Choosing Postpartum Supplements Like A Nutritionist

With so many options and opinions, how does a new mom decide what’s best for her? As a licensed integrative nutritionist, I’ve spent countless hours teaching clients how to look at the back label of supplement bottles instead of just the promotional info on the front.

If you are breastfeeding, your prenatal vitamin may cover your postpartum needs, but let’s take a peek into what to look for in an ideal supplement. And remember, both calorie and fluid needs increase if you are breast-feeding.

B vitamins support energy from food, as well as protect the brain and liver. Ideally, B vitamin supplements should be in their methyl form, which is the active form of the nutrient. Many people do not easily convert non-methyl Bs (such as Folate and Cyanocobalamin) into their bio-available forms (the kind your body can actually use). 

 Instead of: Choose:
Folate or folic acid Methyltetrahydrofolate or L5 MTHF
Cyanocobalamin Methylcobalamin or possibly adenosylcobalamin
Pyridoxine Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate or p5p


Minerals are important for bone maintenance, cardiac function, and immunity and in general. They are not easily absorbed, thus needing a chelating (AKA binding) agent to help with transportation within your cells and tissues. Oxides are very common and inexpensive forms of minerals. However, they are poorly absorbed.  I often liken an oxide chelate to rust, and who wants rust inside their body??

 Instead of: Choose:
Ferrous Oxide Ferrous bis-glycinate
Magnesium Oxide Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate


Fish oils come last, but definitely not least. While the jury is still out on whether fish oils can help to prevent postpartum depression, it is known that both DHA and EPA are important for brain development and immune function. Many people do not obtain the recommended amounts of these important fatty acids through the diet, so quality supplementation may be beneficial.  It’s very important to look for molecularly distilled and cold water sources to ensure that contamination is mitigated. You can read more on this here and here

There are good companies with these bioavailable supplements available, but one word of caution is to NOT purchase from knock-off discount companies because often-times, discounted supplements are not handled or warehoused properly and may be mislabeled. 

I would be most happy to help you sort through the maze of supplementation! Remember, supplements are not a substitute for food. They assist your food to be digested and absorbed for energy, repair and your baby’s growth.  

Yours in health,



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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Kudos.

About the author

Julie Freeman is a licensed integrative nutritionist with graduate education in psychology, counseling and education. Post-graduate concentration has been in functional medicine, with completion and certification in this discipline. She has over 40 years of experience in the field of nutrition, counseling and health promotion. Additionally, she is certified in Mind-Body Medicine, Yoga and Reiki. She has authored two cookbooks. One with a focus on balanced meals and the other full of healthy, low glycemic desserts and snacks. Julie has a passion and knack for creating meals that are eye-appealing, delicious and healthy. Her third book, Sunflowers, Sapphires and Seraphim, is her personal story of transformation – an opportunity to share and inspire hope for others faced with life’s challenges.

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