Congratulations! After nine months of growing a little human inside you, you now have a new addition to your family. While welcoming a new bundle of joy is an exciting experience, giving birth brings significant changes – both physically and emotionally – to the new mother’s life. Among others, you will face fluctuations in your hormones as you juggle breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn on top of letting your body heal. As such, it is more important than ever to ensure that you are well taken care of.
During this demanding period of your life, postnatal supplements may play an instrumental role in supporting your overall health and wellbeing by helping you meet your nutritional needs as well as facilitating postpartum recovery and lactation.
Many pregnant mums would have spent the past nine months consuming some form of prenatal supplements. If you’re wondering what the difference between prenatal and postnatal supplements is, prenatal supplements basically contain a specific combination of essential nutrients to meet the additional demands of a pregnant woman and her developing baby. Postnatal supplements, on the other hand, are designed to support the nutritional needs of a new mother.
Delving into Postnatal Supplements
Postnatal supplements are taken after giving birth. They contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to ensure that you get the necessary nutrition to keep both you and your baby (via breastfeeding) healthy during the postpartum period.
Here are some essential vitamins and minerals to have in your arsenal during this crucial time.
- Calcium & Vitamin D – support healthy bone and muscle growth
- Vitamin C & zinc – facilitate wound healing, and boost immune system & collagen production
- Magnesium – optimise general wellbeing
- Iron – prevent anaemia, increase energy levels
- Folic acid – aid in tissue repair, red blood cell formation and overall recovery process
- Vitamin B12 – produce energy and encourage proper nerve function
- Vitamin B6 – regulate breast milk production and possibly help to alleviate postpartum depression
- Vitamin A – encourage healthy vision, tissue growth and immune function
- Omega 3 fatty acids – boost brain health & nervous system health, and regulate postpartum mood
An added advantage for breastfeeding mums is that these nutrients can also transfer to your newborn via your breastmilk and help give them a strong start in life!
When and How Long to Take Postnatal Supplements
You can start taking postnatal supplements as soon as you’ve given birth. Your obstetrician-gynaecologist should be able to advise you on how long you should consume postnatal supplements. As a rule of the thumb, this duration can span from a minimum of six months and continue as long as you’re breastfeeding.
A new mum’s body undergoes vast transformation during the postpartum period, and postnatal supplements are a good way to close any nutritional gaps and provide you with adequate support to optimise your healing and recovery. By getting the proper nutrients that you need during this crucial time, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re nurturing your health as well as fully embracing the wonderful experience of motherhood.