If there’s ever a time that a woman cares what goes on (and in) her body, it’s the moment that she finds out she’s pregnant. A simple Google search on nutrition/wellness while pregnant will bombard you with thousands of sites with likely more advice than you’ll ever need (or be able to read).
One key nutrient that isn’t always talked about though is magnesium. It’s found in large quantities in our bodies and serves numerous purposes, but nobody really talks much about it and it normally doesn’t pop to the top of the list in that Google search. Without it though, a severe magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can cause preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, and preterm labor. Thankfully most of us function just fine with slightly low levels of magnesium levels, but if you’re regularly feeling symptoms of weakness, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, low energy, and sleep problems, it might be worth mentioning to your doctor.
No Two Magnesiums Are Alike
Before you run out to Target and grab that jumbo bag of Epsom salt, let’s be clear on which version of magnesium we’re talking about when it comes to benefits during pregnancy. The most common forms of magnesium are magnesium sulfate (commonly known as Epsom salt), and magnesium chloride (commonly referred to as magnesium flakes). Both are a form of magnesium, but are quite different in their uses and effects.
Epsom salt can aid in the relief of constipation and other ailments, but is quickly excreted through the kidneys (which means it’s not really intended for absorption and will exit your body quite quickly). Therefore, when referring to the benefits of magnesium, I’m talking about magnesium chloride. It’s a different type of salt that originates from seawater. It is more effectively assimilated into the body and has an even greater ability to be absorbed via the skin.
Amongst its many benefits, here are my Top 4 for magnesium chloride:
As someone who had severe morning sickness throughout my pregnancy, this is one that I wish I would have known about!
Promotes healthy skin and reduces irritation
Not all of us are graced with the “glow” of pregnancy – dry skin and eczema can be very common (or worsened) during pregnancy. Magnesium provides excellent relief for sensitive and irritated skin.
Helps the body rest and sleep
There’s nothing better than winding down the end of the day with a warm (not hot) magnesium bath. Magnesium has a tranquilizing effect that will soak away your stress and prepare you for a good night’s rest
Relieves aches and pains, as well as restless leg syndrome
Soreness, cramping, and restless legs are some of the most common ailments during pregnancy. Magnesium is well known for its ability to sooth the body and relax those sore muscles.
Unfortunately, magnesium in general is also one of those minerals that’s very difficult to get the proper amount of absorption from food sources. Bran cereal, brown rice, almonds, and spinach are good places to start for higher sources of magnesium in food. However, skin absorption (transdermally) is often a more effective way of absorbing magnesium into the body. Magnesium oils and body butters infused with magnesium are great for quick and immediate skin relief, as are magnesium flakes added directly to a warm bath.
Studies are clear that magnesium chloride is an essential mineral and plays an important role in both maternal and fetal health during pregnancy. Whether you’re pregnant or not – next time you’re looking for some additional muscle or skin relief, try incorporating magnesium chloride into your routine – it’ll be good for you both inside and out!
Please note that the above statements are for information purposes only. Always consult with your provider about the best options for you and your baby during pregnancy.
About the Author - Mandy Dobosenski
Mandy is the founder and owner of BeeNaturalz, an all-natural luxury skincare line where she incorporates at least one "bee power" ingredient into all of her products (such as beeswax, honey, pollen, etc.). All BeeNaturalz products are handcrafted using all natural ingredients in small batches to ensure the highest quality. Outside of her own business, Mandy works full-time as the Director of HR at a nonprofit mental health agency in MN and spends all of her spare moments with her husband, son, and two kitties. You can learn more about Mandy and her skincare line at www.BeeNaturalz.com.