As soon as you become pregnant, your doctor or midwife will recommend that you begin taking a quality prenatal multivitamin. But as soon as you give birth to your baby, do you still need to take vitamins? Will it be beneficial for you and your baby? And if so, why and which one(s) should you take? It can be confusing what to do after giving birth, so we are breaking down what women need to know about postnatal multivitamins and why they should consider taking them.
What are postnatal multivitamins?
Postnatal multivitamins are formulated specifically for women after childbirth. The vitamins contain nutrients that help support the nutrient demands for postpartum and lactation. While a good, well-rounded diet can help you meet your nutrient needs, supplements can help ensure that women are getting enough key nutrients post-delivery. Ritual Essential Postnatal multivitamins are a great option!
What are the key nutrients postpartum moms need?
Women should take a good postnatal multivitamin, like Ritual postnatal multivitamins, during their postpartum period. Some of the key nutrients for postpartum moms are:
Iron & Folate
Folate and Iron help promote red blood cell formation.* Ritual uses a chelated form of Iron that’s backed by years of human studies–plus, it’s shown to be gentle on the stomach, unlike other forms.* They also chose to use methylated Folate because it bypasses common gene variations (unlike folic acid, which up to ⅓ of women can’t efficiently utilize).*
This vitamin helps support normal immune function. It is also a calcium-helper along with Magnesium, and Zinc, which helps maintain bone health.* Ritual uses a vegan-friendly form from sustainably-harvested lichen, as opposed to non-animal-friendly sources like sheep’s wool or fish liver.
B12 is an important nutrient that helps with red blood cell development and energy production.* Ritual uses a biologically-active form (a.k.a. the same kind found in food and our body).
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid
DHA has been shown to support brain and vision health.* Rather than using Fish Oil as you will commonly see, Ritual uses a vegan-friendly form made from microalgae.
Choline is a nutrient similar to folate that is crucial for supporting brain development.* It turns out that over 90% of pregnant women are not getting enough choline from their diet.* Ritual uses clinical studied Choline, sourced from nature-identical tartrate.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, and the American Thyroid Association recommend that pregnant and lactating women receive a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains 150 mcg of Iodine. Iodine contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism.* Ritual uses a USP-grade form of Iodine.
What’s the difference between prenatal and postnatal multivitamins?
When comparing the two, many postnatal and prenatal multivitamins contain the same nutrients. The difference between them is that postnatal multivitamins may include higher amounts of key nutrients. The difference between Ritual’s Prenatal Multivitamin and Postnatal Multivitamin is their Essential Postnatal Multivitamin is formulated with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Zinc, which aren’t in their Essential Prenatal. It’s also aligned with the lower Recommended Daily Allowance for Iron and a higher Recommended Daily Allowance for Iodine. Also, Ritual’s Essential Postnatal multivitamin is formulated with 10 mg of Vitamin E and 10 mcg of Vitamin B12 per serving. Ritual’s formulations are tailored to each specific stage of life and the nutrient demands that come with it.
How long should women take their postnatal multivitamins after childbirth?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends taking postnatal vitamins for as long as you are breastfeeding. I spoke with Mary Love, APRN CNM NP-C, and she said, “This can vary a lot from one person to the next depending on diet, health status after birth, and individual nutritional needs. I usually recommend clients continue with a vitamin supplement for the first six months.”
Women who choose not to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed should also take a postnatal multivitamin for at least six months postpartum to ensure that their nutrient stores are replenished. Some experts even recommend continuing to take them beyond that.
What postnatal multivitamins should you consider taking?
Now that we know that postnatal nutrients are important, which postnatal multivitamin might be a good option? I’m personally taking the Essential Postnatal Multivitamin from Ritual during my postpartum period. Here’s why.
What Makes Them Different
Their scientists and nutritional experts reviewed thousands of independent research studies, looking at dietary intake, lifestyle, and genetics, to identify which key nutrients were commonly lacking. They designed their multivitamins to help fill those gaps.
Ritual wanted high-quality nutrients for their multivitamins and have found partners worldwide to meet their standards. They are proud to show their nutrient forms, dosages, and supplier information.
Ritual is proud of the products they’ve designed with clean ingredients and key nutrients in bioavailable forms. They believe that their customers deserve the best, which is why they formulate without shady additives, fillers, and colorants. Their multivitamins are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten and major allergen-free.
100% Recycled Materials
The Ritual bottles are also made entirely from recycled materials. Even their mailers are made from recycled newsprint and plant fibers, and they use plant-based ink.
You’ll know what nutrients you’re taking and where they come from, thanks to Ritual’s one-of-a-kind visible supply chain. They show you the source of each nutrient and its supplier.
Ritual uses vegan Algal Oil instead of Fish Oil, which comes from the fermentation of microalgae, a patented process that leaves minimal environmental contamination. They are committed to finding vegan-friendly and clean nutrients that can also benefit our environment.
Are there other benefits of taking a postnatal multivitamin?
“Postnatal multivitamins can help your body with nutrients lost during pregnancy and birth, as well as help with ongoing nutrient needs during breastfeeding. While a balanced diet filled with lots of veggies, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats are important, multivitamins can help fill nutrient gaps. When you can’t remember the last green food that passed through your lips or the last time you put on real clothes, postnatal multivitamins can help put your mind at ease,” says Mary Love APRN CNM NP-C.
The best thing a mother can do for her family is to take care of herself and her needs. When she cares for herself, she is better able to care for her partner and kids. After giving birth to my second child, I know this now more than ever.
Mamas, making your health a priority is not selfish, it’s necessary. It will allow you to feel like your best self which helps you be the best mom you can be. Moms oftentimes put themselves at the bottom of their priority list, but taking a quality postnatal multivitamin is one easy thing that you can do for yourself.
To learn more about Ritual’s Essential Postnatal multivitamins that I’m taking, click here!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.