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Using calcium and magnesium to prevent high blood pressure in pregnancy

Weekly pregnancy tip

 

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Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) affects 10% of pregnancies in the United States and is a major cause of death in pregnant women and newborns worldwide. These hypertensive disorders include chronic hypertension (elevated blood pressure at less than 20 weeks pregnant or persisting beyond 12 weeks after delivery), gestational hypertension (elevated blood pressure later than 20 weeks pregnant), and pre-eclampsia (the most severe form, involving elevated blood pressure later than 20 weeks pregnant with protein in the urine).

This is a big topic, and one that I cover in-depth in my online pregnancy coaching program, including risk factors, conventional treatments, and the multitude of integrative options available for preventing gestational hypertension.

One of the options that has gained more interest recently is using calcium and magnesium supplements as preventative treatment. In-hospital intra-venous magnesium is the generally accepted treatment for pre-eclampsia, which led researchers to consider whether oral magnesium during pregnancy could be used as a preventative treatment.

Both calcium and magnesium given throughout pregnancy have been shown to effectively reduce the risk of developing gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia, without side effects. 

As I shared in this weekly tip there are some dose amounts to keep in mind. When taking calcium and magnesium during your pregnancy, you will want to ensure that your total calcium (prenantal + supplements) stays under 1,400mg per day to avoid milk-alkali syndrome during your pregnancy, and that your total magnesium (prenatal + supplements) stays below 360mg per day to stay within the tolerable upper limit during pregnancy. Calcium and magnesium can be taken together conveniently in the form of a liquid “cal-mag” which can be found at most health-food stores.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Attalah, A.N. et al. (2014). Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for prevention hypertensive disorders and related problems. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2.

Leeman, L. et al. (2016). Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. American Family Physician, 93(2): 121-127.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. (n.d.). Magnesium: fact sheet for health professionals. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Rylander, R. & Bullarbo, M. (2015). Use of oral magnesium to prevent gestational hypertension. Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women’s Cardiovascular Health, 5(1): 150.

Thomas, M. & Weisman, S. (2006). Calcium supplementation during pregnancy and lactation: effects on the mother and fetus. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 194(4): 937-945.

 

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