Low Potassium and Magneisum


Dear Midwife,
My daughter is almost 6 months pregnant and her blood tests show she is low 3.2 versus 3.5 in her potassium levels. They tried to get her count to the normal rate using an IV and nothing changed after 6 bags. They have her taking several potassium pills a day and it only went from 3.1 to 3.2 after 2 weeks. They are now sending her to a renal doctor (kidneys) but they say the baby is fine.

I have tried to research this on the web without much luck. Should we be concerned? One OB doctor said it wasn't a great concern that it is sometimes normal in young women and should improve after the baby is born, the other one says she is not too concerned but wants us to go see a specialist anyway? She is having no symptoms or problems.


I'm sorry, I have never heard of such a problem that couldn't be solved, so I would defer to the specialist.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.


Low potassium

I suffer from low potassium while pregnant. I'm going through it in fact a fourth time. My OB doctors, kidney doctors, heart doctors, no one had an answer for me. My potassium gets really really low in 3rd trimester and I have to take alot of supplements daily. They can't keep it in me. But after the birth of my babies it goes back to normal.

Tell your daughter feeling extremely weak like her body is much heavier and she can barley stand on her feet, muscle soreness, etc is not normal and a serious sign potassium is low and she needs it or it can be fatal. I found an article though that mentions a cause for this in two other ladies while pregnant was because they drink to much soda. I too drink to much soda, so now I'm thinking that just maybe this is the answer.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.