is an adequate supply of magnesium.  But what makes this powerful nutrient so important for a happy and healthy pregancy? And how can expectant mothers spot magnesium deficiencies? In this article we answer all the important questions to do with magnesium in pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

Why magnesium is important for mother and child during pregnancy

The female body needs sufficient magnesium to be able to cope with all the changes and the additional requirements involved in pregnancy as well as meeting the needs of the fetus – much more than before. Studies also show that your magnesium metabolism works differently during pregnancy. For example, expectant mothers eliminate more magnesium than usual, making it more difficult to cover their magnesium needs.

Magnesium requirements during pregnancy – why do women “in the family way” need more?

The female body needs sufficient magnesium to be able to cope with all the changes and the additional requirements involved in pregnancy as well as meeting the needs of the fetus.

Dose How much magnesium is recommended during pregnancy?

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) currently recommends  300 mg magnesium per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women. However, new scientific studies find that mothers-to-be require more – approx. 360 to 400 mg magnesium daily.

How does a magnesium deficiency manifest itself during pregnancy?

Possible signs and symptoms:

  • Leg cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tension
  • Constipation
  • Palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Exhaustion

A balanced diet rich in magnesium (e.g. green vegetables, whole grain products, nuts, legumes, magnesium-rich mineral water) can provide the mother & child team with a targeted supply of magnesium. But sometimes a healthy diet is not enough on its own. Nutrition surveys have repeatedly and clearly shown that pregnant women often don't have enough magnesium in their diet.

Symptoms such as leg cramps, pelvic pain, tiredness, nervousness, constipation, palpitations, high blood pressure and/or fatigue may indicate magnesium deficiency.

An insufficient supply of the mineral can also exacerbate morning sickness and promote gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. The latter is a serious condition that can endanger the lives of both the mother and the child. In addition, severe magnesium deficiencies can cause cramping of the uterus and even premature labor, which in the worst case can lead to premature birth.


How magnesium can combat pre-eclampsia

Approximately 3-5 percent of pregnant women develop pre-eclampsia (also known as “pregnancy poisoning”) during the course of their pregnancy, a disease that is indicated by increased blood pressure and proteinuria (= protein in the urine).

Recent studies have shown that magnesium supplies also play a role in the occurrence of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Not only does this mineral regulate the seamless muscle interplay between tension and relaxation, it also has an anti-hypertensive effect in the case of high blood pressure.

A current meta-analysis now confirms that magnesium has a preventive effect when it comes to pre-eclampsia. So, particularly in women with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia (pre-eclampsia in a previous pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, obesity), magnesium can have a protective effect.

Yuan, J. et al. 2022. Oral Magnesium Supplementation for the Prevention of Preeclampsia: a Meta-analysis or Randomized Controlled Trials. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2022 Aug;200(8):3572-3581.  doi: 10.1007/s12011-021-02976-9. Epub 2021 Nov 13.

Magnesium intake during pregnancy – duration and dose

High-quality magnesium supplements can help to cover the magnesium requirement and to provide optimum support for a happy pregnancy. Studies have shown that 300-400 mg magnesium daily have proven to be effective and can be taken throughout the entire pregnancy.

If you have any symptoms that indicate a magnesium deficiency, your gynecologist can take a blood sample to determine your magnesium status and respond to your individual needs by prescribing customized dosages.

Magnesium: What should you look for in terms of product quality?

Not all magnesium is the same. For example, different magnesium compounds not only have different magnesium contents, but also different degrees of solubility, which ultimately determines  how well the mineral can be absorbed into the body (bioavailability). Organic compounds, such as magnesium citrate and magnesium citrate malate, are generally considered to be readily bioavailable.

As always, special attention should also be paid to the composition of the product: while high-quality capsule supplements do not contain any unnecessary additives at all, liquid variants should also be natural (e.g., no coloring agents, no synthetic flavors) and as sugar-free as possible.

What type of magnesium during pregnancy?

Particularly in pregnancy, the purity and quality of a preparation should take the highest priority. Sophisticated magnesium blends extract the maximum from the mineral by cleverly combining soluble and magnesium-rich compounds with each other. This results in a good supply of magnesium – irrespective of the pH in the digestive tract of the mother-to-be (for example, this is dependent upon the different medications taken, the current diet or bacterial gut colonisation).

7 Salt Magnesium 

With its seven magnesium compounds, Siebensalz® Magnesium combines diversity and uniqueness in balanced harmony. Using a combination of intuition and know-how, the experts at BIOGENA Product Development have succeeded in perfectly combining seven different soluble and magnesium-rich compounds. Thus a good magnesium supply is guaranteed, irrespective of the current pH status of the gastrointestinal tract.

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Should women take magnesium before and during pregnancy as a precautionary measure?

Experts are currently still divided on the question of whether women should take magnesium before and during pregnancy as a precautionary measure, or just as and when needed. However, nutritional studies that repeatedly report on magnesium deficiencies in pregnant women as well as the risk of pre-eclampsia in conjunction with a lack of magnesium, indicate the benefits of preventive supplementation.  However, a mother-to-be can always ask her gynaecologist or midwife for advice.

How to prevent a magnesium deficiency in pregnancy

In order to ensure an adequate supply of magnesium for both mother and child during pregnancy, a balanced diet that is rich in magnesium should be the order of the day. Good sources of magnesium are found in wholegrain products, unprocessed rice, pulses and nuts. In addition, certain mineral waters and vegetables (particularly green vegetables), bananas, oranges and berries contain this mineral. But it is not only plant foods but also animal products, such as meat and fish, that are rich in magnesium.

Sometimes healthy eating alone is not sufficient to cover our magnesium requirements. Nutritional studies repeatedly illustrate that not all pregnant women have an adequate supply of magnesium. For this reason, pregnant women – in consultation with their gynaecologist – are sometimes strongly advised to consider preventive supplementation with a magnesium preparation.
Buy BIOGENA magensium products here

Magnesium and breastfeeding: Is magnesium useful here as well?

Even once you are able to hold your bundle of joy in your arms, you should not neglect your daily magnesium supplementation. According to the DGE, the estimated amount required by breastfeeding mothers is 300 mg magnesium daily. Of this, an average of 3 mg magnesium per 100 ml breast milk is consumed by the baby, which it needs for development and growth.


Mothers-to-be have the superpower of growing a new human being inside them. However, in order for the bundle of joy to develop correctly, it is important that there should be a good supply of magnesium as not only does it help to reduce pregnancy-related problems but it can also reduce the risk of the occurrence of pre-eclampsia. Since nutritional studies repeatedly show that many pregnant women have a magnesium deficiency, it makes sense that women in other circumstances are also encouraged to take a magnesium supplement.

Do you want to find out more about magnesium? Then continue reading here:

All about magnesium - effect, daily needs and use

Frequently asked questions about magnesium during pregnancy and breastfeeding

In principle, magnesium can be taken throughout pregnancy. However, consult your gynaecologist or midwife in order to discuss your specific situation.

Yes. Magnesium can be taken when you are breastfeeding.

Magnesium deficiency in pregnancy can, for example, result in muscle cramps, dizziness, palpitations, irritability, low resistance to stress or constipation. However, it is only by means of a special blood test that you can discover whether these symptoms are actually due to a magnesium deficiency or whether there are other reasons for them.

In principle, magnesium can be taken throughout pregnancy. Your gynaecologist or midwife will be happy to advise you on the perfect duration that is right for you.

The recommendations for daily magnesium consumption in pregnancy are generally between 300 mg (German Nutrition Society) and 400 mg (Fanni D et al. 2020) magnesium daily. Your gynaecologist or midwife will be happy to advise you on the amount that is right for you.

Magnesium can be taken throughout the whole pregnancy. In the case of higher doses, it should be taken in consultation with your GP and at different times over the day, in order to ensure optimum absorption.

It is not just the mother’s body that needs sufficient magnesium during the special time of pregnancy and breastfeeding. The developing child also needs this mineral for healthy development and growth.

Pregnant women can get the magnesium they require from a balanced and magnesium-rich diet. However, in many cases diet alone is not sufficient and symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as muscle cramps, dizziness, low stress resistance or constipation can be the result.

In pregnancy, high-quality magnesium preparations that do not contain any unnecessary additives should be chosen.  Sophisticated magnesium blends (e.g. BIOGENA Siebensalz® Magnesium) with their clever combination of different soluble and magnesium-rich compounds ensure that a good magnesium supply is always guaranteed – irrespective of the pH value in the digestive tract.

Magnesium can be taken throughout the whole pregnancy. The belief that magnesium could have a negative impact on labour pains and should therefore be discontinued in the final weeks of pregnancy is now considered obsolete or inaccurate. In the case of higher doses, discuss this with your gynaecologist or midwife.

Magnesium can be taken in every phase of pregnancy – from the first to the last trimester.

During pregnancy choose a preparation with a sensible dose of magnesium that is free from unnecessary additives.

A good magnesium supply is also important when you are breastfeeding, since the magnesium passes through the breast milk to the baby, which requires this mineral for healthy development and growth.

Literature with the author.

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