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11 Postpartum Vitamin & Supplements Every New Mom Should Have

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:

4 Steps to Overcome a Yeast Infection

4 Steps to Overcome a Yeast Infection

Wouldn’t it be great if women had a fast remedy for yeast infections?

Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), or more commonly known as a yeast infection, is the second most common cause of vaginitis {inflammation in the vaginal area} in the US.¹

It’s caused by the fungus Candida albicans, however other species are becoming increasingly common.

But, wait up.

There are two other types of vaginitis; Bacterial Vaginosis and Trichomoniasis that also cause itching and discharge, so you may want to see your doctor and get tested, especially if you are pregnant.

So, what are the symptoms you are looking for?

Yeast Infection Symptoms

  • A smell of yeast may be the first indicator that you notice.
  • Next may be a mild to severe itching and irritation of the vulva area.
  • You also may notice the vulva is red from scratching; which you want to try to avoid.
  • **2 Unique symptoms include:

You may notice one or more of these symptoms

  • inflammation
  • burning
  • itching
  • irritation
  • swelling
  • pain with urinating {Dysuria}
  • thick, whitish, vaginal discharge
  • yeast-like odor
  • it started during menopause
  • it happens monthly

Your gut health and digestion can also affect the amount of yeast infections you have in a lifetime

Yeast Infection Discharge

  • Look for curdy, whitish to yellowish discharge
  • You may have no order or smell similar to yeast bread
  • You may have redness from itching
  • If you were to test your PH, it would be normal

What causes these repeated infections?

Yeast Infection causes

    • Repeated antibiotic use
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • HIV infection/AIDS
    • Increase estrogen levels {HRT}
    • Pregnancy
    • Hyperglycemia
    • Allergies

And.. anything that disrupts the vaginal flora such as:

  • Antibiotics
  • Use of tampons, sponges, douches, intrauterine devices, and sex toys
  • Sexual practices or new partners
  • IUD, spermicide
  • Rise in PH
  • Decline in lactobacillus
  • Lack of hydrogen peroxide
  • Hot tubs
  • Sexual abuse

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4 Step Yeast Infection Home Remedies

I like to take a four-step approach when treating a yeast infection.  Follow these four steps to reduce the number of yeast infections you experience.

#1 Take an antimicrobial internally AND externally {see below}

Antimicrobials for yeast infections Internally
Look for the following herbs or take a blended formula like this one and take daily.<


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  • Take garlic internally and consider inserting it vaginally {see recipe below}👇
  • Consider taking these herbs INTERNALLY to reduce infection and inflammation
    • Echinacea
    • Garlic
    • Astragalus
    • Goldenseal
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Various mushrooms like Reishi

#2 Internally take an adaptogen to boost immunity and resistance

Adaptogens for Stress

  • Eleuthero
  • Ginseng
  • Schizandra
  • Ashwagandha
  • Reishi

There are so many beautiful Adaptogen blends out on the market.  This is a nice blend with Reishi.

Anything from Gaia herbs, Herb Pharm, or Herbalist & Alchemist is a good start.

#3 Internally address your gut health

Read this post on how I was able to eat gluten again because of the 4R approach: https://taragregorio.com/how-the-4r-approach-helped-me-heal-my-gut-allowed-me-to-eat-gluten-again/

Consider adding in:

  • a probiotic daily or a spoonful of yogurt every day
  • digestive enzymes- I love Enzymedica
  • DGL
  • and drinking teas of Chamomile & Peppermint

#4 Externally apply botanicals to reduce inflammation.

DIY Yoni Wash Recipe

  • Make a cup of strong Calendula tea
  • Strain & Cool
  • Add 1-2 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • Place in a Peri-rinse bottle like this one
  • Rinse the vaginal area 2-3x day

Optional: Apply a healing salve with Calendula if you’re feeling dry, red, and irritated.


Read this post for UTI relief: https://taragregorio.com/5-steps-to-stop-a-uti-naturally/

 

How to use garlic for a yeast infection

Garlic is a wise woman’s popular herbal remedy.

How do you use it?

  • Take a fresh, single clove- peeled
  • Carefully insert nightly and leave overnight
  • You could dip it into vegetable oil to ease insertion if you needed

Garlic is effective against the fungi E. coli, Proteus, Mycobacterium, and Candida species, but you may notice a garlicky smell!!

And…Watch for irritation or even chemical burns for sensitive skin.

Conclusion

Medications, antibiotics, and the use of tampons and vaginal lubricants can all affect the healthy flora in the vaginal area causing recurring yeast infections.

Addressing your gut health and integrating more natural products, could be the number one way to stop this irritating cycle.

Click below to see my favorite products to reduce yeast infections and urinary tract infections for years to come.


¹ Romm, Aviva; Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health pg. 258

 

Certified women’s herbal educator, Tara Gregorio is helping moms around the world reduce medications with herbs & homeopathy. Learn more about Tara here: https://taragregorio.com/

5 Natural Remedies For Mastitis

5 Natural Remedies For Mastitis

Wondering how to heal mastitis without antibiotics?

Here are my tried and true natural remedies to stop the pain fast.

But, hold on.

Always check with your doctor before using natural remedies if you have allergies or other health concerns.

What is mastitis? Here are 5 signs to look for:

Symptoms of Mastitis

  • fever as high as 104
  • local redness, hard tender inflamed area
  • chills
  • achiness
  • exhaustion

Mastitis Fever

***Fever is usually the key indicator here.  The goal is to rest and ask for help.  Usually, we are overdoing it and not sleeping.

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5 Herbs for Mastitis Treatment

If you are experiencing recurrent breast infections, you may want to be evaluated for adequate nutritional intake. Have your vitamin levels checked and don’t be afraid to increase them to reduce mastitis and possibly postpartum depression.

#1 Postpartum Supplements

Have your doctor check for vitamin deficiency.  Often we are immunity is lowered and we are exhausted. Have them check for:

  • Iron
  • Zinc &
  • Vitamin c

And.. I”ll say it again.  Often extreme exhaustion or sleep deprivation is very common.  Therefore adaptogens are necessary.

#2 Adaptogens for Stress

Lack of sleep, no help with the kids; Moms with mastitis are usually exhausted and adaptogens can help! postpartumdepression

Look for herbs that are safe to take while breastfeeding.

  • My 2 favorite would be:
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  • Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

 

Plugged duct or Mastitis

Milk ducts can become inflamed, tender, and distended creating a ‘plugged duct’, In mastitis, the plugged duct is accompanied by a fever and infection.

#3 Phytolacca Homeopathy

Homeopathy is fast, safe, and efficient when used correctly. Consider taking phytolacca if your symptoms fit.

Phytolacca 30C 

Personally, I liked to take homeopathic medicine when I had mastitis.  Along with Echinacea, this helped resolve the inflammation within minutes.  If you are having the following symptoms, consider Phytolacca as a remedy. Click here to purchase. 

1. Phytolacca: Symptoms

  • Worse: Rising from bed, motion, swallowing hot drinks, cold, change of weather, rainy weather, breastfeeding.
  • Better: Pressure, lying on the abdomen or left side, cold drinks, supporting the breasts (in breastfeeding ailments), bathing, resting, warmth, dry weather.
  • Sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses.
  • Pains radiate from the affected area and the breast is hard and lumpy.
  • The patient may feel heavy with flu-like symptoms, or may have a breast abscess threatening.”

Dosing: Take 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, take another 2 and you should see improvement.

 

#4 Natural Treatment for Mastitis

Echinacea Tincture

#5 Ashwagandha Tincture (Withania somnifera)

 

6 Tips to avoid mastitis 

  1. Use compresses of hot water, ginger root or chamomile infusion.
  2. Apply a poultice of freshly grated raw potato 2-3x day.
  3. Take 1/2-1 tsp. of Echinacea tincture every 2-4 hours.
  4. For high fever, drink teas of elderflower and spearmint.
  5. To reduce muscle tension drink teas of lemon balm, chamomile, and catnip.
  6. To relieve pain tinctures of crampbark, passionflower, and hops tinctures can promote sleep and relieve pain.

Conclusion

If you’re experiencing mastitis regularly, you may be exhausted.  Please consider adding an adaptogen to help you cope with the stress.  Herbs & homeopathy can provide great relief and reduce your chances of getting mastitis.

 

Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. https://taragregorio.com/
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