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Imagine recovering from pregnancy faster.

…More energy

….Better sleep

….And no constipation!

Sounds like a dream, right?

But, wait. 

Consider getting tested for Vitamin levels before adding in anything new. And, of course, always consult your doctor before taking anything new.

By the end of this post, you’ll have my favorite vitamins & supplements to optimize hormone balance, energy, sleep, and thyroid health and then download your freebie to help support your recovery with your FREE postpartum checklist.

So, why do we need more supplements?

I know, I felt the same way.  I didn’t think my body needed anything else. 

You eat “healthy”, you exercise, you take some adaptogens.  So why do you need more pills?

Let’s dive in.

A pregnancy, any pregnancy, can leave the body depleted.  And after multiple pregnancies, your body needs deep nourishment. Click To Tweet

Consider why so many women end up with Thyroid problems, Crohn’s disease, or other Autoimmune disorders after pregnancy. 

They are lacking, valuable nutrients.

Most of these vitamins are found in your daily multi-vitamin, but personally, I find using a higher quality, liquid vitamins to transform your body faster. 

Postnatal Vitamins

Here are my favorite nutrients for women after birth.

#1 B-Vitamins

Look for a multi-vitamin that contains a B-complex with methyl-B to support a healthy nervous system and liver detoxification or consider adding in the specific Vitamin B you need.

  • B12
    • Improves the quality of your sleep by resetting circadian rhythms. 
    • Dosing: 1,000 mcg under your tongue
  • B9
    • B9 is also called folate or folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins
  • B6-
    • Have you noticed you wake up startled in the middle of the night? This may be due to cortisol spikes. 
    • Dose: Take 50-100 mg before bed to relieve night waking.

#2 Vitamin D3

The sunshine vitamin! Known to support immunity, boost mind and mood, especially for slight depression.  It’s also essential for optimizing blood sugar when elevated. 

Dose: 2,000 units/day up to 4,000 units/day for 3 months.

#3 Zinc

Zinc is a valuable vitamin for gut health repair and is also proven to shorten symptoms of cold symptoms by a few days. It also is a cofactor for collagen building and repair. 

Pro tip: If you take a Zinc supplement on it’s own, make sure you eat something first as it can cause nausea.

Zinc Food Sources:

  • red meats (especially organ meats)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame tahini
  • lentils
  • garbanzo beans
  • cashews
  • quinoa
  • seafood
  • leafy vegetables
  • root vegetables

Dosing: Zinc Citrate 30mg/day or Zinc carnosine to heal gastric inflammation 30 mg/day

#4 Vitamin C

Not only can it reduce the number of colds you have, Vitamin C is a cofactor for Collagen building and repairing; which you need for your pelvic floor and abdominal region rehab after a pregnancy. 

Vitamin C Food sources:

  • citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • rose hips
  • dark leafy greens

#5 Magnesium

Known as the calming mineral and one of the most depleted minerals most people have, Magnesium can help reduce constipation, detox the liver, and helps with muscle relaxation; especially during a stressful time like raising small children. 

Pro tip>> Take Magnesium citrate at night to produce a soft bowel movement in the morning.  If you get diarrhea, back off on the dosing and add in Mg Glycinate to total the daily amount.

Magnesium Glycinate is the preferred daily dose form.  If you do not struggle with constipation, take Magnesium Citrate at night.

Daily Dose: 300-1200 mg/day

#6 Selenium

If you’ve had positive thyroids antibodies prior to pregnancy, you can reduce your risk of postpartum hypothyroidism by 50% by adding in 200 mg of selenium to your diet.

Food Sources of Selenium

  • brazil nuts – Just 1-3 nuts can provide enough nutrients to support your thyroid health.
  • oysters
  • mushrooms
  • fish
  • sunflower seeds
  • beef
  • lamb and chicken

Postpartum Supplements

#1 Collagen

Your pregnancy and birth have probably been one of the most transformative experiences you’ll ever have in your lifetime.  Collagen is essentials for rebuilding bones, teeth, skin, join surfaces, and healing the unique injured you’ve incurred due to pregnancy. 

After birth, your pelvic floor muscles and your abdominal area and have sustained an injury and need to heal. Eating foods high in collagen can speed healing.

A C-section is the only abdominal surgery where the patient is given no rehabilitation and is sent home with a new baby to care for.- Burrell Education Click To Tweet

Collagen Food Sources

  • Bone broth
  • chopped organ meats like liver
  • Bulletproof Collagen protein powder

#2 Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are one of the many building blocks to aid collagen repair.

Look for foods with Lysine and Proline that are found in:

  • meat
  • egg whites
  • Vegetarians can seek sources of wheat germ and peanuts

#3 Probiotics

The gut-brain axis is the specific pathway that involves the neural, endocrine, and immune system.  It has been hypothesized that restoring your gut flora can relieve anxiety, alleviate depression, reduce inflammatory cytokines, and reduces HPA axis overstimulation. 

Basically; you heal your gut, you’ll heal your mood.

Look for probiotics that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species; to reduce the stress response.

Struggling with anxiety and depression?

  • Bifidobacterium infants and B. long are found to be beneficial in reducing depression, irritability, and anxiety.

Dosing: 1-2 capsules a day with a minimum of 10 billion CFUs daily

#4 Omega 3’s

Omega3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), these are found in fatty fish and have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect the nervous system, boost your mind and mood.

Dose: 850 EPA/200 DHA 1-2 x day

Omega 3 Food sources:

  • Fish {wild salmon and sardines}
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • grass-fed beef
  • pasture-raised eggs

If you don’t eat fish, algae-based vegetarian Omega 3 sources are available.

#5 Adaptogens

Are you taking adaptogens yet? These are the life-changing group of botanicals that help us “Adapt around stress.”

If you’re breastfeeding considering starting with these three herbs: 

Tulsi

Tulsi is the Sanskrit name for the Holy Basil plant and is known today as an adaptogen. It has been used to support a healthy response to stress, maintain blood sugar level, and nourish the mind and spirit.

Ashwagandha

Referred to as winter cherry, Ashwagandha is considered a Level 1 safe herb to take while breastfeeding.  The translation is roughly, “the smell and strength of a horse” suggesting it’s aphrodisiac properties, but I feel your sleep improves immensely allowing you to withstand the whole day with stamina.

Stinging nettle tea

Known as one of the most nutritious herbs for expecting and nursing mothers, Stinging nettles can help boost your nutritional content after birth.

The sting of the nettle disappears when you cook stinging nettles or drink as a tea. Personally, I love the kiss of the nettles each year, signaling the beginning of Spring.

Dose: Make a cup of stinging nettle tea at night with milky oat tops.  Let it steep all night long.  In the morning, strain and drink all day.

Conclusion

Optimizing adrenal and thyroid health is essential to restoring your body after birth.

Improving elimination will reduce the number of hormones floating around in your body and gently support liver function so you sleep better and have fewer episodes of PMS and PMDD going forward.

Along with a great nighttime routine, {and sleep routine for the kids}, you can easily return to pre-conception levels of energy and healing. 


References:

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Ashwagandha while Breastfeeding

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