Postpartum nutrition in the fourth trimester (the few months after your baby arrives) is one of the most important ways that you can support your health and postpartum recovery as a new mom, which is why we are covering everything you need to know about choosing the best postnatal supplements to support your postpartum healing and your new baby.
7 Best Postnatal Vitamins For A Healthy Postpartum Recovery
After spending the last nine to ten months growing a little human, endlessly researching the best baby products, and trying your best to prepare for labor, it can be easy for most new moms to forget to prepare for the postpartum recovery time after baby and their own postpartum healing journey.
The early weeks after baby arrives are such a special bonding time between the new mom and baby that should be filled with lots of rest and nourishment to help support the new mother’s journey into motherhood and her body’s recovery. Unfortunately, in today’s society the lack of a “village” to help with a new baby can make rest and healing during the postpartum period difficult to prioritize, which is why my best advice to new moms is to prepare for the postpartum period or “the fourth trimester” before baby arrives.
I am so excited to be partnering with New Chapter again today to share everything you need to know about nourishing your body in the postpartum fourth trimester and what the best postnatal vitamins are that you may want to consider for your postpartum healing and recovery
The Fourth Trimester
The fourth trimester is roughly the first three months after a baby’s birth and is a period that has been viewed in many cultures as an important time for rest, recovery, nourishment and bonding between the new mom and baby as both become more adjusted to their new lives. This period of rest for the new mom and baby can be seen in cultures around the world from Japan to China and all the way to Middle East in Jordan and Palestine, to Eastern Europe and Latin America.
This period typically lasts anywhere from 30 days to a few months and almost always involves female family members providing guidance and support to the new mother and baby with traditional healing foods, and their own maternal wisdom. While this tradition surrounding the fourth trimester and the concept of a “nuclear family” or “village” is becoming more difficult as modern day families become busier and more spread out, the needs during that early postpartum period for the new mother remain the same, and may be more needed than ever.
So while it may not be possible for your mom and sister to move into your home for a month or two when your baby arrives (and maybe you wouldn’t even want this) accepting and asking for help during those early weeks, and making a fourth trimester postpartum nutrition plan are ways that you can help make your own transition into motherhood a more restorative one that will support both your mental and physical health, and the health of your baby.
Do You Need To Take Postpartum Supplements?
The short answer is most likely yes. After pregnancy, your body needs to a do a lot of work to replete the nutrients it prioritized for your baby over the past nine months, while also healing your body from labor and supporting the creation of breastmilk to nourish your baby.
All of these pieces require a lot of energy and nutrients to complete, which can be difficult for the average person to get through food alone. For these reasons it is usually a good idea to continue taking your prenatal supplement after birth, or switch to a postpartum supplement that has been specially formulated with the specific nutrient needs of new and nursing moms.
Postnatal vs. Prenatal Multivitamin
While most postnatal and prenatal multivitamins will contain many of the same vitamins and minerals, postnatal vitamins have been specifically formulated for the postpartum recovery and healing period.
The New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Multivitamin is a great option for new and especially nursing moms to consider as a foundational part of their postpartum nutrition plan. This fermented multivitamin is made using organic vegetables and herbs that have been fermented to aid in nutrient absorption. This postnatal multivitamin formulation also differs from a prenatal supplement in its specific targeting of nutrients and needs of new moms in the postpartum period.
Specifically, the New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Multivitamin provides targeted nutrients that are recommended specifically for breastfeeding, and energy support for new moms.
- Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D3, and Iodine for breast milk and lactation support*
- Organic superfood blend with Oats, Turmeric, Kelp, and Chamomile for breastfeeding support*
- Whole-food fermented B Vitamins for energy, stress, and fatigue support*
- Iron to aid red blood cell production*
- Iodine for thyroid support while breastfeeding*
Postpartum Vitamins To Consider For Your Postpartum Recovery
While eating a varied nutrient dense diet and taking a postnatal supplement will cover most of your postpartum nutrition needs, the following are a few additional supplements that may be helpful for some women during their postpartum recovery.
Some women after labor and delivery may require an additional iron supplement to help get their iron levels back to a more optimal place. One of the draw backs of iron supplements however is that they can often be hard on your stomach and constipating. That is why I really love this formulation by New Chapter that combines other targeted herbs and vitamins that help improve absorption and is easy to digest. Before taking an iron supplement it is always important to have your levels checked by your doctor and get tailored dosing recommendations to fit your specific needs.
Zinc is an excellent mineral for supporting immune health and healing in the body, which is why it may be a good additional supplement to consider adding into your postpartum nutrition plan. Zinc is also found in foods like pumpkin seeds and oysters (which are safe to eat after pregnancy).
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Most people are not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets today, and since omega 3 fatty acids play such an important role in the brain and nervous system development of babies, most new moms can benefit from including an omega 3 fatty acid supplement into their daily postpartum nutrition plan in addition to adding omega 3 rich fatty fish to their postpartum nutrition.
This Wholemega For Moms Fish Oil is crafted specifically for pregnant and postpartum moms from 100% sustainably caught wild Alaskan salmon.
Most people, especially those living in northern climates, are deficient in vitamin D which is important for supporting immune health, bone health, energy levels, as well as a varied of other functions in the body. To know if you are vitamin D deficient it is best to ask your doctor to test your levels, which will help you determine if you need an additional supplement and at what dose.
This supplement is specific for breastfeeding moms as it is often recommended by lactation consultants to help with the prevention of clogged milk ducts, which can be especially common in the early days of breastfeeding as your milk supply is coming in and regulating itself. From personal experience I found this supplement to be so helpful in helping with clogged ducts when they happened and preventing them in the future.
Postpartum recovery and healing brings a whole host of symptoms from night sweats, to hormonal headaches, to slow digestion. To help replenish some of the minerals you are losing and help get your digestion back on track (especially if you are experiencing night sweats) magnesium glycinate can be a great mineral for most moms to consider adding before bedtime. It also can help reduce feelings of anxiety and improve sleep, which most new moms can benefit from!
Wrapping Things Up
While I know that there is so much to think about in the late days of pregnancy and early days of motherhoods, I hope that you take a little time to consider how you will care for yourself during those early weeks and months of recovery. While it may be hard for most moms to prioritize themselves, remember that your own postpartum nutrition will be essential for helping you feel your best, and nourishing your body will allow you to better nourish your baby.
So keep the above tips in mind as you make a game plan for your postpartum nutrition, and don’t forget to accept and ask for help whenever you can. Becoming a new mom is hard, and you were never meant to do it alone.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and the products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease and should not be viewed as personalized medical advice.