The Best Postnatal Vitamins for 2023: What to Take During the "Fourth Trimester" and Beyond

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When it comes to a healthy pregnancy, prenatal vitamins top the list of must-have items when trying to conceive and while growing a human. But what about your health during the so-called "fourth" trimester, aka the 12 weeks after birth? Access to the best postnatal vitamins to support postpartum nutrition and care in the weeks and months following birth is incredibly important for long-term health. It's also a convenient way to replenish nutrients, boost energy levels, and support breastfeeding needs.

And while supplements are not designed to replace proper nutrition, the best postnatal vitamins can help fill nutrient gaps during this critical time. We put together this comprehensive guide on what to look for, as well as our top picks for the best postnatal vitamins.

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The Best Postnatal Vitamins - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Postnatal Vitamin - Ritual Essential Postnatal Vitamin

Postnatal Vitamin

SPECS

  • Price (rating scale below): $$
  • Flavor options (rating scale below): 1
  • Type: Capsule
  • Dosage: 2 capsules
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Zinc, Choline, Iodine, Biotin, Omega-3 DHA, Iron, Boron, Magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D3, E, and K2
  • Certifications: N/A

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If you're shopping for a postnatal supplement that checks all the boxes, then Ritual Essential Postnatal Vitamin is worth checking out. This fan favorite contains several key nutrients like choline, iodine, and DHA that are needed during postpartum and while breastfeeding. Ritual's Essential Postnatal Vitamin has 15 ingredients that are all traceable, ensuring you know exactly the quality of everything you're taking.

We appreciate the higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) found in this formula. The delayed-release capsule design is gentle on your stomach, allowing you to take it with or without food. We also like the added mint tab in every bottle to keep things fresh. Ritual is also the best subscription-based postnatal supplement, because they have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can cancel or change delivery dates as needed.

What We Like

  • Third-party tested
  • Gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and major allergen-free
  • 350mg DHA
  • Convenient subscription-based service

What We Don't Like

  • Lacking key nutrients like calcium and low in magnesium
  • DHA may cause an unpleasant aftertaste
  • Amount of choline is lower than other brands

BUY: Ritual Essential Postnatal Vitamin

Best Budget Postnatal Vitamin - Nature Made Postnatal

Nature Made Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Softgels
  • Dosage: 1 softgel
  • Key ingredients: DHA, Iron, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamins A, C, D3, E, and K, plus all 8 B vitamins
  • Certifications: USP-verified, cGMP Certified Lab

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Having a baby costs a lot of money. Fortunately, a good postnatal vitamin does not have to break the bank. This budget-friendly pick from Nature Made provides essential vitamins and minerals to support nursing, postpartum recovery, and overall health. The once-daily formula has a broad spectrum of nutrients, along with 200 milligrams of DHA and 60mg of EPA. It is very high in folate and vitamins D3 and B12, and contains 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, riboflavin, biotin, and pantothenic acid. Plus, it is USP-verified, which means the product contains the ingredients listed on the label in the declared potency and amounts.

And while we like that a 60-day supply costs less than $30, we don't like that some key nutrients like choline are included in very low amounts—only 10% of the recommended daily value for pregnant and lactating women.

What We Like

  • 60-day supply for under $30
  • Contains 200mg DHA
  • Broad spectrum of vitamins

What We Don't Like

  • Only 10% recommended daily value of choline
  • Low amounts of calcium and magnesium
  • Large-sized softgel

BUY: Nature Made Postnatal

Best Postnatal Vitamin for Breastfeeding - MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal

MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor Options: N/A
  • Type: Tablet
  • Dosage: 2 tablets
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Iodine, Choline, Organic Moringa Leaf, and vitamins C, D3, and E
  • Certifications: Certified B Corporation, Certified Glyphosate Residue Free, Certified Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, USDA Organic Certification

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Breastfeeding requires extra calories, vitamins, and minerals. While food provides an excellent source of many valuable nutrients, it can fall short of meeting your daily needs. MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal includes many critical nutrients to support you during the fourth trimester and beyond. This formula contains 100% or more of the recommended daily value of vitamins D3, E, K, B6, and B12, thiamin, riboflavin, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, and chromium. Additionally, Baby and Me contains vitamins A and C, niacin, folate, choline, iron, zinc, boron, lutein, organic moringa leaf for lactation support, and megafood.

MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal is a great supplement for the cost. However, it is lower in choline than other formulas, and it does not contain omega-3 fatty acids—both important nutrients during the postpartum period and while breastfeeding.

What We Like

  • Nutrients to support milk production
  • Contains real food ingredients like oranges and broccoli
  • High quality for an affordable price

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain omega-3s
  • Amount of choline is lower than other brands

BUY: MegaFood Baby & Me Postnatal

Best Vegetarian Postnatal Vitamin - Mama Bird Postnatal

Mama Bird Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Caplet
  • Dosage: 1 caplet
  • Key ingredients: Magnesium, Iodine, Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Fruit & Vegetable Blend, and Vitamins A, C, D3, E, and B
  • Certifications: cGMP Certified Lab

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Reading the fine print on ingredient labels is essential for vegetarians. That's why we chose Mama Bird Postnatal as our top pick for the best vegetarian postnatal vitamin. Not only is this formula vegan, but it's also free from GMOs, major allergens, and artificial colors and flavors. Plus, Mama Bird Postnatal contains 100% or more recommended daily value of vitamins E, B6, and B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, and zinc. Additionally, this vegan postnatal vitamin has an organic fruit and vegetable blend along with a live enzyme and probiotic blend. And you only need to take one caplet daily.

While Mama Bird Postnatal has some impressive ingredients, it is unfortunately low in choline, calcium, magnesium, and selenium, all key nutrients during the postpartum period. This formula is also lacking EPA and DHA (omega-3 fatty acids), which is found in several other brands.

What We Like

  • Contains probiotics and digestive enzymes
  • Easy-to-swallow caplets
  • Free of soy, yeast, fish/shellfish, sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, nuts, GMOs, gluten, dairy
  • Natural whole-food based

What We Don't Like

  • Low levels of some key vitamins and minerals
  • No DHA

BUY: Mama Bird Postnatal

Best Chewable Postnatal Vitamin - Pink Stork Postnatal

Pink Stork Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: 1
  • Type: Gummy
  • Dosage: 2 gummies
  • Key ingredients: Vitamin C, B vitamins, Zinc
  • Certifications: cGMP Certified Lab

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Being able to chew your postnatal is a lifesaver for many new parents who tend to grab and go between baby duties. Pink Stork Total Postnatal Gummies are easy to eat, taste good, and are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, or GMOs. Plus, the bottle contains pineapple, orange, and strawberry gummies, so you get a variety of flavors. They contain vitamins C, B6, and B12, niacin, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, and zinc to support postpartum wellness, immunity, and energy levels.

While Pink Story gummies are convenient and flavorful, they do come with 4 grams of added sugar, which is something to consider if you already get a lot of sugar in your diet. Also, this product is lacking in some key nutrients found in other postnatal formulas like vitamin D, DHA, and choline.

What We Like

  • Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, GMOs
  • Ingredients for lactation support
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Sweet, fruity flavors

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain DHA
  • 4g of added sugar
  • Not as comprehensive as other formulas

BUY: Pink Stork Postnatal

Best Gummy Postnatal Vitamin - SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Gummy

SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Gummy

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: 2
  • Type: Gummy
  • Dosage: 4 gummies
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Choline, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K
  • Certifications: cGMP Certified Lab, FDA-registered lab

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Need a formula that spans pregnancy and beyond? These gummy vitamins from SmartyPants are a great choice for both prenatal and postnatal needs. They are made with 18 essential nutrients including omega-3 EPA/DHA, folate, iodine, and selenium, and vitamins A, C, D3, B12, and K—they taste good, too! We like that they are free of GMO, gluten, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy, peanuts, wheat, fish, and tree nut allergens.

That said, we're not huge fans of chewing four gummies a day, but this is the recommended dosage to get the maximum nutrients. SmartyPants Prenatal is also low in choline—only meeting 10% of the recommended daily value for prenatal and lactating women.

What We Like

  • Free of GMO, gluten, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy, peanuts, wheat, fish, and tree nuts
  • Contains omega-3 DHA and EPA
  • Broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals
  • Several flavor options

What We Don't Like

  • High in sugar
  • 1 serving is 4 gummies
  • Low in some key postnatal nutrients

BUY: SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Gummy

Best Postnatal Vitamin with Iron - Zahler Female Totality

Zahler Female Totality

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsule
  • Dosage: 4 capsules
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Dong Quai, Shatavari Root, Chaste Tree Fruit, D-Chiro-Inositol Caronositol, and Vitamins A, D3, and E
  • Certifications: N/A

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If you're not getting enough iron from food, you may need a postnatal vitamin with iron. The Zahler Female Totality contains 9 milligrams of iron, which is 50% of the recommended daily value. Designed to support cycle regulation and ovulation, Female Totality has high levels of vitamins D3, E, B6, and B12, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. They added nutritional compounds like Dong Quai, Shatavari, Chaste Tree Fruit Extract, and more for female hormonal system support.

While this formula has some great ingredients, you need to take four capsules to get all of the nutrients. Moreover, the iron per serving may be too low for some people who need a higher dose.

What We Like

  • Contains ingredients to support cycle regulation and hormones
  • Free of dairy, GMO, soy, gluten
  • Nutritional balance for ovulation

What We Don't Like

  • 1 serving is 4 capsules
  • Lacks key nutrients for breastfeeding support

BUY: Zahler Female Totality

Best Postnatal Vitamin for Digestion - One a Day Postnatal

One a Day Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Softgel
  • Dosage: 1 softgel
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Calcium, Iron, Iodide, Zinc, and Vitamins A, C, D, and E
  • Certifications: N/A

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One a Day Postnatal Complete is specially formulated to support postpartum health and energy during breastfeeding and the fourth trimester. It contains B vitamins to metabolize protein, fat, and carbs and to help convert food to fuel. Omega-3 DHA is added for healthy brain function and breastfeeding support. Your hair, skin, and nails will benefit from vitamins A, C, and E, biotin, and zinc. Plus, you'll meet the percent daily value for folate, vitamin D, B6, thiamin, and riboflavin and come close to 100% daily value in iodine, zinc, niacin, and vitamin A.

We like that you only need to take one softgel daily. That said, these softgels are on the larger side, so if swallowing pills is a problem, you may want to try a different brand.

What We Like

  • Only requires 1 softgel daily
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup, synthetic colors, wheat and gluten, dairy, and eggs
  • Contains omega-3 DHA

What We Don't Like

  • Softgels are on the larger side
  • May leave a lingering aftertaste
  • Some ingredients do not meet the percent daily value for lactating women

BUY: One a Day Postnatal

Best Postnatal Vitamin with Choline - Vitamin IQ Mommy Brain Postnatal

Vitamin IQ Mommy Brain Postnatal

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Capsule
  • Dosage: 1-2 capsules
  • Key ingredients: Choline, DHA, Phosphatidylserine
  • Certifications: cGMP Certified Lab, FDA registered facility

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Choline is an essential nutrient needed in higher amounts in lactating individuals compared to non-lactating people. However, while choline is present in some foods, it can be difficult to get the recommended amounts to support lactation and the postnatal period. That's why we chose Vitamin IQ Mommy Brain as the best postnatal vitamin with choline. Designed for cognitive health and enhanced mood and energy, Mommy Brain contains two active forms of choline: GPC choline and CDP choline. It also has 100 milligrams of DHA for brain health and 50mg of phosphatidylserine for stress support.

Although Vitamin IQ Mommy Brain is an excellent source of choline, it lacks other key vitamins and minerals needed after giving birth. So be aware that you may need to purchase a separate vitamin supplement to meet all your postnatal needs.

What We Like

  • Support for memory, focus, clarity
  • Only requires 1 capsule per day
  • Free of preservatives, gluten, yeast, soy, dairy, coloring, flavoring
  • Contains 2 active forms of choline

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain essential vitamins and minerals
  • Need to take another supplement to get full spectrum of nutrients

BUY: Vitamin IQ Mommy Brain Postnatal

Best Liquid Postnatal Vitamin - Mary Ruth's Prenatal & Postnatal Multivitamin

Mary Ruth's Prenatal & Postnatal Multivitamin

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: 1
  • Type: Liquid
  • Dosage: 2 tbsp
  • Key ingredients: B vitamins, Choline, Calcium, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium, and vitamins A, C, D3, and E
  • Certifications: cGMP Certification

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If swallowing pills or chewing gummies prevents you from taking a postnatal vitamin, then why not try a liquid formula? Mary Ruth's Prenatal & Postnatal Liquid Multivitamin is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals to support mom and baby during pregnancy and beyond. This once-daily postnatal supplement contains 100% daily value for a lactating person of the B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and manganese. It also has adequate levels of vitamin A, C, D3, and iodine. However, this formula is on the low end for choline, calcium, and magnesium.

While a liquid formula might be the only way some people get their daily dose of vitamins, Mary Ruth's Prenatal & Postnatal does not contain DHA, so you'll need to take another supplement to get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Finally, the liquid itself has a mild berry flavor, but some reviewers note a thick consistency that might take some getting used to.

What We Like

  • Free of soy, dairy, gluten, GMO, sugar
  • Broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals
  • Nutritional support for both mom and baby
  • Easy alternative to pills and gummies

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain DHA
  • Thick liquid consistency

BUY: Mary Ruth's Prenatal & Postnatal Multivitamin

Best Postnatal Vitamin for Hair Loss - Honest Company Postnatal Hair Wellness

Honest Company Postnatal Hair Wellness

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options: N/A
  • Type: Softgel
  • Dosage: 2 softgels
  • Key ingredients: Keranat Oil (sunflower seed oil, millet oil, wheat extract, rosemary extract)
  • Certifications: N/A

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Hair loss is a reality for many people during the postpartum period. And while trips to the salon may not be a top priority after giving birth, taking steps to care for your hair is doable with the Honest Company Postnatal Hair Wellness supplement. Made with KeranatTM Oil, this simple formula may help improve scalp dryness and overall hair condition. Two softgels give you 300 milligrams of KeranatTM Oil, which contains millet oil, sunflower oil, wheat extract, and rosemary extract. You'll need to be patient to see results. According to the company's website, it takes about 12 weeks of use to notice any difference.

Adding Honest Company Postnatal Hair Wellness to your supplement lineup is a great way to boost hair and scalp health. However, it does not contain the vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients needed to support overall postpartum health. So be aware that you may need to purchase a separate vitamin supplement to meet all your postnatal needs.

What We Like

  • Supports healthy hair and scalp
  • Free of GMO, artificial colors, artificial flavors
  • Vegan

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain essential vitamins and minerals
  • Need to take another supplement to get full spectrum of nutrients

BUY: Honest Company Postnatal Hair Wellness

How to Take Postnatal Vitamins

Unless your doctor or a registered dietician has given you special instructions on how to take a postnatal vitamin, you should follow the dosage instructions that come with the product. Most postnatal supplements require between one and four doses a day. Some are fine to take on an empty stomach, while others recommend taking it with food. Here are some additional tips on how to take a postnatal vitamin:

  • Aim to take your postnatal vitamin at the same time each day.
  • If you experience nausea after taking a postnatal vitamin, take it with food.
  • Opt for a smaller tablet or softgel if you have trouble swallowing pills.
  • Try a gummy, liquid, or chewable vitamin if swallowing a pill is not feasible.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends nursing mothers get about 16 cups of water per day.

Essential Nutrients for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding parents need more calories to meet their nutritional needs. They may also need higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. And while all of the ingredients included in a postnatal product are potentially useful, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a breastfeeding parent's need for choline and iodine increase during lactation.

More specifically, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 290 mcg of iodine and 550mg of choline daily for lactating parents throughout the first year postpartum.

In addition to choline and iodine, higher amounts of vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, potassium, and zinc, among others, are required for lactating women, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The amount of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) you need also increases during lactation.

How We Rate Supplements


Price/affordability (scale of $-$$$)

Prices depend on a number of factors, and tend to fluctuate over time, so we've kept our affordability rating scale simple so you can easily see how products compare:

$ = under $1 per serving
$$ = $1-2 per serving
$$$ = over $2 per serving

Flavor Options (scale of 1-3)

When it comes to dietary supplements that you take frequently, or even daily, options are important. And while your protein powder or pre-workout doesn't have to taste good to be effective, having several flavors to choose from can make it easier to stick with your fitness and health goals.

N/A = Unflavored
1 = 1-2 flavor options
2 = 3-4 flavor options
3 = 5 or more flavor options

FAQs About Postnatal Vitamins


What's the difference between prenatal and postnatal vitamins?

Besides the packaging and target audience, there are a few notable differences between prenatal and postnatal vitamins. For starters, postnatal vitamins may have slightly higher amounts of vitamins A, B12, C, D, and K, magnesium, choline, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Some postnatal formulas also include ingredients to support lactation. Prenatal vitamins, on the other hand, are designed to support pregnancy, a growing baby, and an expectant mother. A prenatal supplement will typically have higher amounts of nutrients like folic acid and iron.

Are postnatal vitamins worth it?

Whether or not a postnatal vitamin is worth it depends on your individual needs and overall health. That said, when taken regularly, a postnatal vitamin that fits your postpartum needs may be beneficial. Some supplements only contain key vitamins and minerals, while others include herbs, whole-food ingredients, and nutrients.

Do I need postnatal vitamins?

If you have a nutrient-dense, well-rounded diet, you may only need a simple postnatal vitamin to fill some gaps. However, if your diet is lacking in certain nutrients, you may need a more comprehensive supplement. Plus, if you're breastfeeding, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says your OB/GYN may recommend that you continue to take your prenatal multivitamin. That's why it's always a good idea to talk with your doctor or a registered dietician to find out which postnatal vitamin is right for you.

What should be in a postnatal vitamin?

Most postnatal vitamins contain nutrients to support postpartum health and breastfeeding. This may include vitamins A, C, D, and E, all B vitamins, iron, iodine, choline, and DHA.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About the Author

Sara Lindberg

Sara is a writer who focuses on health, wellness, and fitness. She holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master's degree in counseling. Her work has been featured in SELF, Healthline.com, ACTIVE.com, Verywell, LIVESTRONG, Headspace, Health, INSIDER, Men's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling Magazine, SheKnows, and Everyday Health among others.

See More from Sara

Sara is a writer who focuses on health, wellness, and fitness. She holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master's degree in counseling. Her work has been featured in SELF, Healthline.com, ACTIVE.com, Verywell, LIVESTRONG, Headspace, Health, INSIDER, Men's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling Magazine, SheKnows, and Everyday Health among others.

See More from Sara

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