Prenatal Vitamins vs Postnatal Vitamins

Which prenatal and postnatal vitamins are the best?

Taking care of your health during pregnancy helps ensure the healthy development of your unborn baby. Continuing to do the same after the baby is born can also help your baby get all the nutrients he needs. Prenatal vitamins are designed to keep you and baby healthy during pregnancy, while postnatal vitamins continue to keep you and baby healthy after your pregnancy.

Since there are several brands of supplements, you need to know what ingredients to look for in prenatal and postnatal vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins should include zinc, iron, calcium, riboflavin, iodine, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B12, and folic acid. However, supplements containing these vitamins should not replace a balanced diet. These supplements should only supplement your diet.

You can either buy prescription supplements over the counter or have them prescribed by your doctor. Generally, the price range for prenatal supplements is between $60 and $90. Over-the-counter vitamins cost between $19 and $59, but they may not have all the ingredients you need or may require you to take them more often if it’s a lower dose.

Benefits of Prenatal Vitamins

Taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day can help prevent neural tube defects or birth defects of the spinal cord, brain, and spine. According to the National Institutes of Health, folic acid may also reduce the risk of common and uncommon neural tube defects. Iron is also an important ingredient in prenatal supplements as it provides more oxygen to the baby while preventing iron deficiency.

Make sure your prenatal vitamins contain calcium, which can help develop muscle function and healthy bone growth. You need to take around 1000mg of calcium daily for best results.

Vitamin D actually helps with the absorption of calcium. It also helps prevent infections and premature labor or birth. To get these benefits, you need to take 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily.

Disadvantages of Prenatal Vitamins

For some women, iron can cause constipation, diarrhea, poor appetite, cramps, and other stomach issues. Although allergic reactions are rare with prenatal vitamins, some women develop symptoms such as rashes, facial swelling, dizziness, and some even have difficulty breathing.

What are the best prenatal vitamins to buy?

Mummy’s Bliss Prenatal Multivitamins

This prenatal supplement contains vitamin C, D, E, B12 and K. It also includes iron and probiotics. You can use it before, during and after pregnancy. If you’re concerned about allergies, this option is free of dairy, soy, gluten, and gelatin.

Sold by Amazon

SmartyPants Prenatal Multivitamin

SmartyPants Prenatal Multivitamin

Get omega-3 fish oil from this supplement to increase your birth weight. It also contains iodine to support thyroid hormone production and folate for a healthy spine. Other ingredients include vitamin B6, vitamins K1 and K2, selenium and choline. It is free of artificial colors, preservatives and flavors.

Sold by iHerb

Garden of Life Prenatal DHA formulated by Dr. Garden of Life

Garden of Life Prenatal DHA formulated by Dr. Garden of Life

You can take this supplement to help baby’s brain development, but you can also take it to help with lactation. This supplement contains Omega-3 DHA, which helps the baby develop a healthy spine, brain, skin, and eyes.

Sold by iHerb

Postnatal vitamins

Women can take postnatal vitamins to restore nutrients to their body after childbirth. However, companies often market them as supplements that improve the production of nutrient-dense milk for babies. Postnatal vitamins include vitamin A, E, K, C, zinc, calcium, iodine, magnesium and more. The baby also gets these vitamins from his mother’s milk.

Affordable, certified organic postnatal supplements cost between $20 and $35. Remember that the price depends on the quality of the supplement and the number of pills in a bottle. So postnatal supplements that cost more than $35 often contain more pills per bottle.

Anything under $15 is probably not organic and may taste off.

Benefits of postnatal vitamins

While babies often have enough iron in their bodies for the first four months after birth, they need a steady supply of iron from their mother’s milk after this time. Iron and choline help develop the baby’s brain. The vitamin D in postnatal supplements also helps the baby’s bone development.

Another important vitamin is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega 3 vitamin that helps improve your baby’s learning ability. Generally, it helps in brain development and is also a key vitamin for the prenatal phase. Other postnatal vitamins have benefits such as supporting healthy thyroid function and restoring the mother’s energy.

Disadvantages of postnatal vitamins

Some people may have an allergic reaction to postnatal vitamins, including rashes, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. If you experience side effects, consult a doctor to change vitamins or change the dosage.

What are the best postnatal vitamins to buy?

New Chapter Best Postnatal Multivitamin

New Chapter Best Postnatal Multivitamin

Many doctors recommend this multivitamin because it contains a blend of essential nutrients and organic superfoods to help with milk production. It can also help boost your energy, improve hair growth, and regulate your mood.

Sold by iHerb

Rainbow Bright Vibrance Postnatal Multivitamin

Rainbow Bright Vibrance Postnatal Multivitamin

You should take this supplement from conception until the baby reaches two years of age. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains a blend of superfoods and probiotics. It not only supports your health, but also promotes the development of the baby.

Sold by iHerb

Milkies Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin

Milkies Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin

As the name suggests, Milkies is best suited for mothers who breastfeed their babies. It contains vitamin D3 to help prevent rickets and delayed tooth eruption in babies.

Sold by iHerb

Should you buy prenatal vitamins or postnatal vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are important because many pregnant women generally need folic acid and iron. These supplements help keep the mother and the unborn baby healthy. But postnatal vitamins aren’t really necessary if you can maintain a healthy diet and don’t suffer from low energy or anemia.

Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Michael Rodgers writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Patricia J. Callender