Should You Take Prenatal Vitamins After Birth?Published:
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO
In This Article:
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy and becoming a new mom! This new adventure during your postpartum period can be such a blur. Between feeding schedules, diaper changes, sleep depravation and doctor’s appointments, there isn’t much me time. Sadly, you start to forget to take care of yourself.
With all that there is to do in a day, it is common for new moms to forget to eat. They often end up grabbing the first thing available that is quick and easy to eat, but are not nutritionally sufficient. You may wonder if it’s ok to take prenatal vitamins after giving birth. For most of us, taking a postpartum supplement becomes a must.
★ Prenatal Vs Postnatal Vitamins
While prenatal supplements are widely available in many different forms, postnatal supplements aren’t. With just a handful of companies producing postnatal vitamins, you may be wondering what is the difference between postnatal and prenatal vitamins?
Our ob-gyn, Dr. Nicole Palmer helps us understand “Prenatal or postnatal supplements are meant to supplement your well-balanced nutritional diet that meets the recommended requirements by the FDA. They are meant to boost your vitamin and mineral supply your body and baby need. So there isn’t much of a difference between prenatal and postnatal vitamins, both will get the job done!”
★ Why Do I Need To Take Prenatal Vitamins After Delivery?
A nutrient-dense, well-rounded food regime is ideal for you to meet your daily nutrient needs, but may be hard with a newborn. Also, during delivery and up to six weeks post-delivery, your body continues to lose blood depleting your body of many nutrients and vitamins. This is why prenatal and postpartum vitamins and minerals help ensure your body replenishes with the proper nutrients.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, chances are you do not meet daily nutrient intake of vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and other critical nutrients. When lactating, your daily nutrient intake of vitamins A, B complex, D, DHA, and choline help with breast milk production.
Prenatal vitamins, post-pregnancy also help with postpartum hair loss. Optimal nutritional intake is important for generating new cell growth, including your hair. Prenatal vitamins and minerals aid generate the growth of red blood cells that carry oxygen to all the body’s cells. This includes your hair, the fastest growing tissue in your body after bone marrow.
Check out our blog on Natural Postpartum Hair Loss Remedies!
★ How Long To Take Prenatal Vitamins After Birth?
After baby is born, many doctors and midwives recommend that you have a daily food regime rich in nutrients, in addition to continuing to take a prenatal vitamin during postpartum. This should be followed for as long as you’re breastfeeding or have postpartum bleeding.
One side effect of loosing blood for up to 6 or more weeks after giving birth is developing a deficiency in iron. Taking a prenatal supplement with iron for as long as you have post-delivery bleeding, or during the length of time you’re breastfeeding will help restore depleted nutrients which help support you and your newborn.
★ Prenatal And Postnatal Vitamins For Breastfeeding Moms
Prenatal vitamins during breastfeeding, are extremely important being that your newborn only receives nutrients from you. As weeks pass and an increased milk supply is needed to fill the baby’s appetite, this becomes even more important.
Throughout lactation, your body needs a higher daily intake of certain nutrients than while pregnant. Some nutrients that are most important for breastfeeding that help support your growing infant are calcium, folate, iron, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), choline, and iodine. (Source)
Calcium is important to keep you and your baby’s bones strong and healthy.
Check out our blog on Calcium During Pregnancy.
Folate helps your body and your baby’s body make new cells and to synthesize DNA. Also, it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Check out our blog on Benefits Of Folate During Pregnancy.
Iron helps carry oxygen to the blood, which gives mom energy. After birth, your baby typically has enough iron stored to last through their sixth month.
Check out our blog on Iron During Pregnancy.
Newborns need vitamin A for optimal health, growth, and development. During the first six months of life, newborns need to increase their vitamin A storage exclusively through breastfeeding.
Vitamin B1 is essential for both you and your baby’s nervous system and muscle function. It also helps mom metabolize carbohydrates as energy.
Check out our blog on Thiamine (B1) During Pregnancy.
Vitamin B2 is necessary for your baby's bone, muscle, and nerve development. It promotes your baby’s growth, good vision, and healthy skin. It's also an essential compound that helps mom’s body produce energy.
Vitamin B6 Is needed for your baby’s healthy brain development and function. For mom, it is also suggested as helpful for symptoms of postpartum depression.
Vitamin B12 is essential for your baby’s brain development and producing healthy red blood cells. It also changes food into fuel, increases energy, and enhances mom’s mood.
Check out our blog on Vitamin B12 Benefits During Pregnancy.
Vitamin D helps support your bones and the growth of your baby’s teeth and bones.
Check out our blog on Importance Of Vitamin D During Pregnancy.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for your baby’s brain, eye, and heart growth and development. This omega 3 fatty acid is also known to increase your baby’s intellectual development by improving memory, learning ability, and attention span. Your body can’t make DHA, so you’ll need to ensure your daily intake through food or a prenatal vitamin.
Check out our blog on All You Need To Know About Prenatal Vitamins And DHA.
Choline is a brain-building nutrient that helps build your baby’s body and brain. For mom, it is essential for immune function.
Check out our blog on Importance Of Choline During Pregnancy.
Iodine helps your baby’s brain and nervous system develop. This mineral also keeps mom's thyroid in good shape.
There are many prenatal or postnatal vitamins on the market that do not contain iodine. Feed mom & me Complete Prenatal Vitamin With DHA contains 150 mcg of iodine. Click here for more info.
★ Best Postpartum Vitamins After Giving Birth
We highly recommend you continue taking a prenatal vitamin after giving birth for as long as you have post-delivery bleeding, or continue during the length of time you breastfeed. This is especially necessary if you’re planning on having another kid. One of the best over-the-counter prenatal vitamins after giving birth is Feed Mom & Me Complete Prenatal with DHA.
This prenatal is formulated by an OBGYN & Registered Dietitian, containing all the nutrients needed to conceive and during pregnancy. Each small and easy-to-swallow pill is packed with 22 key natural nutrients to provide nutritional support for you and your growing baby. It contains Folate (methyl folate form), DHA, Iron, Calcium, Choline, Biotin, Zinc, Magnesium, and Selenium.
The vegetarian formula is free of artificial colors or flavors, chemicals, preservatives, non-GMO, non-dairy, no soy, and is gluten-free. Each of capsules contains Vitamin D, B Complex, Selenium, Zinc, DHA and Iron to help improve postpartum depression.
Adding to that, it is a women-owned company. Who better than a female would understand pregnancy!