Post Natal vitamins

Why it’s important to take a pregnancy vitamin after your baby arrives

This post is sponsored by FabFol

Let me start by opening with I am not a natropath nor do I hold any form of medical qualification this is just a little article on what has helped me personally as a new mum.

Shortly after my boy was born, I stopped taking the pregnancy multivitamins I had been taking, I don’t really know why, it could’ve been the pregnant woman on the box that I no longer related too or that I forgot for a few days in row and fell out of habit, regardless I stopped.

Three reasons I wish I never stopped taking a multivitamin

  1. I was tired, really tired – so tired that when another mum in my mums group suggested an iron tablet I went right out and got one – along with a standard multi vitamin.  If I was going to be a good mum and partner, I needed to keep my energy up and look after myself.
  2. I kept getting sick.  Cold after cold after cold, I remember days where I was surrounded by tissues trying not to breathe on my beautiful new born while he was feeding and at the same time wanting to ring mum and just curl up under the covers and cry (I’ll admit some days I did – my mum is interstate and boy were those days being sick long, horrible and miserable)
  3. I was so busy looking after my new baby that I forgot about me.  I was breastfeeding and had no idea the extra strain that puts on your body.  Essentially your baby gets all the good stuff and if there is not enough left, you miss out.  Add to that, not eating well and trying to juggle one handed snacks or skipping meals because I didnt get a long enough break with two hands to sort something out!

It’s commonsense in hindsight that I should’ve kept up my vitamin intake as my body adjusted to life as a new mum. I was recently at a check up with my little one and the Dr mentioned there was a new study that showed mix fed babies (breast and formula) faired better in the nutrient and development stakes than a purely breastfed baby.  I don’t have the study on that, so if anyone has a link to it, please share it with me.  It made sense though and made me ponder – all throughout my pregnancy I was tested to make sure I had the right balance of nutrients in my blood-work to support my growing baby.  All of that monitoring stopped when the baby arrived, all of the focus shifted to the baby and as long as I was functioning, that was good enough.

What if my baby missing was out on a valuable vitamin or nutrient because I was deficient?

While I was pregnant, I was really focused on Folic Acid… the rest was a bonus.  These days I’m interested in the iron and b groups to keep my energy up.  When I started taking a multi vitamin – designed for pregnancy and breastfeeding again, I really did feel much better. I was in a little less of a hurry to get a coffee first thing in the morning, just to feel like I was functioning.

I’ve tried several vitamins myself and fabfol seems to be best for me.

I love that the tablets are listed for the days of the week – It’s a small thing, but it really helps me remember to take them AND gives me something to check if I wonder if I already did.  I love that it contains an organic iron that it easy to digest and most of all I LOVE thats its just one tablet each day.  I tried a few from various health food stores pregnancy and regular vitamins thinking they may be better BUT the reality was most were 2 or more tablets each day and most days I simply forgot to take them.

Taken straight from the FABFOL Website these are the Essential nutrients in the vitamins I take.  I’m sharing to give you a benchmark on what to look for when selecting a vitamin:

Folic Acid

Folic acid helps ensure the healthy development of the neural tube. It is recommended that you take a folic acid supplement at least one month before conceiving and during pregnancy.  FABFOL® contains 500mcg of folic acid which is the recommended intake for the Australian diet.

Iodine

Iodine is an extremely important nutrient during pregnancy and early childhood. It helps your baby grow and ensures normal physical and mental development.  FABFOL® contains 150mcg of iodine to support the growth and development of your baby.

Iron

Iron is a mineral essential for everybody life. It is used by the body to transport oxygen, maintain healthy blood levels and release energy. Low iron levels can result in tiredness and lack of energy. FABFOL® contains 12mg of organic chelated iron that is easy to absorb and digest in the body.

Vitamin C

Helps increase the absorption of iron. Vitamin C is also involved in the making of new connective tissue and maintaining good metabolism, and is a powerful antioxidant.  FABFOL® contains 100mg of vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins (B1, B2, B6)

Energy boosting B group vitamins help to support increased energy requirements and helps to maintain general well being.  FABFOL® contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 to help maintain general wellbeing.

Zinc

To support and strengthen the immune system, which is important for hormone balance and building tissue and cells.FABFOL® contains zinc to help support the immune system.

My lovely sister in law also gave me a great book when I was pregnant – Feeding the bump that has some really nutritious recipes for pre, during and post pregnancy to help maintain a balanced diet.  That’s always the ideal right, but in the craziness of being a new mum, I figure a little extra support was a good thing.  Getting myself organised with healthy nutritious snacks  I could grab one handed and remembering to take my vitamins really helped me get through the early days as a sleep deprived new mum.

What worked for you to help you keep yourself healthy as a new mum?

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