What Supplements Should I be taking Postpartum?

 In energy, fatigue, Guelph Naturopathic Doctor, Infants & Toddlers

The transition from pregnancy to life with your little is a big change mentally and emotionally, let alone physically. A lot of the time we tend to emphasize a focus on the prenatal period, but maybe forget about the 4th trimester, or life after labour. So it’s important to have a plan after babe arrives so that you can feel your best as a mama. That’s where strategic supplementation can really benefit new mom life.

So what supplements should you continue taking after babe is born or are there other things you should add in?

These tend to be my big 5 when it comes to helping support energy, mood and recovery in that postpartum period.

1. Prenatal Vitamins– It’s important to continue taking your prenatal vitamins until you discontinue breastfeeding. For most women, this will likely be a year but could be longer. The body requires an abundant amount of energy and nutrition while nursing and your prenatal will help to keep your body supported as well as baby. Unfortunately, when it comes to prenatal vitamins, not all are created equal. Ideally we want you to take a prenatal that has easily absorbable forms of vitamins and nutrients so that you can utilize them quickly and efficiently. The following table outlines the optimal forms you want to see in you prenatal vitamin. So grab your bottle, flip it over and see what’s in it. If you’re prenatal has a majority of nutrients and vitamins in less desirable forms, it may be a good time to switch.

Supplement

 Best Form

 Less Desirable Form

Folate

Folate or L-5- Methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5- MTHF)

Folic Acid

Iron

Iron Glycinate or Iron Citrate

Ferrous Fumarate

Calcium

Calcium Citrate or Calcium Malate

Calcium Carbonate

Magnesium

Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Malate or Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium Oxide

B12

Methylcobalmin

Cyanocobalamin

Zinc

Zinc Citrate or Zinc Picolinate

Zinc Oxide

2. Fish Oil- Essential fatty acids are the fatty acids are that are essential in our diet, because we can not make them ourselves. Fish oils contain both essential EPA and DHA and will help to stabilize mood, support hormone production and enhance cognition. If you feel like you’re suffering from ‘Baby Brain’ or ‘Mom Brain’, this could be a sign that you’re low in essential fatty acids. Make sure you choose a fish oil supplement that has been 3rd party tested. Meaning, that oil has been tested for any contaminants or heavy metals. You’ll also want a dose of 1-2 grams of combined EPA/DHA per day. Make sure to check the ingredients and values specifically of EPA/DHA on the back of the bottle and add those 2 numbers together. This will usually equate to 2 capsules a day of a high quality fish oil or 1 tsp per day of high quality fish oil liquid.

3. Probiotics- Are our good gut bacteria have been shown to reduce depression and anxiety in the postpartum mama. They also help to alleviate constipation, improve digestion and enhance the immune system. Look for a probiotic that is multi-strain composition, containing 8-15 different strains of bacteria. You’ll also ideally choose a probiotic that is enteric coated, meaning it won’t break down in the acidic pH of the stomach, and instead reaches your small intestine where they become active. Finally, a dose of 10 billion CFU per day it recommenced for healthy adults, however if you were on an antibiotic course, you may require 50-100 billion CFU for a few months.

4. Calcium Magnesium + Vit D- Calcium and magnesium are essential while breastfeeding. As a breastfeeding mama, you have to do double duty. You need to have enough vitamins and nutrients for you as well as to give to your growing babe. Vit D has both jobs of being a vitamin as well as a hormone and is essential fo rbone development, hormone production and mood. Again, you’ll want a supplement that contains Calcium Citrate or Malate and Magnesium Citrate, Malate or glycinate and Vitamin D3.

5. Rhodiola- Being a new mom or a mom to a new family dynamic can be exhausting. This may cause not only physical stress on the body, but mental and emotional stress as well. Your stress glands are working really hard for you, but can sometimes can feel neglected. Rhodiola is a great herb to support energy, positive mood and feelings of calm. It’s one of my go-to ‘feel good herbs’ and can be really beneficial in the postpartum recovery phase.

So that’s my answer to the “What supplements should I be taking Postpartum?”. Those 5 should get your feeling a bit more energy, more balanced mood and get you back to feeling like yourself …faster.

If you still feel like you still have a ton of questions or want more support in dosing or brands I’ll help you to navigate the pregnancy journey and post-partum life so you can feel empowered and confident in your decisions and choices surrounding the health of you and your little one.

Please feel free to reach out and we can book a complimentary Discovery Visit to see how we can get you feeling confident, empowered and feeling your best…especially as a new Mom! Virtual visits are available, so you won’t even need to get out of your yoga pants!

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose of treat. Please always consult your health care provider before adding any new supplements to your health regimen.

 

 

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