Choosing Postpartum Supplements Like A Nutritionist
With so many options and opinions, how does a new mom decide what’s best for her? As a licensed integrative nutritionist, I’ve spent countless hours teaching clients how to look at the back label of supplement bottles instead of just the promotional info on the front.
If you are breastfeeding, your prenatal vitamin may cover your postpartum needs, but let’s take a peek into what to look for in an ideal supplement. And remember, both calorie and fluid needs increase if you are breast-feeding.
B vitamins support energy from food, as well as protect the brain and liver. Ideally, B vitamin supplements should be in their methyl form, which is the active form of the nutrient. Many people do not easily convert non-methyl Bs (such as Folate and Cyanocobalamin) into their bio-available forms (the kind your body can actually use).
|Folate or folic acid||Methyltetrahydrofolate or L5 MTHF|
|Cyanocobalamin||Methylcobalamin or possibly adenosylcobalamin|
|Pyridoxine||Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate or p5p|
Minerals are important for bone maintenance, cardiac function, and immunity and in general. They are not easily absorbed, thus needing a chelating (AKA binding) agent to help with transportation within your cells and tissues. Oxides are very common and inexpensive forms of minerals. However, they are poorly absorbed. I often liken an oxide chelate to rust, and who wants rust inside their body??
|Ferrous Oxide||Ferrous bis-glycinate|
|Magnesium Oxide||Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate|
Fish oils come last, but definitely not least. While the jury is still out on whether fish oils can help to prevent postpartum depression, it is known that both DHA and EPA are important for brain development and immune function. Many people do not obtain the recommended amounts of these important fatty acids through the diet, so quality supplementation may be beneficial. It’s very important to look for molecularly distilled and cold water sources to ensure that contamination is mitigated. You can read more on this here and here.
There are good companies with these bioavailable supplements available, but one word of caution is to NOT purchase from knock-off discount companies because often-times, discounted supplements are not handled or warehoused properly and may be mislabeled.
I would be most happy to help you sort through the maze of supplementation! Remember, supplements are not a substitute for food. They assist your food to be digested and absorbed for energy, repair and your baby’s growth.
Yours in health,
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Kudos.
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