A lot of women continue to take their prenatal multivitamins following birth to support breastfeeding and accelerate healing during the postpartum period.
While most prenatal multivitamins contain an array of vitamins and minerals to nourish both mom and baby, most lack adequate concentrations of the nutrients that are specific to postnatal health concerns.
In this article, we’ll review the 6 best postnatal multivitamins available and discuss how each product plays a crucial role in terms of optimizing breast milk quality and meeting the nutritional needs of mothers who may suffer from postnatal depletion.
TL;DR: What is the Best Postnatal Multivitamin?
- Milkies Nursing Postnatal provides women with 2,800IU of vitamin D3 to prevent deficiencies in both mother and baby. It also contains generous portions of B vitamins and iron for energy support and enhanced red blood cell production.
- Mary Ruth’s Postnatal Liquid Multivitamin is an organic, whole-food-based multivitamin that contains a wide array of antioxidants to boost the immune system.
- Replenishing Powder by Majka is a 7-in-1 daily nutritional powder that contains essential nutrients along with collagen, organic superfoods, and probiotics paired with digestive enzymes.
- Essential Postnatal by Ritual contains 15 traceable ingredients including 350 mg of DHA sourced from sustainably grown, contaminant-free algae.
- Mama Bird Postnatal Multi+ protects new mothers from vaginal infections through its inclusion of Lactobacillus acidophilus. It also contains an organic wellness blend, digestive enzymes, and 24 vitamins and minerals.
- Beli for Women is designed to nourish both mother and baby throughout all trimesters and post-pregnancy. It provides women with 20 vitamins and minerals that are all in optimal forms and easy to digest.
Comparison of the 6 Best Postnatal Multivitamins
Milkies Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin provides new moms with over 20 nutrients that accelerate postpartum healing, restore energy and strength following birth, and promote breast milk quality in terms of nutritional value.
This postnatal multivitamin supplies nursing mothers with an abundance of the following vitamins and minerals that are typically not found in similar concentrations within competing brands or prenatal multivitamins:
- 70mcg (2,800IU) Vitamin D3
- 150mcg Iodine + 70mcg Selenium
- 5mg Vitamin B6, 16mcg Vitamin B12, + 18mg Iron
Milkies may be taken in conjunction with milk production supplements, such as fenugreek or fennels seed, as it provides vitamin and mineral support only and is free of herbal blends that increase the production of breast milk.
It is recommended for women to take 2 capsules daily throughout the entire duration of breastfeeding.
- Comprehensive multivitamin that includes 22 nutrients
- Provides new moms with 70mcg of Vitamin D3, which is much higher than competing brands
- Pairs iodine and selenium for thyroid support and energy improvements
- Vitamin D3 is sourced from lanolin found in sheep’s wool
- Uses Vitamin K1 which is significantly less bioavailable than Vitamin K2
- Uses ferrous fumarate which is a less bioavailable form of iron compared to chelated iron
This organic, whole-food-based multivitamin is available for use by both women who are expecting and women who are currently breastfeeding.
Prenatal & Postnatal Liquid Multivitamin contains over 20 vitamins and minerals and provides women with the following major antioxidants:
- 750mcg Vitamin A (Beta Carotene)
- 60mg Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- 19mg Vitamin E (dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate)
- 13mg Zinc (Zinc Citrate)
- 70mcg Selenium (Selenium Chelate)
Additionally, this product is made with an organic antioxidant whole fruit blend that consists of organic apple fruit powder, organic cranberry fruit powder, organic blueberry fruit powder, and organic elderberry fruit powder.
It is recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or are trying to get pregnant to take 1 fl oz (2 tbsp) once daily.
Prenatal & Postnatal Liquid Multivitamin can be taken with or without food. For best results, women should use this product in the morning upon waking.
- Can be used before, during, and after pregnancy
- Contains organic whole food blend
- Provides women with over 20 vitamins and minerals
- Does not contain iron
- Provides low amounts of calcium and magnesium
- Only one flavor available
Majka is a worldwide leader in lactation supplements and postnatal vitamins and its Replenishing Powder provides new mothers with an easy, on-the-go solution to meeting their nutritional needs.
This 7-in-1 daily nutritional powder supports postnatal healing and provides women with adequate nourishment to help boost their energy levels and immune system.
Replenishing Powder’s main ingredients include:
- 24 vitamins and minerals
- 13g of hydrolyzed bovine collagen
- Organic herbs and extracts
- Organic greens
- Organic fruits
- 4 probiotic strains
- 7 digestive enzymes
Women should take 1 scoop daily and this product can be easily added to food and smoothies. It is recommended to not exceed 2 scoops per day.
- Contains key nutrients, protein, probiotics, and digestive enzymes
- Provides an abundance of B vitamins and antioxidants
- Majority of applicable ingredients are organic
- Only 15 servings per container
- Somewhat low amount of protein
- Low amount of iron
Essential Postnatal by Ritual is a DHA-containing multivitamin that provides women with the nutritional support they need for 6 months postpartum and throughout lactation.
This multivitamin comes packed with 15 traceable ingredients that supply key nutrients required for proper immune function, optimal brain health, and healthy breast milk.
Noteworthy nutrients contained in this postnatal multivitamin include:
- 350 mg of DHA (Microalgae)
- 50 mcg of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol from Lichen)
- 90 mcg of Vitamin K2 (Synthesized Menaquinone -7)
- 8 mg of Iron (Ferrous Bisglycinate)
- 10 mcg of Vitamin B12 (Synthesized Methylcobalamin)
Ritual ensures that its multivitamin is free of heavy metals, pesticides, and other environmental contaminants by sourcing its DHA from sustainably grown, whole microalgae using an environmentally friendly extraction process.
Essential Postnatal comes in delayed-release capsule form and is enhanced with mint to ease digestion. Women should take 2 capsules daily and it is recommended to take this product for at least 6 months following birth or for the entire duration of breastfeeding.
- Provides 350mg DHA
- Contains 15 key nutrients for new mothers
- 100% vegan friendly
- Women who experienced C-section or significant blood loss during birth may require additional iron
- Missing selenium for additional thyroid support
- Missing vitamin B6 for energy support and enhanced red blood cell production
Many women report low levels of energy, trouble with digestion, or recurring infections for up to 1 or 2 years following birth.
Although pregnancy is a wonderful experience for most mothers, some women may experience a harder time bouncing back, especially if they are affected by stress, lack of sleep, or have poor nutrition.
Thankfully, the use of probiotics within multivitamin supplements can help women re-establish a healthy microbiome and relieve some of the most common side effects experienced following birth throughout the postpartum period.
Best Nest offers Mama Bird® Postnatal Multi+ for women who have struggled with all too familiar symptoms of low energy, difficulty with digestion, or increased risk of forming infection following birth.
This multivitamin supplement comes packed with the following ingredients that work together to provide digestive relief, support energy improvement, and defend a mother’s body against infections:
- 24 vitamins and minerals
- 50mg Organic Wellness Blend
- 5mg Lactobacillus acidophilus
- 25mg digestive enzyme blend (amylase, protease, cellulase, lipase)
It is recommended for women to take 1 caplet daily.
- Provides women with generous portions of antioxidants paired with several B vitamins
- Pairs probiotic with digestive enzymes for enhanced digestive support
- Contains Lactobacillus acidophilus for vaginal health and immune system improvements
- Lacks probiotic strain diversity
- Doesn’t disclose concentration of each digestive enzyme
- Some key nutrients are not provided in their optimal forms, such as vitamin K and iron
Although Beli’s products are typically used for improving fertility, its Beli for Women multivitamin can be used postpartum to facilitate healing and to help support breastfeeding.
This multivitamin contains 20 essential nutrients that nourish both mother and baby throughout all trimesters and post-pregnancy.
Some of this product’s key ingredients for postnatal health include:
- 100mcg of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
- 90mcg of Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7)
- 18mg of Iron (Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate)
- 100mg of Magnesium (Di-Magnesium Malate)
Additionally, Beli for Women offers generous amounts of B vitamins, such as 30mg of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate) and 16mcg of Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin), for sustained energy from enhanced red blood cell production.
It is recommended for women to take 3 capsules daily for additional nutrient support post-pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- Contains the highest concentration of vitamin D3 among its competitors
- Provides vitamins and minerals in their optimal forms, such as methylfolate and TRAACS minerals
- Supplies generous amounts of iron and B vitamins for energy support
- Missing selenium for additional thyroid support
- Missing DHA for optimal cognitive function and development
- 3 capsules per serving
Prenatal vs Postnatal Vitamins
Did you know that women who breastfeed require higher concentrations of over half of all micronutrients when compared to pregnancy?
Based upon the 2006 edition of Dietary Reference Intakes The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, the following nutrients are required in greater concentrations for lactating women compared to women who are pregnant:
- Vitamin A (+ 530μg/d)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) (+ 0.2mg/d)
- Vitamin B6 (+ 0.1mg/d)
- Vitamin B12 (+ 0.2μg/d)
- Vitamin C (+ 35mg/d)
- Vitamin E (+ 4.0mg/d)
- Selenium (+ 10μg/d)
- Zinc (+1 mg/d)
Due to these significant differences in nutritional requirements, it’s easy to see why it’s so important for women to select the right postnatal multivitamin rather than continue to use their prenatal multivitamin which may not supply their bodies with the additional nutrient support they need.
The market tends to be flooded with prenatal vitamins, however, postnatal vitamins are relatively new among the supplement scene and most brands tend to lack products that provide new mothers with adequate nutrition to support breastfeeding and healing from birth.
When searching for a postnatal multivitamin you should seek a product that provides a wide array of vitamins and minerals in their optimal forms and concentrations.
Let’s quickly review what’s considered the standard for recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for lactating women and then discuss how these recommendations may clash with what’s best for certain individuals based upon health history, birth outcomes, and other major factors.
Recommended Dietary Allowances
The following recommended daily dietary allowances for nutrients for lactating women are based upon data provided in the 2006 edition of Dietary Reference Intakes The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements :
- Vitamin A – 1300 μg/d
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 1.4 mg/d
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 1.6 mg/d
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 17 mg/d
- Vitamin B6 – 2.0 mg/d
- Folate (Vitamin B9) – 500 μg/d
- Vitamin B12 – 2.8 μg/d
- Vitamin C – 120 mg/d
- Vitamin D – 15 μg/d
- Vitamin E – 19 mg/d
- Vitamin K – 90 μg/d
- Calcium – 1,000 mg/d
- Iron – 9.0 mg/d
- Phosphorus – 700 mg/d
- Selenium – 70 μg/d
- Zinc – 12 mg/d
Although many companies still use these standards for reference when formulating their postnatal multivitamins, it’s important to keep in mind that these concentrations are based upon research and findings conducted prior to 2006 and numerous studies are currently underway or will be conducted in the near future to further investigate whether or not these concentrations are still valid or applicable for most women.
Thus, the above values serve as a reference point but not the final rule when it comes to determining nutrient requirements for women who are lactating or those who are in the postpartum period.
Factors that will greatly affect a woman’s specific nutrient needs while breastfeeding and throughout the postpartum period include:
- Multiple gestations
- Preexisting conditions
- Type of birth experienced (vaginal or c-section)
- Amount of blood loss from birth
- Dietary restrictions
- Nutrient deficiencies
We highly encourage women to consult with their postnatal care providers prior to selecting a postnatal multivitamin in order to ensure they pick a product that best meets their specific nutrient needs.
Your provider may even suggest the use of a blood test to detect your current levels in order to make the best decision on which product to use.
As most women know, the processes of labor, delivery, and breastfeeding place huge nutrient demands on the body and lead to most women feeling completely exhausted and worn down.
Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies found in women who are nursing or are still within the postpartum timeframe include vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Women who experience nutrient deficiencies may experience side effects including fatigue, restlessness, anxiety, depression, hair loss, and difficulty with eating or digestion.
Thus, it is of utmost importance for women to supplement with the vitamins and minerals their bodies need in order to provide their baby with the most nutritious breast milk possible and to ensure that they recover properly.
The Postnatal Depletion Cure
Dr. Oscar Serrallach, a leader in the field of postnatal health and author of The Postnatal Depletion Cure, has prescribed the following 6-week supplement course for mothers who suffer from nutrient deficiencies related to postpartum depletion:
“Iron Bisglycinate 15-24 mg daily (elemental dose) for 6 weeks can be very useful to help with low iron levels and has a very low rate of digestive upset.
DHA Fish Oil or Algal Oil is a great starting point, and I recommend 1gm DHA for mothers for six weeks or 1.5gm daily if you are breastfeeding.
Choline at 175mg daily for six weeks can be really useful for concentration.
Zinc Picolinate or Citrate at 25mg daily with food for six weeks can help mental function and immune function.
Magnesium (the mother of minerals) or ‘Mum-nesium’ can be great for sleep and relaxing muscles. I usually use simple forms of Magnesium like Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate at 150mg once or twice per day. It’s great before bed.”
Medical experts like Dr. Serrallach have spoken up in recent years on the need for a more individualized approach to postnatal nutrition and realize the long-term importance of utilizing vitamins and supplements that best meet each mother’s unique health needs.
Vitamins in Breast Milk
Along with the need to properly address postnatal depletion, it’s incredibly important for mothers who breastfeed to choose a multivitamin that contains the specific nutrients that are secreted into their breastmilk in order to prevent vitamin deficiencies in their newborn baby.
Examples of vitamins and minerals that are associated with infant reliance on breast milk include:
- Vitamin A
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Vitamin B6
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
In most cases, the above vitamins and minerals must be supplemented with while breastfeeding for one of the following reasons: the body does not store them, they’re found in extremely low supply within an infant’s natural reserves, or their concentration gradually declines following several months of lactation.
Additionally, other nutrients such as omega-3 DHA should be taken to further support the concentration of fatty acids within breast milk.
Selecting the right postnatal multivitamin should be placed on the same level of importance as picking out the correct prenatal multivitamin.
While postnatal and prenatals do tend to share a lot of the same nutrients, a mother’s nutritional needs change drastically following birth.
As such, women should be careful in their selection of postnatal multivitamins and choose a product that will help alleviate side effects associated with postnatal depletion and ensure that they provide their baby with the most nutritious breast milk possible.