You probably focused a lot on your nutrition while you were pregnant. Now, you’re probably focusing a lot on what your baby is eating to ensure they get all the nutrients and vitamins they need for healthy development. But are you still paying careful attention to all the nutrients and vitamins you need as a new mom?
While prenatal vitamins get a lot of attention, postnatal vitamins are just as important to ensure you recoup and replenish your body after the very difficult and depleting task of carrying and then giving birth to a child. Here’s everything you need to know.
Why You Need a Postnatal Vitamin
Don’t just assume that you can get all of the nutrients and vitamins you need for recovery from a healthful diet alone (and don’t fool yourself that you’re eating healthily at the moment; take-out and other easy meals are often the go-to when focusing solely on a newborn). A postnatal vitamin ensures you get everything you need when you need it.
Shari Stamps, Postpartum Educator with Navigating Parenthood shares, “These vitamins help to rebuild your nutrient stores and aid recovery after birth (and this healing is a 9-month period, at least) but then continue to ensure you have what you need as you supply nutrition for your little one. Some new parents may find that they need a prenatal/postnatal and also a boost of iron, magnesium, Biotin, and collagen depending on what is most depleted so it’s important to watch your mood and general health in the postpartum period and see your doctor.”
Best Postnatal Vitamins and Supplements
So, ready to get your body back on track? Here are the 13 best postnatal vitamins and supplements that could help.
This particular vitamin is formulated with the latest nutrient recommendations for new mothers and is ideal for use through at least the first six months after giving birth (and longer if you’re breastfeeding). The vitamin gives you plenty of vitamin D3, folate, vitamin B12, biotin and more, including Omega-3 fatty acids. The vegan gel capsules only needed to be taken once per day, two capsules per day. To help the capsules go down easier, they’re packaged with mint for both a better flavor and aroma.
Developed by a fertility expert, the FullWell prenatal multivitamin includes a range of important vitamins and minerals, including B-12, magnesium, choline and calcium. You will have to take eight of the capsules each day, but you get 30 days’ worth of capsules in each bottle, so you won’t be making any extra purchases as the month goes on. Each bottle includes a lemon essence packet, too, to give the capsules a refreshing scent that may make taking them a little easier.
These capsules contain methylfolate, iron and vitamin B12, among other ingredients, to help improve your memory and brain function, fight away the postpartum blues and also give your baby all the nutrients they need via breastfeeding for better immunity and brain development.
The best part, though? You only have to take one capsule per day. The postnatal supplement can be bundled with a probiotic and fatty acids supplement, too, so you get everything you need with one simple order (and if you bundle the three products together, you’ll save!).
These prenatal vitamins, which also contain much of the same nutrients and ingredients you need after giving birth, are a good pick if you’re looking for something that you can simply throw into your Amazon cart and get delivered along with all your other newborn must-haves. You do have to take eight of these capsules per day, but each supplement capsule includes a huge amount of vitamins A, C, D3, E, K2, B6 and B12, plus huge servings of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin and more.
The only downside? You won’t want to take this supplement in the evening, as it’s advised not to take it within five hours of bedtime to avoid any negative side effects.
This postnatal multivitamin is specifically blended for breastfeeding moms. It contains not just the vitamins and supplements you need, like vitamins C and D3, but also herbal ingredients like moringa leaf to help with lactation. The tablets can be taken on an empty stomach, and you only have to take two per day.
If you know you’re going to need more than just what a basic postnatal multivitamin can give you, consider a multivitamin pill pack that comes with multiple supplements, so you have everything you need with one purchase—no shopping around required. These pill packs come pre-portioned in daily servings, and the packs are customized based on how long ago you gave birth (with options from just-gave-birth-yesterday to my-kid-is-now-a-toddler). Just take your pack once daily with food, and enjoy the benefits of this ultra-convenient option.
But if you can’t stomach (quite literally) the idea of taking multiple pills every day, go for a gummy. This option from Pinkstork contains lots of vitamin B, alongside servings of folate, vitamin C and niacin. The result is improved cell renewal, more energy, better moods, enhanced immunity and greater heart health. All you have to do is pop two gummies every day.
If you don’t care for gummies, either, you can try a powder supplement. This prenatal multivitamin powder can be mixed into your favorite beverage or even soft foods like oatmeal and yogurt. The vanilla flavor works well with an array of foods.
Yes, while the packaging says this is a prenatal multivitamin, the brand clarifies that it can be taken after pregnancy as well to boost your breastmilk’s nutrient content. It also positively impacts your own hormone balance, energy and immunity.
It’s no secret that having a baby can make you lose your hair. If you’re having difficulties with postpartum hair loss, on top of all the other challenges that come with having a newborn in the house, you might want to look for a vitamin that focuses on helping you grow that hair back faster. This gummy vitamin includes collate, biotin, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and collagen.
If you want something easily available on Amazon, but you’d really rather stick with a postnatal vitamin than the prenatal vitamin suggested above, consider this option from New Chapter. Formulated to support mood, lactation and energy levels, it’s packed with vitamin B6, vitamin D3 and other much-need ingredients. It also includes a postnatal herbal blend, organic turmeric and organic kelp.
Another powder option, this plant-based protein blend is specifically designed for breastfeeding mothers. It features lots of B vitamins, choline, digestive enzymes, iodine, selenium and more, ensuring you pass on everything your baby needs while also ensuring you don’t end up exhausted from all the breastfeeding. Just mix two scoops of the powder into a smoothie or plant-based milk once a day, any time of day.
If you’ve already found a postnatal vitamin that you love, but you’re still struggling to get all of the omega-3 fatty acids that you need, you might consider these vitamins from Nordic Naturals. Unlike other fish oil-based supplements, this particular option is designed to leave no fishy aftertaste in your mouth (it’s lemon-flavored instead) and to absorb easily, for less risk of stomach upset. Reviewers report that the pills are easy to swallow and come with fewer side effects than similar options.
A lot of prenatal vitamins and supplements are pricey, but that’s not the case with this option. These orange-flavored, vegan gummies are just $12 a month. Each gummy includes 12 vitamins and minerals, including marine algae-sourced DHA, folic acid and vitamin B6.
How to Pick a Postnatal Vitamin
There are a few things you’ll want to consider as you shop for a postnatal vitamin, whether you go with one of our top picks above or any other option.
First things first, you have to think about form. Can’t swallow a vitamin (and keep in mind that some of these vitamins can be pretty hefty)? You’ll want to opt for a postnatal vitamin that comes in a gummy form. You also can find postnatal liquids and powders, if that’s your preference.
Not all postnatal vitamins are the same. Talk to your doctor about your exact nutritional needs. You’ll have your own individual health concerns that will help inform what dietary supplements might be best for you. For example, breastfeeding women might need a vitamin that impacts milk supply. If you’re suffering from postpartum depression, you might want other vitamins that help boost mental health.
Whatever your needs, though, you’ll find that some key ingredients are included in every postnatal vitamin, and those include vitamin D, B vitamins, iron and choline.
Another thing to consider? Daily dosage. Some of these vitamins require you to take nearly 10 capsules per day. That’s a lot to remember, especially for a new parent with a newborn. If you think you’ll have difficulty keeping up with a vitamin routine, look for a vitamin that’s going to require the fewest dosages daily.
FAQs About Postnatal Vitamins
Have more questions? We’ve got answers.
When should I start taking postnatal vitamins?
Your doctor can advise when you should start taking postnatal vitamins. However, because these vitamins are formulated specifically for women who have just given birth, don’t take them unless you’ve done just that. Otherwise, you can find other vitamins and supplements that can provide you with the unique blend of ingredients your body needs.
How long do you have to take postnatal vitamins after giving birth?
This is another instance where you should check with your doctor. However, since postnatal vitamins are designed to help you with healing from birth, breastfeeding, dealing with postpartum depression and similar issues, it’s wise to continue taking the vitamins as long as you’re doing any of the above. After you’re finished with the postnatal vitamins, switch to a multivitamin more suited to your evolving health needs. Stamps adds, “Vitamins & minerals in postpartum will vary depending on the birthing person since we lose a lot of vitamins and minerals in pregnancy and the birth process, but it’s great to take a general postnatal or at least continue with your prenatal for at least a year after giving birth (longer if still breastfeeding/pumping).”
Can you use your prenatal vitamin as a postnatal vitamin?
Have a bunch of those prenatal vitamins left in your pantry? If so, you may consider using your prenatal vitamin as a postnatal vitamin for a time. Many prenatal vitamins contain much of the same vitamins and nutrients that your postnatal vitamins will contain. Check with your doctor first, but don’t throw out those prenatal vitamins just yet.
If I’m taking a postnatal vitamin, do I need to adjust my diet at all?
While a postnatal vitamin can keep you from developing severe deficiencies in key vitamins and nutrients that you need most right now, it’s still important to adjust your diet just slightly to ensure your recovery is as smooth as possible.
If your postnatal vitamin does not include fatty acids, make sure that you get at least two servings of fish or shellfish each week, especially if breastfeeding, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You should also make sure your diet is filled with calcium and iron if you’re not getting those from your postnatal vitamin. And, of course, drink plenty of water.
Get the Nutrients You (and Baby!) Need, with the Right Postnatal Vitamin
Having a newborn is hard. Being a new mom is hard. Make it all easier with the right postnatal vitamins to keep you healthy and functioning at your best.
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The 13 Best Postanatal Vitamins:
- Ritual’s Essential for Women Postnatal Vitamin
- FullWell Prenatal Multivitamins
- Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Postnatal
- Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal
- MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Postnatal Multivitamin
- Perelel Mom Multi Support Pack
- Pinkstork Total Postnatal Gummies
- Needed Prenatal Multi Powder
- Baby Blues Postpartum Hair Vitamins
- New Chapter Perfect Postnatal
- Majka Organic Lactation Protein Powder
- Nordic Naturals Postnatal Omega-3
- Hello Bello Prenatal DHA Gummies