Magnesium helps to build and repair tissues during pregnancy and works to regulate your blood sugar levels. It can also help reduce leg cramps. During pregnancy, your need for magnesium increases. It is important to understand how you can know if you are getting enough, and how to safely take supplements if you need them.
Recommended Amount and Sources
If you are 19 to 30 years old, you need 350 mg of magnesium a day during pregnancy. If you are 31 years of age or older, you need 360 mg of magnesium. Babycenter states that it is not difficult to get the magnesium you need from your diet. Sources of magnesium include leafy greens, legumes, seeds and grains. One half cup of bran cereal has 93.1 mg of magnesium, and 1/2 cup of spinach has 75 mg.
If you do not eat a balanced diet, you may need to take a supplement. Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include insomnia, muscle twitching, nausea and loss of appetite. You may also experience fatigue, weakness and poor memory. An untreated deficiency during pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia, poor growth and infant mortality.
There is no upper level for magnesium obtained through your diet, but it is possible to get too much magnesium from supplements. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, you should not get more than 350 mg a day of magnesium from supplements during pregnancy. Too much can cause cramps, diarrhea and toxicity. Some medications, such as laxatives and antacids sometimes taken to relieve digestive upset in pregnancy, contain magnesium and increase the risk of an accidental overdose.
Keep in mind that you need to consider all sources of magnesium supplements so that you do not take more than the recommended amount. If you are taking prenatal vitamins, they may contain some magnesium. Be sure to tell your doctor about any vitamins you are taking and only take magnesium supplements under his supervision during your pregnancy.