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Are you wondering what to look for in a postnatal vitamin?
Maybe you’re concerned about which supplements to avoid while breastfeeding.
Both your OB/GYN and a lactation specialist can make recommendations.
Then, use the reviews below to help you shop.
These are the best postnatal vitamins for breastfeeding.
After you give birth, you need to replenish nutrients to help yourself recover. A healthy well-balanced diet is also crucial for breastfeeding moms.
For example, both you and your baby need iron. It’s essential for your thyroid and your baby’s physical development (1).
Next, Vitamin D and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, help prevent postpartum depression.
Meanwhile, having enough choline in your breast milk ensures healthy brain development in your child. And Vitamin B 12 prevents developmental delays.
It’s possible to get all these nutrients in your diet. In the case of Vitamin D, you can also spend a little time out in the sunshine, but it still probably won’t be enough.
Regrettably, many new mothers find that they are too busy or overwhelmed to plan and cook the meals they need. That’s where postnatal vitamins and dietary supplements come in handy.
Vitamins are not an excuse to eat poorly. But they are helpful when you have trouble consuming enough of the right foods.
Besides postnatal vitamins, other natural supplements make it easier to lactate (2).
You’ll need to be choosy, though, as the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. This is where a lactation specialist can point you in the right direction.
One traditional remedy for insufficient milk production is fenugreek.
It’s a well-known galactagogue that increases breast milk supply.
But fenugreek has unfortunate side effects. It may cause you to have gastrointestinal issues and mess with your blood sugar. Nearly half the women who use it experience adverse reactions to it.
It may be riskier for those who are allergic to peanuts or legumes. (Skip to the very end of the reviews to find fenugreek-free lactation supplements.)
Instead of fenugreek, try lecithin. It’s made from sunflowers or soy.
Lecithin is an emulsifier that keeps milk from clogging ducts. It helps with mastitis. Plus, it’s safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Then, there’s the superfood moringa. It’s packed with antioxidants, which are suitable for both mother and baby.
Moringa also has anti-inflammatory effects. That’s good news when you’re trying to heal from giving birth.
As you shop for postnatal vitamins, there are a couple of ingredients proven to dry up breast milk.
One is sage, and the other is mint (3). Take a pass on those if you are breastfeeding and not prepared to stop.
Also, steer clear of essential oils and CBD as they have not been well-studied. Some oils may cause unpleasant or dangerous reactions in your child. You can check with your doctor to learn more about the supplements you should avoid while breastfeeding.
You could continue taking the same prenatal vitamins that you did before giving birth.
But they probably aren’t formulated to meet the nutritional needs of infant development. They may also lack the nutrients you need for breast milk production (4).
Your prenatal vitamins may not offer protein, either. Luckily, there are supplements to meet that need as well (5).
If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.
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Let’s begin with a multivitamin probiotic formula for new mothers.
It’s based on certified organic postnatal ingredients and whole foods like oats, kelp, and turmeric. The fact that it’s fermented means that it’s easier to digest and absorb.
If you have food allergies, please read the label carefully.
You’ll need to take 3 tablets per serving. Each tablet is coated with carnauba wax to make it easy to swallow.
Then, each serving contains 333% of the recommended daily value for lactating women of Vitamin D3. That’s an essential type of Vitamin D.
It also has iron, calcium, minerals, Vitamins A, C, E, and more.
If you’d like to augment your well-balanced diet with DHA, check out the next supplement below.
If you’re not a fan of eating fish, you can still get the DHA you need from the postnatal vitamin supplement. It contains oil from wild-caught Alaskan Salmon.
For your safety, it’s tested by the NSF.
Each softgel is tiny, so you’ll need to take 4 to get a full dose of 935 mg of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids.
Happily, this is one brand that doesn’t usually have a fishy aftertaste.
Each bottle of this multivitamin contains a 60-day supply of softgels.
They don’t just contain DHA. They also feature vital postnatal vitamins and minerals needed by new nursing mothers.
Even better, you only need to take one per day.
If you hate popping pills, this is an attractive option as it puts everything you need into one place. Just swallow it with a glass of water after you’ve had a meal.
Each softgel is also free of starch, yeast, gluten, and artificial flavors and dyes. Because it’s rich in Omega-3, it has 5 calories.
Also, one dose contains 333% of the needed levels of Vitamin D3, 99% of Vitamin A, 100% Vitamin C, 500 mcg of folate, and more.
You’re probably familiar with Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company. They’ve had these postnatal multivitamins reviewed by a lactation consultant to ensure that they are nutritionally balanced.
With just 2 veggie capsules per day, you’ll get a blend of botanical extracts that increase milk supply.
The extracts include organic fenugreek, milk thistle, marshmallow, shatavari, and fennel. Every component is non-GMO.
Moreover, the supplement is rich in essential vitamins and minerals and free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, gelatin, starch, yeast, soy, and gluten. Even the packaging is made with the environment in mind.
Not everyone likes swallowing pills, primarily breastfeeding moms. I was disappointed that it’s difficult to find gummy postnatal vitamins. There are plenty of gummy prenatal supplements, though.
On the other hand, there’s another solution. Try these drops if you hate taking capsules and tablets.
They are sweetened with Stevia, a safe and natural replacement for sugar.
The liquid formula has fenugreek, nettle leaf, milk thistle, raspberry leaf, and alfalfa to support healthy milk production. For your safety, it’s made in the USA in an FDA-certified facility.
Furthermore, all of the ingredients are vegan and non-GMO.
Many others report success taking these capsules with fenugreek, milk thistle, and fennel.
These postnatal vitamins are made from certified organic ingredients without unnecessary fillers.
I mentioned earlier that if you have a peanut allergy, you’re better off avoiding fenugreek.
What’s more, milk thistle is related to ragweed. If you’re allergic to that plant, you’ll need to avoid this supplement as well.
Finally, those who are allergic to carrots, mugwort, or celery may also be allergic to fennel.
It’s essential to read the fine print or get recommendations from your doctor familiar with your situation.
Here is a month’s supply of postnatal vitamins in vegetarian capsules.
Besides the usual herbs for lactation support, the supplement also has lemon balm and chamomile to help new mothers feel calm.
The official list of ingredients includes fenugreek, moringa, fennel, milk thistle, goat’s rue, lemon balm, chamomile, and BioPerine.
That last component is a “nutrient enhancer.” It comes from the black pepper fruit, and it appears in many supplements as it makes absorption easier.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends these omega-3 softgels. They have a natural lemon flavor so that you don’t burp up a fishy taste.
Nordic Naturals guarantees that their fish oil is in its true triglyceride form, not a synthetic ethyl ester. What that means for you is that you’ll be getting the pure oil proven to absorb well and provide results.
More important, each batch is tested by a third-party lab to be free of heavy metals and toxins.
One of the side effects of supplementing with fish oil is that it promotes a positive mood.
This product has a blend of DHA, EPA, and high levels of Vitamin D3 from anchovies, sardines, and olive oil.
Three capsules per day will get you 133% of the recommended amount of Vitamin D3. It comes from wild-harvested lichen, not animal sources.
But that’s not all. There are many other indispensable postnatal vitamins and minerals in each dose.
What I liked is that there isn’t an excess amount like some supplements have. If you’re already trying to eat a healthy diet, you don’t need 300% or more of certain components. It can damage your health to overdose on some nutrients.
Moreover, this multivitamin also provides lactation support with thistle, nettle, fennel, alfalfa, and fenugreek.
Everything is vegan and non-GMO. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in it.
It’s made in the USA and tested for purity and quality by third-party laboratories.
As you read the label and the marketing information on various supplements, you’re likely to trip over terms like “methylated.” What does that even mean?
In this case, the postnatal vitamin has methylated folate. It’s a form of B vitamin that’s in an active form, ready to be digested. It doesn’t have to be converted by the body.
Next, there’s 100% of the Vitamin D3 you need while nursing. Not to mention, other essential postnatal vitamins and minerals are all crammed into a 2-tablet serving.
That sounds great so far, but is this a multivitamin that’s safe to take? After all, the FDA doesn’t regulate these types of supplements. But some companies take it into their own hands to make products as pure and safe as possible for their customers.
To illustrate, the manufacturer uses Non-GMO Project Verified components. Everything is certified kosher and tested to be free of gluten, soy, dairy, and over 100 pesticides and herbicides.
Here’s another example of a manufacturer that’s gone to great lengths to produce a safe multivitamin.
Their product is certified by NSF International. That organization makes sure that it meets public health and safety standards.
After that, it’s also tested to be free of gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial dyes.
Each dose has two parts: one softgel and two tablets. Out of the two tablets, one is purple, and one is white.
That may sound not very clear at first, but it’s actually brilliant. It allows you to take just what you need and nothing more.
The white tablet has postnatal Vitamins D3 and B6, biotin, and choline which promotes healthy brain development of your baby.
Meanwhile, the purple tablet is a multivitamin with lots of nutrients except those four ingredients.
Lastly, the softgel has 300 mg of DHA, which according to some studies may promote healthy brain development.
Here’s another liquid postnatal vitamins supplement with organic ingredients like fenugreek, anise, moringa, thistle, and goat’s rue. All of these are linked to increased breast milk production.
There are no fillers, alcohol, or sugar. Just add 1 dropper-full to a glass of juice or water. You can raise the dose up to 5 droppers per day.
It’s hard to resist chocolate. If you don’t have an issue with fenugreek, anise, or thistle, you can enjoy this postnatal vitamins drink mix.
Add a packet to 6 ounces of milk or yogurt. You can drink up to 3 packets per day.
Be aware that it contains cane sugar, whey powder, and other ingredients like dairy and soy.
Here’s a breastfeeding supplement from a women-owned B-Corp business. Not only is it vegan, but it contains USDA-certified organic herbs.
These are liquid gel caps with fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, lecithin, and fennel.
They are free of gluten, animal by-products, wheat, and peanuts.
I couldn’t wait to get to the Boobie Bar. It’s not because it has a funny name, but rather because it’s an innovative solution that tastes good.
It’s ideal for women who can’t take fenugreek.
Choose from peanut butter, blueberry muffin, or oatmeal chocolate chip bars.
None of them contain fenugreek.
Instead, each one features moringa, oats, turmeric, flaxseed, shatavari, and cinnamon. These are superfoods linked to healthy lactation.
That’s no surprise as the Boobie Brand was founded by a board-certified lactation consultant and registered nurse.
As a result, the bars are made with wholesome ingredients like whole-grain oats, brown sugar, tapioca syrup, coconut flour, and sea salt, among other things. There are no synthetic flavors or white sugar.
To increase your milk supply, eat one bar per day.
If you’d like to supplement your protein with postnatal vitamins as well, try this meal replacement shake. It’s made by the same company that brought you the Boobie Bars above.
The powder comes in Chocolate Bliss or Coffee Caramel. Don’t worry; neither one has caffeine or sugar.
But happily, each dose contains 19 g of much-needed protein plus probiotics.
Also, it’s vegan protein from plants like peas, chia, and flax seeds.
It can help you lose that baby weight and feel more energetic.
Since it has no added sugar or sugar alcohol, it’s compliant with the Keto Diet. The only sweeteners are Stevia and organic monk fruit extract.
Oh wait, did I mention that it contains 1000 IU of Vitamin D3, too?
Maybe it’s just what you need after all.
As a new mother who’s breastfeeding, you’re going to be tired and busy.
Give yourself a boost with postnatal vitamins. They can supplement your diet to help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need.
If you discovered a postnatal supplement today that you enjoy taking, please come back and tell us about it in the comments below.
In case you are a patient or have a history of acute and chronic illnesses, I recommend you to check with your doctor first before taking any postnatal vitamins.
1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/top-5-nutrients-for-postpartum-recovery/ by Monica Reinagel published December 5, 2019, accessed May 9. 2020
2, 3. https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/best-and-worst-breastfeeding-natural#The-good by Mandy Major, Medically reviewed by Carolyn Kay, MD on September 17, 2019, accessed May 9, 2020
4. https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding/healthy-diet/vitamins-for-mum-and-baby/ accessed May 9, 2020
5. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/nutrition-tips-for-breastfeeding-mothers accessed May 9, 2020
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