Important Postnatal Supplements for New Moms

Motherhood is one of life’s most awe inspiring and beautiful experiences. But it also makes great demands on our energy and depletes important nutrients. Caring for and nursing a newborn, recovering from the final weeks of pregnancy, and the birth itself are all very physically and emotionally taxing.
 
Moms who have just given birth need good nutrition to support healing and recovery. Certain supplements can help a new mom recharge her strength, increase her energy, and boost her mood. And for moms who are breastfeeding, a healthy diet has a direct impact on the baby's growth and development. 
 
All good supplement regimens begin with a multivitamin. New moms should continue taking their prenatal or transition to another good multivitamin. It should provide B-complex vitamins. Especially important during this period are folate and choline. The multi should also contain vitamins A, C, and D; iron; zinc; selenium; calcium; and magnesium.
 
Iron is especially important, since it's lost during childbirth. A mother’s iron levels must supply her infant. Iron supports proper development and thyroid function. 
 
Moms should also take an omega-3 supplement that provides at least 500-1,000 mg of DHA and 500 mg of EPA. DHA is needed for both mom and baby. It supports the development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system, and it supports the new mom’s mood and memory. EPA supports mood too, and both of the omega-3s support heart, joint, skin, and immune health.

For moms who are breastfeeding, a baby will get DHA through their mother's milk. Babies who are fed formula should be given DHA as a supplement. DHA is especially important during infancy and toddlerhood, as this is when a child's brain grows and develops the most. 
 
Mom and baby also both need vitamins D3 and K2, which support healthy bones and teeth, and calcium function. One of the little-known benefits of vitamins D3 and K2 is they help support the elasticity of blood vessels. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune response, and also a brighter mood.

Breast milk and formula are excellent sources of vitamin D3 but may not provide enough. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that breastfed babies get 400 IU (10 mcg) of vitamin D3 daily. Moms should get at least 4,000 IU (100 mcg) of vitamin D3 to be sure they're also within the normal range.
 
Naturally, a nutrient-dense, well-rounded diet is important for everyone in the family during and beyond this exciting time of life.