About to expect a baby or just had a newborn? Chances are you’ll soon start looking for prenatal or postnatal vitamins to get the nutrients the both of you need for good health. A healthy diet is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs, however even if you are eating healthy, you may fall short on some key nutrients -which is where supplements come in.
During breastfeeding, your body needs more of all the nutrients that a well-balanced diet can offer. Taking prenatal vitamins even after pregnancy is a recommended option. They work well as postnatal vitamins, since your breast milk will continue to provide important nutrients for your baby. Make sure your supplements include essential nutrients such as folic acid, iron, Vitamin D, fish oil, and calcium.
How long should you take prenatal vitamins for?
It’s best to take prenatal vitamins throughout your entire pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may suggest continuing to take prenatal vitamins after the baby is born — especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Which specific nutrients are recommended during the postnatal period?
- PRENATAL VITAMINS: Continuing to take prenatals while breastfeeding is a good way to provide nourishment for your baby. Most prenatal vitamins include around 20 crucial nutrients that help meet you and your baby’s nutritional needs. Be sure to look for fermented choline, methylfolate (a form of folic acid that can be more efficiently used by the body), and Vitamin B12, as some are not included in many prenatal formulations.
- FISH OIL: Women tend to cut back on fish, a main source of omega-3s, during pregnancy or breastfeeding to avoid mercury. Fish oil is a great way to get these healthy fatty acids (such as DHA) which are necessary to maintain your cognitive health. These essential nutrients also support your little one’s brain health and nervous system.
- CALCIUM: Some mothers are not getting the necessary levels of calcium from their regular diets (especially vegans and people who are lactose intolerant). Calcium supports your baby’s skeletal development and maintains your bone health. It’s important to keep your levels up with supplements, as the ability to absorb calcium decreases with age. Be sure to combine your calcium intake with vitamin D and K for better absorption.
Consider checking if your vitamins are gentle on the stomach! Some supplements are fermented with probiotics or yeast, making them easier to digest and less likely to cause nausea. We recommend you take them with a meal for optimal absorption.