Just like while you were pregnant, your body needs specific vitamins and minerals to help support you and your baby during the “4th trimester” and the rest of your Postpartum journey. That’s where Postnatal Vitamins come in to help.
What Are Postnatal Vitamins
After giving birth, your body is deficient and lacking in many vitamins and minerals. It’s also learning how to make breastmilk (if you’re going that route). Your postpartum body is craving many minerals and vitamins that your postnatal vitamin can give it.
Taking a vitamin while nursing not only helps your milk supply but gives you a solid peace of mind that you’re giving your baby all the nutrients that baby needs.
Why Are Postnatal Vitamins Important
While pregnant, your obstetrician recommended taking prenatal vitamins to help your baby develop, grow and eventually be able to function on their own. Postnatal vitamins are just as important for mothers’ health, especially if breastfeeding.
It can be difficult to make sure you’re feeding your body what it needs to function as a new mom that’s recovering from birth, learning to be a new mom and surviving on very little sleep.
These vitamins are specifically created and formulated to replenish energy and breastmilk.
As with all supplements, It’s important to know what you’re supplement is made out of. Try to find the cleanest vitamin that still provides the support you need.
How Long Do You Need To Take Postnatal Vitamins
Depending on the prenatal vitamin that you took while pregnant and the components that make it up, your doctor may just recommend continuing to take that prenatal vitamin as a postnatal vitamin.
Many doctors recommend that you take your postnatal vitamins as long as you’re breastfeeding. So this length of time may vary from person to person. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you should continue to take some sort of vitamin until you are fully recovered from birth.
What Vitamins Should I Take Postpartum?
Wondering what vitamins and nutrients your body actually needs after birth? Or what you should see as ingredients in your vitamins? You should see these things listed below on the vitamin label:
- Iron. You lose some of your iron during childbirth, so it’s imperative to replenish it. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby is depending on you to provide he/she with iron for their own body and thyroid function. If you’re looking for nutritional ways to get iron instead of a vitamin- get your iron from some of these sources: red meat, liver, clams, oysters, and green leafy veggies.
- Vitamin B12. B12 is great for helping with energy production and it’s essential for red blood cell development. Our bodies use it to for our DNA. When breastfeeding our baby, we are passing them their source of B12. Babies who are at an increased risk for failure to thrive have been found to be more irritable and be deficient in B12. They’ve also been found to show developmental delays, and poor brain growth. Some of the best sources to get your B12 from are animal foods, like clams, tuna, liver, beef, and salmon. You can also get a good amount of B12 from fortified dairy and cereals.
- DHA- an omega-3 fatty acid. Babies rely on their breastmilk (or formula) to supply them with the right amount of DHA. DHA is necessary for brain and vision development. In mothers, increasing your DHA intake has been proven to help enhance mental clarity, focus and it helps reduce inflammation and the risk of postpartum depression. Try some of these sources of DHA: like salmon, sardines, fortified eggs, and dairy. This is a common nutrient most Americans miss in their diet, so it’s good to take even when you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Choline. Choline is a very similar to folic acid which is known to enhance brain development in babies. This nutrient helps infants develop a strong memory and promotes proper brain development. You can find this in eggs and other meat organs, like livers.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a great vitamin for everyone to take, pregnant or not. Vitamin D helps by supporting the immune system, brain, and nervous system. It also helps reduce the risk of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Some of the best sources of Vitamin D are fatty fish like salmon and tuna and liver. It can also be found in fortified dairy, orange juice, and egg yolks.
Should You Take Vitamins In Gummy Or Pill Form?
There are many things to consider when deciding on taking your vitamin in the form of a pill or gummy.
First, make you need to know that all of the necessary ingredients, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need are available in whatever form you’re looking into.
Not all pills and gummies are created equal.
Look into how long it takes for the nutrients to get into your system from the gummy versus the pill.
Other things to consider are:
- Are you able to swallow the pill? Sometimes mothers have problems swallowing pre and postnatal pills due to nausea or other reasons. Keep this in mind.
- Is the gummy made from high quality ingredients?
- Sugar content in gummies- this is something that some mothers need to consider if they’re watching their sugar intake.
- Generally gummies are easier to take and usually taste better, while this may be more appealing, remember to look at the quality of ingredients and make sure the gummies are providing your body (and baby) with everything you need.
Are Postnatal Vitamins Good For Breastfeeding Moms?
Many Postnatal vitamins contain additional amounts of certain vitamins shown to be particularly important for breastfeeding women. So far we have shown many reasons why these vitamins are good for both nursing baby and recovering mama.
What Is The Best Postnatal Vitamin?
There are many vitamins to consider. Here are some of the most popular:
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Are Vitamins Good For Hair Loss?
While pregnant, you may have seen some increase in hair growth and quality of your hair. Many prenatal vitamins are good for hair, skin and nails. Then once you have a baby, it’s common to see some postpartum hair loss due to the hormone shifts your body undergoes.
It’s completely natural and normal. Talk to your doctor if this is something you’re experiencing and you think it’s more excessive than normal. However, you can continue to take your prenatal or postnatal vitamin to try to help promote hair regrowth.
Are Vitamins Good For Mental Health?
As we discussed earlier, DHA and Vitamin D are both good for mothers’ mental health and help reduce the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety.
Are Prenatal And Postnatal Vitamins The Same Thing?
While prenatal vitamins are commonly recommended for pregnant mothers-to-be, postnatal vitamins are for mama’s who just gave birth and many of them are created with breastfeeding mothers and their nursing babies in mind.