Postpartum care is just as important as pregnancy care!
When I gave birth to Willow, I stopped all my supplements that I had been taking so diligently throughout the pregnancy. I'd been taking a prenatal, an iron supplement and a fish oil - and stopped all of them after the first week.
I thought well the pregnancy is over and I was taking those vitamins for the pregnancy and growing a healthy babe, so there's no point anymore.
But this was so far from the truth!
I was breastfeeding, and what I didn’t realise was that my nutritional requirements in breastfeeding were actually HIGHER than they were in pregnancy. And, I had lost a fair bit of blood during birth, but no one had followed up with me in early postpartum with a blood test so I didn’t have any confirmation or knowledge that I needed that iron, desperately (I was actually anaemic and was for many months but I normalised how I was feeling as I thought that was normal tiredness for a new mum).
Progressively through my postpartum, my physical health deteriorated. I felt exhausted, my immune system got worse, I had PMS, headaches, feeling really flat and so so very anxious. I breastfed Willow for a few years, and was just SO depleted as I wasn’t filling my nutritional buckets back up again, and I don’t believe my diet was cutting it at the time.
When I was pregnant with the twins, I mapped out my entire postpartum and how I was going to prevent my physical health from going downhill again and a huge part of the plan was a supplement regime that I was sticking to for the first entire year of postpartum. I was so worried I’d feel the same way as I did with Willow, but this time I’d have twins and a toddler too. But honestly, after the twins were born, I’d never felt better! Not once did I feel the way I did after I had Willow. I just felt the standard sleep deprivation tiredness, and that was it. These two vastly different experiences showed me the power of having a solid postpartum where my health was at the forefront.
My message here is please don’t stop taking your prenatal once your baby is born, you need it equally in postpartum, and especially so if you are breastfeeding!