Contents - Click a link to skip to the section you want to read
- 1 Why should I take a postnatal vitamin?
- 2 What vitamins should be included in a postnatal supplement?
- 3 How long do I need to keep taking postnatal vitamins?
- 4 Can’t I just keep taking my prenatal vitamins?
- 5 Are there any side-effects to postnatal vitamins?
- 6 What to look for in a postnatal vitamin
- 7 The reviews
- 8 The Best Postnatal Vitamins
If you’ve had a baby, you don’t need me to tell you what a huge demand it takes on your body to build and deliver a new little human (or humans!).
While the first couple of weeks for new moms can all be a bit of a blur while you get used to diaper changings, feedings and your adjusted sleep regime, finding the time to look after yourself and your own health is important not only for you but for the wellbeing of your little one as well. That’s where taking a postnatal vitamin can be useful.
Wondering which are the best postnatal vitamins for vegans? In this article we’ll give you all the information you need to select the variety that’s best for you, including our picks for the best vegan postnatal vitamins on the market.
But before we check out the reviews, let’s learn a little more about postpartum vitamins.
Why should I take a postnatal vitamin?
There’s a lot of emphasis on taking a prenatal vitamin and getting the right nutrition when you’re pregnant. What most people overlook is that it’s just as important for mothers to have optimum nutrition during the postpartum recovery period as well.
A new mom needs support for several things; healing (if you’ve had a C-section, experienced tears or had an episiotomy during labor), hormone balancing (those postnatal baby blues are real and no joke) mommy brain and fatigue, and getting your milk supply going if you breastfeed.
With a little person (or people) to look after in addition to everything else, sometimes our food choices are based on something we can grab and go with rather than what constitutes a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Even if we eat a whole-foods, plant-based, home-cooked diet, the added stress and demands on our bodies can mean we have nutritional gaps that could be easily filled by a postnatal supplement.
What vitamins should be included in a postnatal supplement?
If you’re breastfeeding and worried that you’re not getting the best nutrition yourself to feed your baby, the good news is that the best vitamins for you are also usually the best ones for a breastfed baby.
As you’d imagine, each brand of postpartum vitamins has its own unique blend of vitamins, minerals and other additives.
Some of the key vitamins that you need as a new mom are:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin H or biotin
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate)
- The B Vitamins – B6, B5, B3, B2, B12, B1 and
- Vitamin A
Other ingredients you’ll want your supplement to contain include iodine (required for normal thyroid function, as well as nerve and brain development) and DHA omega-3 (because of its role in infant brain, eye, and nervous system development).
If you want a supplement to help increase your milk supply, look out for herbs such as fenugreek, fennel, Torbagun leaves and Milk Thistle which are commonly added to the mix in capsule formulas.
How long do I need to keep taking postnatal vitamins?
You can keep taking postnatal vitamins for several months after giving birth. They’re especially important if you breastfeed for an extended period of time as the demands on your body and the need for perfect nutrition are high as you feed your baby. However, once you’ve finished breastfeeding you should be okay to stop taking postnatal supplements and switch to a general multivitamin if you feel you need it.
Can’t I just keep taking my prenatal vitamins?
While you can keep taking the prenatal vitamin you took throughout your pregnancy for a week or so after giving birth, it’s better to purchase a postnatal vitamin as you won’t have the same nutritional needs that you had when you were pregnant, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Most postnatal vitamins are designed specifically for the needs of new moms (breast or bottle feeding). A new mom needs less folate and iron and more vitamin A and iodine than she did when she was pregnant. Many postnatal vitamin supplements, as you’ll see from our reviews below, also contain milk-boosting herb blends that have been proven to increase a mother’s milk supply.
Are there any side-effects to postnatal vitamins?
Postnatal vitamins should be safe to use provided you follow the manufacturer’s dosing instructions. Some different formula blends that include ingredients like fenugreek to increase milk-supply can sometimes be too strong for babies and cause them to have gas issues – but this really depends on the baby.
In the rare event that side effects are experienced, common ones for the mom can include an upset stomach and/or nausea, constipation or diarrhea, and in some cases an allergic reaction that results in hives, an itchy rash or breathing difficulty.
It’s important to always study the list of ingredients on any supplement you take to ensure you aren’t allergic to anything they contain and to consult with your medical practitioner and/or lactation consultant if you experience any issues.
What to look for in a postnatal vitamin
To begin with, you’re obviously going to want to choose a supplement that is suitable for vegans. Sometimes capsules can use animal-derived gelatin and some vitamins can be sourced from animals as well. So always look on the label or product description to check your vitamins are vegan-friendly (all the postnatal vitamins in our review are).
If you don’t like the idea of taking capsules several times a day, you can also choose to drink your vitamins in the form of a protein powder. Make sure to check out our review of the Majka postnatal protein powder below.
Here are some additional things to consider:
Avoid selecting the cheapest postnatal supplement, especially if it doesn’t give details on where its ingredients are sourced from. The old adage that you get what you pay for is usually true in the case of vitamins. It pays to invest in a quality and reliable brand, especially seeing as it effects the health of you and your baby.
Quality, quantity and source of ingredients
Bearing in mind that if you’re breastfeeding, whatever you eat your baby eats too, so you want to try and select a product that has the highest quality of ingredients. The products in our reviews contain vitamins, minerals, herbal blends, whole foods and probiotics that are organic, non-GMO and vegan.
You’ll also want to ensure that the supplement you select has all the vitamins you need as a new mom and in the right quantities.
If you’re thinking about taking a postnatal vitamin to help with your milk supply, look carefully at the ingredients. Things like fenugreek should help in supporting your body to produce more milk but ingredients like lemon balm (from the peppermint family) can disrupt milk supply in some people.
Some of the supplements that contain herbal blends that are intended to help boost your milk supply can be a little too strong for some breastfed babies. If your little one is already colicy, or you’ve noticed they are extremely sensitive to certain foods you eat then you might want to opt for a standard postnatal vitamin that forgoes the additional herbal blends.
You know your baby best, but if in doubt, speak with your pediatrician or lactation consultant.
Now that you know what to look for and why you should take them, let’s find out which are the best postnatal vitamins for vegans.
First up on our list of reviews is the Nutrigold Organic Fenugreek Gold supplement.
Nutrigold Organic Fenugreek Gold
The Nutrigold Organic Fenugreek Gold claims to support healthy-digestion, glucose balance and women’s postnatal health, with the key ingredient that most lactating moms are looking for to increase their milk supply- fenugreek.
The fenugreek used in the Nutrigold supplement is, as the name suggests, organic and has been awarded GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA, meaning that when used as directed, it’s safe and without adverse effects.
The fenugreek is combined with all the vitamins and minerals a new mom needs including calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C.
Most users highly recommend Nutrigold Organic as the best postpartum vitamins on the market, reporting that it did indeed support their health and help to increase their milk supply. However, for some mom’s their babies were sensitive to the fenugreek and it caused digestive issues such as gas. If you decided to take these, just keep an eye on how it affects your baby.
Others have reported that the capsules are also quite large and difficult to swallow and numerous users have said that taking the recommended number of capsules per day has resulted in their sweat smelling like maple syrup! I guess when you’ve got a baby, there are definitely worse things you could smell of!
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Fenugreek helps to increase milk supply
- Includes a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including folate not folic acid
- Bottles use amber glass to protect the product
- Product has been independently tested by third-party labs for purity and potency
- Non GMO, Organic and Vegan certified
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Can cause digestive issues in some breastfed babies
- Can make you smell like maple syrup
VitaminIQ Whole Food Multivitamin
If you’ve recently had a baby then you don’t need science to confirm that “mommy brain” is a real thing. You know that feeling of not quite being “with it” and constant forgetfulness? The good news is that you’re not going crazy, mommy brain really does exist. The official term for it is “postnatal depletion” and it’s a condition that can disrupt a new mother’s hormonal, nutritional and emotion profiles for up to ten years.
The VitaminIQ Whole Food Multivitamin is a great option for postpartum vegan moms as it contains neuroprotective lithium orotate for brain health, which could help lessen the effects of postnatal depletion.
It’s also got activated vitamin B12 (an important one for us vegans) for mood and nervous system health, and methylfolate to support healthy DNA, mood, detoxification and anti-inflammatory actions.
Overall, it’s a good all-round postnatal supplement and can be useful for moms even if they aren’t breastfeeding. Users have reported that they used the VitaminIQ Whole Food Multivitamin during pregnancy as well as postpartum, one even had it muscle tested on themselves and it tested well in all aspects.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Free from GMOs and is organic and vegan
- Supports health issues women experience after giving birth
- Contains B12
- Minerals, vitamins and antioxidants sourced from wholefoods
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Not a specific postnatal vitamin
- Doesn’t contain Fenugreek to support breastfeeding
Naturelo Postnatal Multivitamin
Next up we have the Naturelo Multivitamin, a supplement designed to cater specifically for the needs of postnatal moms.
Other users claim it’s one of the best vitamins on the market due to its whole-food derived vitamins, as opposed to synthetic, and because it contains all the recommended nutrient ratios.
It contains K2, which is important for bone-building and remineralizing teeth, useful for moms because it’s well documented that many expecting mothers have issues with their teeth and gums during pregnancy.
The Naturelo Multivitamin also contains folate rather than folic acid, which is a big plus as far as prenatal and postnatal vitamins go. It also contains iron as ferrous fumarate and some studies have shown that it can upset the digestive tract so just watch for any symptoms when taking this supplement if you have an existing condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The capsules themselves are quite large and have to be taken three times a day. They have quite a strong taste that isn’t masked by mixing it with food.
Perhaps if you have a sensitive stomach, have difficulty swallowing large capsules and don’t like having to take a vitamin three times a day, these might not be for you. If however, none of those things bother you they might work as well as they have for other users that have reported their hair growing faster, nails being stronger and just feeling better in general.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Vitamins come from natural sources and aren’t synthetic
- Folate instead of folic acid
- Supplement is designed specifically for postnatal moms
- Provides great overall support to health
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Pills are large and hard to swallow
- The taste of the powder inside the capsules is very strong
Majka Nourishing Lactation Support Protein Powder
This supplement from Majka provides a great source of vegan protein, digestive support, alkalizing greens, fruits and all the essential minerals and vitamins our body’s need after having a baby.
It was specifically designed by mothers, for mothers, by a professional team of nutritionists that specialize in whole food, plant-based nutrition. Each ingredient included in the blend has been selected to provide optimal nutrition (and fill any nutritional gaps a busy mom might have) and to help increase milk production. It even contains probiotics.
As opposed to taking three capsules a day, you could simply add a scoop of the powder to your morning smoothie and know that you’re still getting all the nutrients that you and your baby need.
Other users have seen an increase in not only their milk supply but also their energy levels after using the powder for only a couple of days. Plus, for a protein powder, it apparently tastes great and doesn’t have that chalky aftertaste that protein powders sometimes have.
While overall the Majka lactation support protein powder seems like a great supplement, some users have reported that it upset their stomach, but this is not common feedback. Pricewise, it is more expensive than some of the other supplements in our list and you only get 15 servings per container.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Mixes well with food
- Tastes great
- Increases milk supply
- Free from synthetics and artificial sweeteners
- Contains probiotics
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Very expensive for a small amount
- The pea protein can cause stomach upsets for some people
New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Vitamins
Last on our list are the New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Vitamins. While some users of these vitamins have reported that they felt more energetic, had better skin, hair and nails after taking them and also had an increase in their milk supply, there are just as many users who have reported that the supplements made them feel ill, caused gassiness in their babies and decreased their supply of milk.
The New Chapter vitamins contain fermented probiotics, however, the manufacturer advises that the quantity of the probiotic is “not significant” and that the included probiotic is only to help with the absorption of the formula. It’s not a therapeutic dose, so if you were hoping that you could take these vitamins and forgo an additional probiotic that’s not the case.
Other users reported that the vitamins caused their urine to turn bright yellow and also yellowed the color of their breast milk. Once again, these capsules are on the larger side but you can take them on an empty stomach not just with food.
WHAT WE LIKE:
- Can be taken on an empty stomach
- You can take all three capsules at once
- Organic and non-GMO
WHAT WE DISLIKE:
- Has been reported to decrease milk supply for some breastfeeding moms
- Can turn breast milk and urine bright yellow
- Can cause gassiness and stomach upsets in breastfed babies
- Contains folic acid and not folate
- Contains lemon balm which is used to treat milk oversupply and for weaning (not good if you’re a breastfeeding mom)
The Best Postnatal Vitamins
For a good allround postnatal vitamin, my top pick in this category is the Nutrigold Organic Fenugreek Gold.
Not only is it specifically designed to give all the vitamins and minerals a new mom needs, it’s also derived completely from organic whole food sources. Although the fenugreek can be a bit strong for some babies, I think if you’re a breastfeeding mom that’s trying to get her supply up it’s an important ingredient to have in the mix.
And if you’re a momma that’s bottle-feeding their little one you’ll still benefit greatly from the nutrients the Nutrigold supplement provides.
A close runner up for me has got to be the Majka Nourishing Lactation Support Protein Powder. I think it’s a great option for busy mom’s as you can just add it to your breakfast smoothie or make up a shake in the morning and know that you’re getting everything you need in your diet to support your health and provide the best food for your baby.
No matter which postnatal vitamin supplement you choose to go with remember to check that it’s suitable for vegans.