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Can I Take Magnesium Citrate While I Am Breastfeeding?

By Tamara Carpenito ; Updated August 14, 2017

As of publication, the Food and Drug Administration has not reported animal or reproductive studies of magnesium citrate, a laxative with other uses. It falls under the category of a hyper-osmotic saline laxative; these types of laxatives are not recommended during pregnancy. However, Thomas Hale, PhD, states in the book “Medications and Mothers Milk” that other hyper-osmotic saline laxatives fall in the safest lactation-risk category. Consult a health-care provider or board-certified lactation consultant prior to using any medications or supplements while breastfeeding.


Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral used by the human body’s nerves and muscles. Magnesium citrate increases water in the intestines, which causes bowel movements. Magnesium citrate is sometimes used to clean out the intestines prior to a medical procedure like a colonoscopy. It also can be taken to relieve constipation -- but only under a health-care provider’s recommendation. Milder laxatives should be tried first. Magnesium citrate can be taken in pill or liquid form.


The FDA has not completed any studies to suggest whether magnesium citrate is safe to use while breastfeeding or whether it appears in breast milk after ingestion. The mineral magnesium has been found in breast milk in minuscule amounts, according to Consult a health-care provider to ensure the benefits of using magnesium citrate outweigh the risks.


Follow directions on the package or given to you by your health-care provider or pharmacist. The usual adult dosage to help relieve constipation, according to, is 240 ml one-time. This dosage has not been specified for a woman breastfeeding. Use a measuring cup or spoon to ensure it is the correct measurement. Magnesium citrate is most effective if taken on an empty stomach followed by a full glass of water. Chilling magnesium citrate may help it taste better.

Side Effects

If you experience an allergic reaction like difficulty breathing, swelling in the face or a rash, stop taking magnesium citrate immediately, and seek emergency medical treatment. If you take magnesium citrate and it causes rectal bleeding or there is a failure to defecate, it could signify a major health concern. Seek immediate medical attention. Ask your health-care provider whether any drugs or supplements you are taking can interact with magnesium citrate. It may not be safe to take magnesium citrate with some medical conditions including kidney disease. Do not take magnesium citrate if you have a stomachache, nausea or have been vomiting, unless directed by your health-care provider.

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