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Prenatal vs. Postnatal Vitamins vs. Multivitamins: What’re the Differences and How to Choose?

Prenatal vs. Postnatal Vitamins vs. Multivitamins: What’re the Differences and How to Choose?

    Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains should provide the vitamins your body needs. However, it's not always possible to eat healthy meals, especially for special groups, especially for special groups, such as the pregnant women, and the women who has recently given birth. So taking a vitamin supplements is crucial. Vitamin supplements can fill nutritional gaps and make sure people get their daily allowance of underconsumed nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, E and K, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, choline and potassium. But what's the difference between prenatal, postnatal vitamins, and multivitamins? In this article, we will discuss prenatal vs postnatal vitamins vs multivitamins, how they differ from one another, and when you should be taking each of them.

Cover Photo:wirestock on freepik.com
 

Prenatal vs. Postnatal Vitamins vs. Multivitamins

Prenatals and postnatals are different compared to a regular multivitamin because prenatal vitamin and postnatal vitamin (a.k.a. prenatal multi or postnatal multi ) contain different amounts of certain key nutrients that are tailored especially for expecting mothers. By comparison, a regular multivitamin may contain these nutrients, but in different amounts.

Prenatal Vitamins vs. Postnatal Vitamins

The difference between prenatal and postnatal vitamins is actually pretty simple. In short, prenatals are designed to be taken prior to and during pregnancy, while postnatals should be taken for six months after birth (or longer if you are breastfeeding).

About Prenatal Vitamins 

Prenatal supplements serve two primary functions; to support the health of the mother and promote the development of the baby.

Some examples of the essential nutrients a prenatal vitamin should include are folate, which can help prevent neural tube defects and Docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) which assists with brain growth and cognitive development.

Additionally, iron supplementation will assist in preventing you from becoming anaemic, while also supporting the baby's development. In fact, during pregnancy, your body's total demand for iron increases a lot, so your prenatal vitamin should help ensure you are getting an adequate daily dose.

Prenatal vitamins are recommended to be taken for the duration of a pregnancy, and additionally in the three month leading up to conception. Getting your macro and micronutrients in is important through all stages of life, but even more so during pregnancy.

About Postnatal Vitamins 

Postnatal vitamins serve a number of important functions when it comes to the nutritional needs of both new mothers and the breastfed infants. Many postnatal vitamins will contain similar ingredients to your prenatal, but they will have different amounts to cater for your needs in this new stage.

The best postnatal vitamins should contain nutrients such as iron (to prevent anaemia and rebuild iron stores after birth) B vitamins to support cell formations and energy levels, and vitamin D (which promotes healthy bones and immune systems, and can support mental wellbeing). Additionally, nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and choline should all be included in your postnatal vitamins to assist in your postpartum recovery and overall health and wellbeing.

Women should consider switching to a postnatal vitamins as soon as they give birth, and continue taking one for six months postpartum (or longer, if they’re continuing to breastfeed).

Where to buy Vitamins?

You can go iHerb.com, Walmart.comWalgreens or Amazon.com to purchase vitamin supplements. Or you can buy vitamins at brands' official website.

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Best Prenatal Vitamins 

1. Thorne Research, Basic Prenatal, 90 Capsules

  • For Pregnant and Lactating Women

  • Dietary Supplement

  • Women's Health

  • Foundational

  • Gluten Free

  • eGMP Certified

  • NSF Certified

  • TGA Certified

A gentle and effective daily multi- for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are nursing.

A well-researched multi- formulated to nourish mom and support baby’s development, from pre-conception through nursing. It’s made without the additives and coatings found in mainstream prenatal supplements.

Pre-conception, pregnancy, and nursing are critical times to optimize a mother's health and nutrition, which is important for both for mom and baby. Overall nutritional and caloric needs greatly increase during this time. However, it is often difficult for a woman to fulfill her daily nutrient needs through diet alone.

Thorne’s Basic Prenatal is specifically formulated with the special needs of conception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding in mind. Their formula contains well-absorbed, tissue-ready vitamins and minerals that are gentle on the stomach and non-constipating. Benefits of Thorne’s Basic Prenatal at each stage:

1. Pre-Conception

  • Daily multi-vitamin/mineral support for a woman of childbearing age.

  • Provides beneficial nutrients that are important from the moment of conception.

2. First Trimester

  • Folate facilitates healthy brain and spinal cord development. Basic Prenatal includes the bioactive form of folate – 5-MTHF.

  • Vitamins C, B6, and K have been shown to benefit “morning sickness.”

3. Second Trimester

  • Contains the well-absorbed and well-researched iron bisglycinate to meet a pregnant woman’s increased need for iron.

4. Third Trimester

  • Provides the extra nutrients needed for continued healthy fetal development and to prepare mom and baby for birth.

5. After Pregnancy through Nursing

  • Nutritional support for increased demand for calcium and vitamin D in the diet.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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2. Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, RAW Prenatal, 180 Vegetarian Capsules

  • Raw Whole Food Supplement

  • Live Probiotics & Enzymes

  • 23 Organically Grown Fruits & Veggies

  • No Binders or Fillers

  • Non GMO Project Verified

  • NSF Certified Gluten-Free

  • Whole Food Multivitamin

  • Nutritional Support For Mom & Baby

  • Kosher

  • Dietary Supplement

  • Certified B Corporation

Certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal is a comprehensive whole food multi-nutrient formula, specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of women during pre-conception, pregnancy and lactation, providing the nourishment to support both mom and her developing baby.

  • 23 Powdered organically grown fruits and vegetables add supporting antioxidants, vitamins and nutrient cofactors.

  • 800 mcg Folate to Support Healthy Neural Tube Development

  • 27 mg Stomach-Friendly Iron for Blood and Reproductive System Health

  • 1,400  IU Vitamin D3 for Optimal Dietary Calcium Absorption

  • Probiotic Immune System Support for Mom and Baby

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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3. 21st Century, PreNatal with Folic Acid, 60 Tablets

  • Gluten Free 

  • Before, During & After Pregnancy

  • Compare VS. Stuart PreNatal® 

  • Dietary Supplement

  • Guaranteed Quality Laboratory Tested

21st Century has been providing quality vitamins and supplements to health minded consumers for over 20 years. They use only superior raw materials, cutting edge formulations and unique packaging: square vanilla-scented bottles, color-coordinated caps and easy-to-read labels. Their comprehensive product line offers the latest vitamin, mineral and specialty supplements, as well as standardized herbal extracts in vegetarian capsules, herbal slimming teas and natural deodorants. 

21st Century's PreNatal contains 800 mcg of Folic Acid (200% daily value) and will provide vitamin and mineral supplementation throughout pregnancy and during the postnatal period for both the lactating and nonlactating mothers.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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Best Postnatal Vitamins 

1. Fairhaven Health, Milkies, Nursing Postnatal , 60 Capsules

  • Breastfeeding Essentials for Moms, by Moms

  • Nutritional Support for Healthy Lactation

  • Dietary Supplement

  • One Month Supply 

Nursing Postnatal is a comprehensive multivitamin for breastfeeding mothers to maintain their own health and produce nutritious breast milk—because you’re still eating for two!

Nursing Postnatal Breastfeeding Multivitamin was designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers. It provides comprehensive vitamin and mineral support, including 100% Daily Value of several vitamins and minerals, and extra amounts of key vitamins known to be especially important for breastfeeding mothers, including Vitamin D and the B vitamins.

Similar to Nursing Blend, Nursing Postnatal contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals in just the right amounts to keep mom and baby healthy, but does not contain the herbal blend found in Nursing Blend. This breastfeeding multivitamin is intended for nursing moms looking for nutritional support who have no concerns about the quantity of the breast milk they are producing.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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2. MegaFood, Baby & Me 2, 60 Tablets

  • Certified B Corporation

  • Non GMO Project Verified

  • Glyphosate Residue Free

  • Tested 125+ Pesticides & Herbicides

  • NSF - Certified Gluten-Free

  • Vegetarian

  • Kosher

  • Dairy Free - Soy Free

  • For Mom & Developing Baby 

  • Supports Optimal Nutrition Before & During Pregnancy 

  • Choline & Methylated Folate to Support Fetal Health 

  • Dietary Supplement 

MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Multi supports optimal nutrition before and during pregnancy with specific levels of iron, vitamins B12, B6, and D3. Choline and methylated folate (the active form of folic acid) help support fetal health. 

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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3. NATURELO, Postnatal Multivitamin for Breastfeeding Moms, 180 Vegetarian Capsules

  • Premium Supplements

  • Dietary Supplement

  • Complete Formula

  • Gentle on The Stomach

  • No GMOs

  • No Soy

  • No Gluten

  • Vegan Friendly

  • No Coloring, Preservatives or Flavoring

  • Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians

  • GMP - Good Manufacturing Practice - Consistent Quality

NATURELO has a unique approach to formulating their supplements — they always use the cleanest most bioavailable ingredients whenever possible so that you can get the most benefit from each supplement.

Sometimes called the “4th trimester,” the months just after birth require extra nutritional support to help mom recover from pregnancy and labor and support baby’s development during breastfeeding.

Their full-spectrum formula includes 24 vitamins and minerals in healthy, meaningful amounts to help replenish nutrients depleted during pregnancy and restore mom’s strength and vitality while meeting the high nutritional demands of lactation.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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Best Regular Multivitamins 

1. Life Extension, Two-Per-Day Multivitamin, 120 Capsules

  • Gluten Free

  • Non GMO LE Certified

  • High Potency Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement

  • Dietary Supplement

Life Extension Two Per Day formula gives you a broad spectrum of the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the body needs. In order to support optimal health and well-being, you need a science-based dose of vitamins and minerals every day.

Their Two-Per-Days meet or exceed the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for nearly every ingredient where an RDA exists.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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2. Nature's Way, Alive! Once Daily, Women's Ultra Potency Complete Multivitamin, 60 Tablets

  • Nature's Way Alive! Women's Ultra Potency Complete Daily Multivitamin supports eye health, bone health, skin health, immune health, heart health, and energy metabolism.

  • Formulated with high potency B-vitamins, including the active form of B12 (methylcobalamin) to help convert food into fuel, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin E, zinc, and biotin, as well as food-based powder blends.

  • Women take 1 tablet daily, preferably with food, to support whole body nutrition.

  • Made with wholesome ingredients: Gluten-free. No artificial colors.

Nature’s Way is a trusted health partner that believes healthy starts inside. Get the essential vitamins, minerals, and supplements you need to thrive!

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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3. NOW Foods, ADAM, Superior Men's Multi, 180 Softgels

  • With Saw Palmetto, Plant Sterols, Lycopene & CoQ10

  • Gentler and Easier to Swallow & Absorb

  • A Dietary Supplement

  • Kosher - Contains Gelatin

  • Family Owned Since 1968

  • Halal

  • Quality GMP Assured

Men's Multi Vitamin (90 softgels). Includes Saw Palmetto, Plant Sterols, Lycopene, Nettle Root and CoQ10.

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Source:iherb.com

Supplement Facts

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