Is it Smart to Take Magnesium While Breastfeeding?

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New mothers have many questions, and understandably so! One of those questions is: can you consume magnesium while breastfeeding. The short answer is yes!

In moderation, magnesium is good for you and your baby’s health. Your baby’s diet is dependent on the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients you consume. So, it’s highly important that you know everything there is about consuming magnesium while breastfeeding.

Now, let’s take a close look at the long answer and learn how much magnesium experts recommend you take while nursing as well as answer other common questions.

Can You Take Magnesium While Breastfeeding?

Magnesium While Breastfeeding

Magnesium is one of the most abundant essential minerals in the human body. So, it should be a part of your diet, even while breastfeeding.

Magnesium intake is especially low among women, making supplementation highly important, especially when you’re pregnant.

It’s very common to be deficient in magnesium because processed foods have slowly decreased it from many of your diets. However, you can still find foods that have high levels of it, such as peanut butter, avocados, tofu, bananas, cashews, black beans, spinach, and almonds.

I suggest that you avoid processed foods and visit the produce section. Opt for foods high in magnesium as well as other nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. The less refined, the better!

Does Magnesium Benefit Babies Too?

As I already established, you can consume magnesium while breastfeeding. It’s great for you and your newborn’s health. Supplementing with magnesium comes with benefits.

The best part? They’re two-fold, meaning they apply to you and your baby since you’re moving nutrients onto them in the form of your milk. Those benefits include better digestion, improved sleep, energy, mental focus, a more well-rounded diet, and constipation relief.

How Much Magnesium is Safe While Breastfeeding?

The Society for Magnesium Research recommends pregnant women supplement with 400 mg of elemental magnesium daily. And during breastfeeding, it’s 360 mg per day. However, keep in mind that all magnesium supplements aren’t the same.

What’s The Best Magnesium Supplement?

The best magnesium supplement is magnesium citrate, which is also found in your body, and therefore it’s fast-acting and well-accepted.

Water-soluble magnesium citrate consumed as a beverage helps to increase the absorption of magnesium across the intestinal wall and into the cells, where it is required the most.

Also, don’t worry about possible side effects because there’s no scientific proof that a magnesium dose can hurt you and your baby. However, note that women who suffer from kidney disease shouldn’t get magnesium supplements without talking to a doctor first.

Does Magnesium Help Milk Supply?

There’s no data on the clinical use of magnesium citrate during nursing, but some other magnesium salts have been researched. Intravenous magnesium sulfate increases milk magnesium concentrations a little. However, oral absorption of magnesium by the baby is poor.

Therefore, material magnesium citrate isn’t expected to influence the newborn’s serum magnesium. Furthermore, magnesium citrate supplementation during pregnancy might postpone the start of lactation. But it can be consumed during nursing.

Does Magnesium Postpone Lactogenesis?

Lactogenesis is the process of gaining the ability to produce milk and includes the maturation of alveolar cells. Although complex studies weren’t done to prove that magnesium postpones lactogenesis, one controlled clinical trial demonstrated that women who got intravenous magnesium sulfate therapy didn’t experience any delay in lactogenesis.

Magnesium While Breastfeeding

However, some studies have discovered a pattern of prolonged time to the very first feeding or reduced sucking in newborns of mothers who received intravenous magnesium sulfate during delivery because of the placental transfer of magnesium to the embryo.

How to Safely Supplement with Magnesium While Breastfeeding

You can choose from different products when looking for magnesium supplementation including lotion, liquid, powder, and capsules.

Overall, adult women need about 400 mg of magnesium per day. Although the RDA (recommended daily allowance) while breastfeeding is 360 mg of magnesium per day, shoot for between 400 and 600 if you opt for the oral method.

Oral supplementation isn’t the most effective supplementation method. Magnesium pills or tablets don’t digest quite well, which is why you need to consume them in higher doses.

The most common side effect of excess magnesium is diarrhea. It’s the result of your body not being capable of using the quantity you gave it.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency in New and Expecting Mothers

Trouble sleeping is the most common symptom of magnesium deficiency in expecting moms. Of course, as a new mom, you’re going to experience insomnia either way, but if you’re also deficient in magnesium, you will struggle with sleep even more!

Magnesium deficiency can cause even more severe problems such as pre-eclampsia. This is a pregnancy complication that results in liver and kidneys damage and high blood pressure. It can also cause migraines, which is another unpleasant thing new moms struggle with either way.

I suggest that you watch for other revealing symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as muscle cramps, indigestion, physical and mental weakness or fatigue, and dyspepsia. 

Keep in mind that any deficiency you might have will be passed onto your baby through breast milk, so make sure you get all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Magnesium and Breastfeeding Aversion and Agitation (BAA)

A common phenomenon breastfeeding women face is BAA  or breastfeeding aversion and agitation. This is a highly unpleasant experience that includes negative sensations and thoughts while their baby is latched to the nipple.

Most of the women who experience BAA have no control over these feelings and thoughts, which makes this experience frustrating. However, many moms have used magnesium baths or lotions to ease the effects of BAA.

What Supplements to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Specific high-dose vitamins, herbals, and other dietary supplements can be harmful to breastfed babies. Below, I’ve listed some of the herbs and supplements you should avoid during nursing.

However, since there can be other supplements that you shouldn’t consume during nursing, I suggest that you consult a physician before taking anything.

Note that some prescription medications can be harmful to breastfed babies as well. Now, let’s take a look at the herbs and supplements you should avoid for sure.

  • Bilberry
  • Aloe latex
  • Black cohosh
  • Berberine/goldenseal
  • Butterbur
  • Echinacea
  • Dong Quai
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Feverfew
  • Melatonin
  • Licorice
  • Kelp supplements
  • Kava kava
  • Quercetin
  • Rhodiola
  • Soy Isoflavones
  • Vinpocetine
  • Devil’s claw
  • Hawthorn
  • Feverfew
  • Horse chestnut
  • Marigold

Now that you know which herbs and supplements to avoid while breastfeeding, let’s learn which ones you can use with caution.

If you decide to use aloe topically, make sure to wash it off before breastfeeding. Otherwise, it can cause diarrhea in your newborn.

Fenugreek can also be used with caution. In fact, it’s commonly used to boost milk production. However, keep in mind that fenugreek can have side effects, including gassiness in your newborn, maple syrup odor released from your body, or breast milk oversupply.

What Herbs and Supplements Can I Use While Breastfeeding?

Magnesium While Breastfeeding

Although the list of prohibited herbs and supplements seems long, there’s also a broad selection of safe ones you can use.

Certain probiotics can also be used while nursing. They can be very helpful for moms with mastitis, so keep that in mind. Some of the best nutrients for breastfeeding and expectant women include vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and of course, magnesium in moderation.

Experts around the world suggest that infants should be breastfed for at least the first 6 months of life for optimal growth, overall health, and development.

How Much Magnesium Should I Take Postpartum?

In general, pregnant women should consume between 350 and 450 mg of magnesium per day (it varies with age).

Supplementing with magnesium should continue postpartum because it’s not just great for a women’s health but also their babies’ health.

What Do Studies Say About Taking Magnesium Postpartum?

50 mothers who were studied were provided with 15 ml of either mineral oil or emulsion of mineral oil along with 900 mg of magnesium hydroxide on the very first day postpartum. The exact number of those who got each product wasn’t specified.

Extra doses were provided on subsequent days if required. And none of the breastfed newborn babies were noted to have any side effects such as abnormal stool. However, all of the newborn babies also got supplemental feeding.

What Kind of Magnesium Should I Take While Breastfeeding?

You can consume Magnesium-Diasporal® 400 EXTRA while breastfeeding.

They’re granules for direct use, which will ensure you have enough intake of magnesium as well as fluids on your breastfeeding journey.

However, before you take anything, consult your doctor just in case.

Wrap Up

In summary, any deficiencies you might have could be passed onto your newborn, magnesium deficiency included. The good news? It’s perfectly safe to supplement with magnesium while nursing. In fact, it’s a good practice for both your health and your baby’s health.

However, you must do it in moderation. Experts recommend taking about 400 mg of magnesium during pregnancy per day and about 360 mg while nursing per day. Finally, don’t forget to use the list of herbs and supplements you should avoid while nursing as a future reference.

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