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Postnatal supplements may help a person meet their nutritional needs after childbirth and while nursing. They usually contain vitamins and minerals to support postpartum recovery and lactation.

Postnatal vitamins are available in different forms, including capsules, softgels, and powders.

This article outlines some of the best postnatal vitamins, as well as prenatal vitamins, available online. It also discusses the benefits of postnatal vitamins, provides tips on choosing an appropriate supplement, and answers some frequently asked questions regarding postnatal vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins can benefit someone recently giving birth, particularly if they are nursing. Below, we include both postnatal and prenatal vitamins.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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Medical News Today selects postnatal vitamins that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses vitamins containing safe and high quality ingredients that the company clearly lists on its packaging. Vitamins labeled for postnatal use should include ingredients known to be safe and beneficial for this particular stage in a person’s life. The brands should also confirm its vitamins are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT only selects vitamins that clearly state the recommended dosage. The serving size must also must be safe.
  • Third-party testing: MNT only features vitamins that undergo third-party testing for contaminants in an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT selects companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.
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The following table compares key points on the postnatal vitamins listed in this article:

PriceServingsDaily doseForm
Megafood$36.9930 2 tabletstablet
Ritual$3930 2 capsulescapsules
Nordic Naturalsaround $30302 softgelssoftgels
Nature Madearound $2860 1 softgel softgels
Majka Organicaround $62152 scoops powder
One A Dayaround $40901 softgel softgel
Root’daround $34241 powder packetpowder
Smarty Pantsaround $27304 gummiesgummies
Seeking Health$45.95302 chewable tabletschewable tablets

People should choose a supplement that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • omega-3
  • folate
  • choline
  • iron
  • selenium
  • vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and B12
  • iodine

People may have different nutrition needs during the postpartum period, and no specific supplement will fit all recommendations. For example, lactating people may need a higher dose of iron, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline, and omega-3.

A person should consider supplements from reputable brands with third-party testing and many customer reviews.

A healthcare professional can offer guidance on choosing a postnatal vitamin that suits an individual’s needs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that people take postnatal vitamins to support recovery postpartum. This is especially important if a person is nursing, as nutrients in breast milk are essential for healthy infant development.

Research from 2021 suggests that people who breastfeed are at a higher risk of developing nutrient deficiencies. The vitamins and minerals in postnatal supplements, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and D, alongside choline, iodine, and DHA, may aid in producing breast milk.

Although prenatal and postnatal supplements consist of similar ingredients, postnatal supplements usually contain additional amounts of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. Additionally, they contain extra B vitamins, which aid in creating new blood cells, maintaining healthy skin, and supporting the nervous system.

Postpartum care is an ongoing process, so people should visit a doctor regularly after childbirth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that people who have given birth should visit a healthcare professional within the first 3 weeks postpartum. Regular visits should then follow as needed.

If a person is feeling physically or emotionally unwell or experiencing complications, they should make an appointment with a healthcare professional. This is especially important if the person has a chronic medical condition, such as:

As people’s individual nutritional requirements may differ after childbirth, a healthcare professional can advise if a particular supplement is better suited to them.

The following section includes common questions and answers about postnatal vitamins.

People need additional nutrients after childbirth to help the body recover, so it is important to take a well-rounded supplement that provides various vitamins and minerals. This is even more necessary if the person is nursing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that choline and iodine are the key vitamins a person needs during lactation:

  • 550 mg of choline per day for lactating individuals and 425 mg per day for those who are not

  • 290 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per day for lactating individuals and 150 mcg for those who are not

Nutrients such as vitamin D, folate, fiber, and vitamin B12 are also important.

Getting all the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs postpartum is important. However, whether a person needs to take postnatal vitamins will depend on their diet and overall health.

The CDC recommends that people only need a postnatal multivitamin if it is not possible for them to meet the increased nutrient needs during this period from diet alone. People can speak with a doctor to decide whether postnatal vitamins are suitable.

Prenatal and postnatal vitamins are similar but contain different amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. A person should work with a doctor to decide whether a pre- or postnatal vitamin is suitable for them after childbirth.

Pre- and postnatal vitamins will contain different doses of certain nutrients. For instance, postnatal vitamins consist of higher amounts of vitamins such as A, B12, C, D, and K and minerals such as magnesium, choline, iodine, and omega-3. This ensures that the individual and the infant obtain all the necessary nutrients.

Although people may still wish to continue taking the prenatal vitamins consumed during pregnancy, they should check with a healthcare professional to ensure these supplements provide the correct dosage of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals they need.

Learn about the best prenatal supplements.

What foods should I avoid while breastfeeding?

The CDC suggests that there are no specific foods a person who is breastfeeding needs to avoid or limit. However, the CDC advises people who are breastfeeding to be careful of the following:

  • Seafood: Some fish contains mercury, so a person should aim to eat a variety of different fish types and aim to check mercury levels before eating if possible.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine can pass to a child through breast milk so a person should aim to keep caffeine intake to low to moderate amounts (about 2-3 cups daily).

Postnatal vitamins are available in different forms and may help support postpartum health. They also provide necessary nutrients for the infant through breast milk.

Postnatal supplements usually contain different dosing of nutrients than prenatal supplements and are suitable during lactation.

People can contact a doctor if they have any health concerns postpartum. A healthcare professional can order tests for nutrient deficiencies and advise on necessary supplements.