Most people know how important healthy nutrition and prenatal supplements are during pregnancy. But the importance of optimized nutrition doesn’t end when the baby’s born, especially if mom’s breastfeeding. Postnatal vitamins help new mothers recover from pregnancy and birth and help with their babies’ healthy development outside the womb. Of course, you want the very best health support for mother and child. That’s why StudyFinds consulted with experts to put together a list of the best postnatal vitamins for a happy and healthy family.
Giving birth and taking care of a newborn, whether you’re breastfeeding or not, is hard on the body. Sleepless nights and hormonal changes can leave new mothers both restless and exhausted, as well as vulnerable to frequent mood swings. In addition, mothers around the world now give birth at an increasingly older age, leading to even more physical challenges before and after giving birth.
The first year, and especially the first months with a baby, can be hard on both parents. According to a poll, the average parent has 77 sleepless nights, makes about 67 calls to medical experts, and conducts over 2,000 Google searches with baby questions during the first year (an average of six searches a day!).
It is however important not to transfer parental stress onto the baby, as this can harm the child, often leading to insecurities and emotional problems later in life. Good postpartum self-care is essential for the well-being of mother and child. StudyFinds reviewed recommendations on ten expert websites to create a list of the top five best postnatal vitamins for new moms.
The List: Best Postnatal Vitamins, According to Experts
1. Nature Made Postnatal Multi + DHA Softgels
Most experts recommend this option, and it’s affordable, too! For Active, it’s the best budget postnatal: “Having a baby costs a lot of money. Fortunately, a good postnatal vitamin does not have to break the bank. This budget-friendly pick from Nature Made provides essential vitamins and minerals to support nursing, postpartum recovery, and overall health.”
Because you’re probably not getting a lot of sleep postpartum, this vitamin “is specially formulated with higher amounts of vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, [and] helps mommas meet increased energy demands as they navigate sleepless nights. We love that it contains 200 mg of DHA, which helps support brain and eye development while you’re nursing your baby,” says Rookie Moms.
As an added benefit, Peanut points out that this product apparently works well for gluten-sensitive new moms: “If you’re trying to avoid gluten, these are the postpartum vitamins for you! Plus, you only need to take one a day to get your recommended daily amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, folates, biotin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. Pretty impressive for 1 postnatal vitamin!”
2. Ritual Essential Postnatal Multivitamin
Seven out of ten experts recommend this vitamin, and it holds four “best overall” positions on expert lists! “If you’re shopping for a postnatal supplement that checks all the boxes, then Ritual Essential Postnatal Vitamin is worth checking out,” writes Active. Plus, SI Showcase notes “it’s also vegan, gluten-free, and contains no artificial colorants.”
“Ritual’s Essential Postnatal Multivitamin is formulated for mothers up to six months postpartum and throughout breastfeeding. We love that this multivitamin is designed to be easily absorbed and contains 15 nutrients to support the demands of breastfeeding, including iron, iodine, folate, vitamin D, and DHA,” writes Rookie Moms.
The delayed-release capsules are easy on sensitive stomachs, according to Health Canal: “You can take this capsule with or without food as it dissolves in less sensitive intestinal tract areas. […] This feature can be great for any person with a sensitive stomach.”
3. MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Postnatal Multi
This option is vegetarian as well as kosher. Endorsed by Camille Styles, the vitamin is “made with real food for optimal absorption,” “formulated by renowned women’s health physician, Tieraona Low Dog, MD,” and “can be taken on an empty stomach.”
Active likes MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal especially for breastfeeding moms: “Breastfeeding requires extra calories, vitamins, and minerals. […] This formula contains 100% or more of the recommended daily value of vitamins D3, E, K, B6, and B12, thiamin, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. Additionally, Baby and Me contains vitamins A and C, niacin, folate, choline, iron, zinc, boron, lutein, organic moringa leaf for lactation support, and megafood.”
However, Healthline points out that while “it includes many nutrients crucial to support you and your baby during the postnatal period, […] this supplement provides only 36% of choline needs during breastfeeding and does not contain omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.”
4. Perelel Mom Multi Support Pack AND Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Postnatal
Two highly recommended vitamins share the fourth spot on this list. For The Nessie and Camille Styles, Perelel’s Mom Multi Support Pack is the best all-around product. It’s “formulated by OB-GYN’s and Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctors” and “contains DHA & EPA for infant and maternal brain and maternal mood support.”
The reason why it’s lower on our list? “It’s so close to being the vitamin that does it all,” writes The Nessie. “The thing is, it’s not just one multivitamin. It literally comes with multiple vitamins: the box contains 30 packets with five pills each. […] These factors, plus the fact that it’s the priciest supplement on this list, give some reason for pause.”
Mama Bird Postnatal also has some strong pros and cons: “Not only is this formula vegan, but it’s also free from GMOs, major allergens, and artificial colors and flavors. Plus, Mama Bird Postnatal contains 100% or more recommended daily value of vitamins E, B6, and B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, and zinc,” praises Active.
However, “while Mama Bird Postnatal has some impressive ingredients, it is unfortunately low in choline, calcium, magnesium, and selenium, all key nutrients during the postpartum period. This formula is also lacking EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids), which is found in several other brands (Active).”
5. Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula Gummies
Do you prefer to take your vitamins in the form of gummies? Then this product is your best option, according to multiple experts. It has a “delayed release formula for an easy-on-the-tummy vitamin routine” and “offers traceable ingredients so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body,” per Camille Styles.
“This multivitamin contains important nutrients for new birthing parents, such as B12, folate, and zinc,” writes Healthline. “Plus, it provides a small amount — 114 milligrams (mg) — of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, which are especially important during breastfeeding. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need 250–375 mg of DHA plus EPA per day.”
The downside: Healthline says “it’s pretty high in added sugar, with 6 g per serving” and Forbes notes that it “doesn’t include iron.”
Honorary mention: Nordic Naturals Postnatal Omega-3 Softgels
Though praised by multiple experts, Nordic Naturals got the honorary spot on our lists because it’s a supplement, not a multivitamin. “Unlike many postnatal vitamins, this one focuses on omega-3 fatty acids from DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and vitamin D,” explains Health Canal.
However, Health Canal points out that “omega-3 fatty acids are very important in helping with mood […]. Also, vitamin D is sourced from olive oil, a good way to obtain this very important nutrient postpartum.”
For Healthline, Nordic Naturals is the best postnatal omega-3 supplement. “These postnatal omega-3 softgels will help you meet your needs for DHA and EPA, essential fatty acids that are in higher demand during breastfeeding. Suitable for sensitive stomachs, they’re easy to absorb and don’t have a fishy aftertaste. The softgels are produced ethically and sustainably without the use of artificial colors or preservatives.”
You might also be interested in:
- Health Canal
- Rookie Moms
- The Nessie
- Camille Styles
- SI Showcase
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.