Do I Need Postnatal Supplements?

A registered Dietician gives us 3 truths about taking your postnatals.

Do I Need Postnatal Supplements?

Going from pre- to postpartum mode may be the time to bury those unwanted maternity sweaters, but it may not be the time to throw your prenatal supplements to the back of the medicine cabinet. In the few weeks after birth, your nutrition will fuel the new demands of mama-hood and breastfeeding. One perk is that now, with the decreasing progesterone levels, you may not feel those not-so-fun symptoms like reflux and fish breath that prenatal vitamins caused during pregnancy.

Because your body just spent nearly 10 months using your vitamin and mineral stores for the growing baby that was inside of you, and your body will continue to do that for the duration of breastfeeding, supplements are a good way to guarantee that that extra boost. While I always like getting nutrients from food, chances are your diet is taking a backseat to your new baby and her needs. So, until you are back on your nutrition routine, a supplement is worthwhile.

Here’s three things you need to know about postnatal supplements:

  1. There isn’t a huge difference between prenatal and postnatal supplements. It is perfectly suitable to continue with the supplements that you took during pregnancy. Once the bottle empties, you can re-order the prenatals or switch to a postnatal supplement. Be sure to scan the label and look for calcium, vitamin D, iron, B vitamins and DHA. My top post-partum supplement picks include Nature Made Postnatal Multi + DHA, Mega Food Baby & Me 2 and Nordic Naturals Postnatal Omega 3-s. 
  2. Some supplements are more anecdotal than scientific. Often, new moms want to know what they can eat, or take, to feel more energized, increase their milk supply and prevent the dreaded hair loss. Many postnatal supplements add extra biotin and nutrients like Fenugreek and oats, and claim that their products prevent hair loss and boost milk supply. And, there are tons of women who swear by these products. While there may not be anything harmful about these supplements and their claims, there also isn’t much science and evidence to back them. 
  3. You can’t fix hormonal changes, but you can try to control them. Most of the post partum hair loss is a result of hormonal changes that nutrition cannot fix. But, iron and biotin can help combat this because getting enough of these nutrients can help hair look healthier, thicker and shinier, and not getting enough can make hair look drier, thinner and more brittle. When it comes to increasing milk supply, the best thing you can do is keep your baby close, and nurse or pump more frequently, as tiresome as that sounds!

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Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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