Pregnancy is an exciting and beautiful thing. During the months-long process, a mother usually prepares by supplementing her diet with the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep baby and mom happy and healthy.
Why stop once the baby is delivered?
Have you considered breastfeeding? Then it’s only right to make sure you’re delivering the absolute best breastmilk possible.
Beyond physical, some women – 1 in 7 mothers, in fact – suffer from postpartum depression. A number of others may experience infections or pain that doesn’t subside with time.
One of the best ways to prevent and treat these post-baby ailments is to take postpartum vitamins until you’re back to your pre-baby self. A healthy body translates to a healthy mind – and you and your baby need that.
This guide highlights some of the best, most natural vitamins you can give your body postpartum. Keep reading!
Essential Postpartum Vitamins for New Mothers
You’ve done the hard part.
You’ve prepped your body, prepared your mind, and maintained a quality diet for nine months, and maybe even longer.
That sounds like a good habit you’ve started. Stay diligent and keep your wellbeing going strong with some of the following items. Research says you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do.
We’ve narrowed it down to five of the big ones.
1. Prenatal Vitamins
One of the most common vitamins suggested is prenatal.
Their benefits can continue to do positive things for your body even after your baby is born, i.e., postnatal. Most moms have already been taking prenatal vitamins, so this should be easy to continue implementing.
These are highly recommended during the breastfeeding stages when your baby is deriving its nutrients directly from your body. If you have a good diet, you’re almost there.
But most doctors recommend new mothers take a multivitamin on top of that – after all, your body has just been through a lot. Some resources are depleted and need help restoring, which is where a daily prenatal vitamin can come in handy.
2. Vitamin D
This could potentially be one of the most important vitamins you give your body postpartum.
Vitamin D has an amazing amount of benefits:
- Prevents infection in your baby/your body
- Aides in protecting from cancer
- Maintains good bone health
- Supports heart and lung function
- Supports immune systems
- Helps prevent diabetes
And that’s not even all. Let’s just say Vitamin D is a miracle vitamin.
Unfortunately, most women are lacking in Vitamin D already. This matters even more when that woman is a breastfeeding mother.
The only ways a person can receive this vitamin are through food, supplements, or sun exposure.
Your baby’s Vitamin D intake will be limited to what you give him or her since sun exposure is obviously dangerous. This means you’ll need to regulate your own intake well enough to cover you both.
Consult with your doctor to figure out the levels you’ll both need.
3. Vitamin C
This vitamin is one of the safest and most effective nutrients out there. Like Vitamin D, it also has a huge variety of benefits for mom and baby:
- Cardiovascular strength
- Prevents cancer and stroke
- Promotes eye health
- Overall immunity to diseases and ailments
The proper dosages of Vitamin C are hard to receive by just eating a hearty amount of fruits and veggies. Only about 10-20% of people are getting the recommended amounts of this vitamin; that just doesn’t cut it for a baby!
A once-a-day supplement can round out your already-healthy diet and ensure your levels are up to par.
4. Folic Acid
Also known as folate, this nutrient is of the Vitamin B category.
During pregnancy, the need for folate skyrockets. If a mother doesn’t supplement with folic acid, their levels may remain low, resulting in a number of complications.
This can last for months after the baby is born. The lower the levels, the more at-risk a mother will be for suffering from depression or experiencing depressive symptoms. Folate, whether alone or with antidepressants, has the ability to soothe depression.
Folate is also used to treat anemia in people both pregnant and not.
Don’t wait until the baby is born. Folic acid supplements can be taken during pregnancy as a preventative for these problems. You can also receive folate from leafy green veggies (and liver and kidney, if you like!).
Although pregnancy singlehandedly helps protect some women’s calcium reserves, there’s nothing wrong with making sure you’re getting as much as you need to thrive.
Near the end stages of your pregnancy – and beyond, for those who breastfeed – calcium is needed to promote good bone structure and skeletal growth in your child.
If your baby is not getting enough calcium from the nutrients in your body, it will start deriving calcium right from the mother’s own bones. Although you’re going to have to sacrifice a lot in parenthood, your health shouldn’t be one of them.
Your baby needs calcium, and so do you. Kill two birds with one stone by supplementing with enough calcium to keep both you and your child’s bones healthy and strong.
A Healthy Mom Is a Healthy Baby
Your postpartum health is just as important as your pre-baby health – if not just as much, then even more so! Ob-Gyns everywhere guarantee that proper postpartum care is key to ensuring lifelong health for your child.
Keeping your wellbeing in check (both physical and mental) is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your baby’s wellbeing is up to standards, too. And one of the simplest ways for you to do this is by taking the proper postpartum vitamins.
The question isn’t if you should be taking these vitamins – it’s which ones should you take?
Whatever you decide to do postpartum, getting your doctor’s advice first is always recommended. Once you’ve got the okay, give our page a look!
You’re pregnant! Congratulations! You must be hearing that a lot. What you might not be hearing a lot of is what you should put into your body now that you’re expecting.
You know you want to keep your diet as healthy and clean as possible. You also know there are certain nutrients and vitamins you should incorporate into your diet. You’re just not exactly sure which healthy supplements you need for your nutritional needs for pregnancy.
Here’s how to choose the best prenatal supplements.
Maintaining a healthy diet when you’re pregnant is key to the development of your child. You need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats.
When you’re pregnant, your body needs even more nutrients, vitamins and minerals. You need to consume 350-500 extra calories each day during your second and third trimester. These calories shouldn’t be coming from a quarter pounder with cheese and a side of fries.
Instead, make to get these calories by eating more of these foods.
Milk, cheese, eggs, and yogurt are rich in calcium and protein and are essential to the growth of your fetus.
Lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts, are excellent sources of plant-based fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium, which your body needs during pregnancy.
Most pregnant women do not consume enough folate (B9). B9 deficiency has many negative health effects, like an increased risk of low birth weight. Low folate also makes your child more prone to infections and diseases later in life.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is crucial for your baby’s fetal development. Pregnant women are typically advised to increase their vitamin A intake by 10-40%.
Pregnant women are also advised to avoid a lot of animal-based sources of vitamin A, which can cause toxicity when eaten in excess. Plant-based source of vitamin A like sweet potatoes are the way to go.
Vitamin A is essential for growth, as well as for the differentiation of most cells and tissues. It is very important for healthy fetal development.
In addition to a balanced diet and eating certain foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, you’ll also need prenatal vitamins.
Prenatal vitamins make sure you and your baby have all the essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. Some doctors recommend additional vitamins and minerals along with prenatal vitamins if you have any deficiencies.
It is important to note that supplements do not replace a healthy diet. Prenatal vitamins ensure a pregnant woman is getting enough daily nutrients.
Taking prenatal vitamins before you try to conceive can help decrease nausea, boost fertility, and reduce the risk of birth defects. Here are the vitamins and minerals you want to look for in your prenatal vitamin.
Healthy Supplements Your Prenatal Vitamins Should Have
Please note, these are suggestions. If you are pregnant you should consult with your doctor to see if these suggestions are right for you.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of each vitamin and mineral. Make sure you don’t exceed the daily maximum of each vitamin and mineral to avoid overdose and toxicity.
Vitamin A & Beta Carotene
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene help bones and teeth grow. Some of the sources of these valuable nutrients are
- sweet potatoes
- liver milk
- green and yellow vegetables
- yellow fruits
Vitamin D helps your body use calcium and phosphorus while promoting strong teeth and bones for your baby. It’s found in milk, fatty fish, and sunshine.
Vitamin E is essential for the body to make and use red blood cells and muscles. Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach, and fortified cereals contain the vitamin.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects tissues from damage. It’s also essential to help the body absorb iron, especially when that iron is plant-based. Vitamin C is also crucial to building and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Vitamin C is in citrus fruits, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes.
You need Thiamin/B1 to raise energy levels and to help regulate your baby’s nervous system. You can find Thiamin and B1 in whole grains, fortified cereals, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, rice, pasta, berries, nuts, legumes, and pork.
Riboflavin, or B2, maintain energy, develops good eyesight and healthy skin. It’s found in meats, poultry, fish, dairy, fortified cereals, and eggs.
Niacin/B3 is vital for healthy skin, nerves, and your digestive system. It’s packed in high-protein foods, fortified cereals, and bread, meats, fish, milk, eggs, and peanuts.
Like vitamin E, Pyridoxine/ B6 also helps form red blood cells and helps reduce morning sickness. You can find it in chicken, fish, liver, pork, eggs, soybeans, carrots, cabbage, cantaloupe, peas, spinach, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, oats, bran, peanuts, and walnuts.
B12 is crucial for DNA synthesis and can even help prevent neural tube defects. You can find it in shellfish, fish, beef, liver, pork, eggs, dairy, poultry.
Folic Acid is crucial to help support the placenta, prevent spina bifida and neural tube defects. It’s found in oranges, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, fortified cereals, peas, pasta, beans, and nuts.
Calcium helps your baby have healthy bones and teeth, prevents blood clots, and ensures the proper function of muscles and nerves. You can find it in yogurt, milk, cheddar cheese, dark leafy green, canned fish with bones, calcium-fortified foods like soy milk, juices, bread, and cereals.
You need iron for the production of hemoglobin, which helps prevent anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery. You can get it from beef, pork, dried beans, spinach, dried fruits, wheat germ, oatmeal or grains fortified with iron
Protein is key to help in the production of amino acids and to repair cells. You can get it in most animal foods, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, veggie burgers, beans, legumes, nuts.
The body needs zinc to produce insulin and enzymes. You can get it from red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified cereals, oysters, and dairy products.
Hopefully, this information helps you feel ready for your pregnancy. Now you know what healthy supplements to look out for in your prenatal vitamins and diet.
Knowing what you’re putting into your body is key. Try to load up on the vitamin and mineral rich foods mentioned above to get those extra calories your body needs. And remember, healthy supplements and healthy foods are like love and marriage.
You can’t have one without the other.
Contact us for more information on vitamins and healthy supplements.