Pregnancy, labour and birth demand a lot from the body. And can leave many new mothers depleted in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from the moment the mothering begins. It’s common for prenatal vitamins to be recommended as part of the postpartum plan, but how can these supplements continue to support you in postpartum? We’ll explore all the ways a nutritional top up can benefit your health and wellbeing even when your baby is on the outside.
Despite the name, a prenatal vitamin is important to continue into the postpartum period, where nutritional support is just as needed.
Vitamins support postpartum healing
The body works overtime to heal and restore in postpartum. With little time for self care or recovery post birth, nutritional depletion is common. Nutrient stores are often absorbed by the growing foetus during pregnancy, or transferred to the baby during breastfeeding, leaving little behind for a recovering mother. While competing for nutrients, postpartum women are undergoing a rigorous physical recovery process, where extra support to aid in tissue regeneration, wound healing, restore blood loss, repair muscle tone and assist in connective tissue growth is very needed.
How long should I take a prenatal vitamin, postpartum for?
While there’s no overarching recommendation about when to stop taking your prenatal vitamin, many providers will suggest continuing for some time postpartum.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s recommended you continue on your prenatal throughout your time feeding.
If not breastfeeding, continuing for at least 3 months postpartum will support the healing process and nutrient repletion whilst recovering from pregnancy and birth.
A prenatal is particularly important if you’re breastfeeding
A well-balanced diet likely isn’t enough to ensure breastfeeding mothers get the crucial nutrients needed for both their own, and their baby’s, optimal health. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding women continue taking a prenatal vitamin for the duration of breastfeeding.
One study even found continuing to take a pre or postnatal vitamin with folate, DHA, Vitamin D and iodine can support your baby’s development by helping with their brain development, processing skills and visual acuity.
Is a prenatal vitamin recommended if I have a healthy diet?
Vitamins are useful, but a nutritional repletion always starts with a well balanced diet.
Which nutrients are recommended to support postpartum recovery?
The postpartum phase is a delicate season of recovery and replenishment. Just as pregnancy demands specific nutrients, postpartum calls for a unique set of nourishing elements. 5 essential nutrients stand out for their vital roles in supporting both the mother’s well-being and the development of the newborn: choline, iodine, zinc, iron, and folate.
California based postpartum doula Sydney Bliss shares more postpartum nutrition wisdom in 5 Essential Nutrients For Postpartum Recovery, over on The Fertility Journal.
Looking for more? You’ll find all the conversations missing from the mainstream over on our journal.
Visit our shop to find out more about The Prenatal supplement to help support a healthy postpartum.