Pregnancy is a time of major changes for a woman's body, requiring a balanced diet to support a healthy mother and fetus. One of the most important nutrients to consume during pregnancy is magnesium. It is therefore important to ensure a good magnesium intake throughout pregnancy and the growth of the unborn baby.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a fundamental role in the body. It is present in large quantities in the human body, half of it in the bones and over a quarter in the muscles. For your health, it is essential to have a daily intake of magnesium through a balanced and varied diet.
Magnesium requirements for pregnant women
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes multiple changes, not only in the uterus, but also in the cardiovascular, digestive, immune, hormonal and endocrine systems. Consequently, a more adapted lifestyle (diet, exercise, rest…) with appropriate support is recommended during this unprecedented period.
Nutritional deficiencies can be revealed by the appearance of numerous symptoms throughout pregnancy: nausea, calf cramps, fatigue, constipation, contractions, irritability, ligament pain, anemia… Mothers-to-be often feel less well than before pregnancy. Don’t worry, most of these ailments can be avoided by making up the deficiencies in the various nutrients, and you’ll avoid a lot of unpleasantness in the process…
Magnesium helps reduce physical and mental fatigue. It binds calcium and plays a role in energy metabolism and psychological functions. It interacts with the nervous system and muscle chains. It is a precious ally during pregnancy.
Magnesium consumption during pregnancy
For good absorption, you need to choose a quality magnesium, whether in the form of a course of treatment or through your diet. As dietary sources of magnesium are often insufficient for pregnant women, we recommend combining food supplements with a balanced diet!
The importance of magnesium during pregnancy and breastfeeding
As magnesium is involved in numerous bodily functions, it plays an essential role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
What’s more, as the fetus develops, magnesium requirements will become increasingly important (formation of the baby’s brain, skeleton and muscles). Therefore, compared to the recommended daily intake, an increase of 40 mg per day is necessary.
Nursing mothers also need an average of 24 mg of magnesium a day to produce milk for their babies. If this increase in needs is not taken into account in the diet, the mother-to-be will deplete her own reserves and be more vulnerable to fatigue, stress and demineralization.
It therefore makes sense to recommend extra magnesium for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
However, it is important to consult a doctor before taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium in food
The primary source of magnesium is our diet. It is abundant in foods such as cocoa (500 mg per 100g), dark chocolate (206 mg per 100g), walnuts and almonds (approx. 250 mg per 100g) and flax and sesame seeds (350-400 mg per 100g). You can also find it in good proportions in green vegetables (kale, spinach: 80 mg per 100g), in certain legumes (white beans and chickpeas: approx. 100 mg/100g), in mackerel (97 mg per 100g) and in wholemeal cereals (oat bran 235 mg per 100g, wholemeal bread 82 mg per 100g) or even in dried banana slices (105 mg per 100g). Magnesium-rich foods are also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and zinc.
The secret is to eat a varied, balanced diet throughout life, but particularly during the perinatal period. Magnesium supplements can also be very supportive for pregnant women who do not consume enough magnesium in their diet and/or for those with a vulnerable terrain (stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, etc.).
Possible complications of magnesium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to complications such as excessive fatigue, premature contractions and psychological dysfunction, as well as contributing to the onset of pregnancy and/or childbirth-related pathologies. Prolonged magnesium deficiency can also have repercussions on the baby's health, including low birth weight, growth problems or, in extreme cases, neurological problems.
For all these reasons, it's a good idea to take stock of your magnesium intake during the peri-natal period, and make sure you take the right supplements when you need them. The form chosen for supplementation is essential (magnesium bisglycinate or citrate are the best magnesium carriers).
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for the health and well-being of pregnant women. It's important to understand the benefits of magnesium, and to include it in your diet as early as possible in pregnancy, to take full advantage of its benefits for your health and your baby's development. By adopting a varied daily diet, you will be less exposed to the risk of deficiencies. However, to meet increased magnesium needs during pregnancy, a course of magnesium bisglycinate or magnesium citrate will provide excellent support.