Which prenatal and postnatal vitamins are best?

Caring for your health during pregnancy helps ensure the healthy development of your unborn baby. Continuing to do the same after the baby is born can also help your baby get all the nutrients they need. Prenatal vitamins are designed to keep you and the baby healthy during pregnancy, while postnatal vitamins continue to keep you and the baby healthy after your pregnancy.

Since there are several supplement brands out there, you should know what ingredients to look for in both prenatal and postnatal vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins should include zinc, iron, calcium, riboflavin, iodine, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and folic acid. However, supplements containing these vitamins should not replace a balanced diet. These supplements should only complement your diet. 

You can either purchase prescription supplements over the counter or have them prescribed by your doctor. Generally, the price range of prenatal supplements is between $60-$90. Over-the-counter vitamins cost between $19-$59, but they may not have all the ingredients you need or may require you to take them more often if it’s a lower dosage. 

Pros of prenatal vitamins

Taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day can help prevent neural tube or birth defects on the spinal cord, brain and spine. According to the National Institutes of Health, Folic acid can also reduce the risk of both common and uncommon neural tube defects. Iron is also an important ingredient in prenatal supplements because it supplies more oxygen to the baby while preventing iron deficiency.

Make sure your prenatal vitamins include calcium, which can aid in developing muscular function and healthy bone growth. You need to take about 1,000mg of calcium daily for the best results. 

Vitamin D actually helps in the absorption of calcium. It also helps prevent infections and preterm labor or births. To get these benefits, you have to take 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily

Cons of prenatal vitamins

For some women, iron may cause constipation, diarrhea, low appetite, cramps and other stomach issues. While allergic reactions are uncommon with prenatal vitamins, some women develop symptoms like rashes, swelling of the face, dizziness, and some even experience trouble breathing. 

What are the best prenatal vitamins to buy?

Mummy’s Bliss Prenatal Multivitamins

Mummy’s Bliss Prenatal Multivitamins

This prenatal supplement contains vitamin C, D, E, B12 and K. It also includes iron and probiotics. You can use it before, during and after pregnancy. If you are concerned about allergies, this option is free of dairy, soy, gluten and gelatin.

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SmartyPants Prenatal Multivitamin

SmartyPants Prenatal Multivitamin

Get omega-3 fish oil from this supplement for increased birth weight. It also has iodine to support thyroid hormone production and folate for a healthy spine. Other ingredients include vitamin B6, vitamin K1 and K2, selenium and choline. It’s free of artificial colors, preservatives and flavors.

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Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Prenatal DHA

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Prenatal DHA

You can take this supplement to aid the baby’s brain development, but you can also take it to help with lactation. This supplement contains DHA omega-3, which helps the baby develop a healthy spine, brain, skin and eyes.

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Postnatal vitamins

Women can take postnatal vitamins to restore their body’s nutrients after giving birth. However, companies often market them as supplements that enhance the production of nutrient-rich milk for babies. Postnatal vitamins include vitamin A, E, K, C, zinc, calcium, iodine, magnesium and more. The baby also gets these vitamins from their mother’s milk.

Affordable, organic certified postnatal supplements cost between $20-$35. Remember, the price depends on the quality of the supplement and the number of pills in a bottle. So, postnatal supplements that cost more than $35 often just have more pills per bottle. 

Anything below $15 is probably not organic and may have an unpleasant taste.

Pros of postnatal vitamins

While babies often have enough iron in their bodies the first four months after birth, they need a consistent supply of iron from their mother’s milk after this time. Iron and choline help develop the baby’s brain. The vitamin D in postnatal supplements also aids in the development of the baby’s bones. 

Another important vitamin is Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of Omega 3 vitamin that helps enhance your baby’s learning ability. Generally, it helps with brain development and is also a key vitamin for the prenatal stage. Other postnatal vitamins have benefits like supporting healthy thyroid function and restoring a mother’s energy.

Cons of postnatal vitamins

Some people may have an allergic reaction to postnatal vitamins, including rashes, nausea, constipation and diarrhea. If you experience any side effects, consult a doctor to either change vitamins or change the dosage. 

What are the best Postnatal vitamins to buy?

New Chapter Best Postnatal Multivitamin

New Chapter Best Postnatal Multivitamin

Many doctors recommend this multivitamin because it has a blend of essential nutrients and organic superfoods to help with milk production. It can also help boost your energy, improve hair growth and regulate your moods.

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Rainbow Bright Vibrance Postnatal Multivitamin

Rainbow Bright Vibrance Postnatal Multivitamin

You should take this supplement right from conception until the baby reaches two years of age.  It is non-GMO, gluten-free and contains a blend of superfoods and probiotics. It not only supports your health but also promotes the baby’s development.

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Milkies Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin

Milkies Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin

Just like the name suggests, Milkies works best for mothers that breastfeed their babies. It contains vitamin D3 to help prevent rickets and delayed tooth eruption in babies. 

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Should you buy prenatal vitamins or postnatal vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are important because many pregnant women usually need folic acid and iron support. These supplements help keep both the mother and the unborn baby healthy. But postnatal vitamins are not really necessary if you can maintain a healthy diet and do not experience a lack of energy or anemia. 

 

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Michael Rodgers writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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