Vitamins and Herbs

Prenatal Vitamins

It is vital to continue taking your prenatal vitamins during your postpartum period. It is particularly important to consume extra iron and calcium especially if you are breastfeeding. If you are a vegetarian it is also essential to supplement with vitamin B 12. It is essential to make sure you are getting sufficient vitamins and minerals through supplements along with a healthy nutritious diet.

 

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that we require for our bodies to work optimally. During the third trimester of your pregnancy, development of your baby’s nervous system uses these nutrients in great amounts. It is possible that these essential fatty acids can be depleted by the time you deliver.

 

Since essential fatty acids are not made in our bodies and are inefficiently converted from ALA to EPA and DHA, we need to incorporate it in our diet or through fish oil supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout your body. EPA and DHA are primarily found in fish and algae. You may also regularly take fish oil supplements that contain sufficient amounts of DHA and EPA. Consuming these supplements will not only support your overall health, but extensive studies also suggest it helps prevent postpartum depression.

 

 

 

Herbs

  

Breastfeeding and Herbs

 Many new moms question whether it is safe to consume herbs while breastfeeding. Milk is made from your blood according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. If the mother is especially weak during postpartum and is Qi and blood deficient, she may have insufficient lactation. This imbalance can be prevented or improved through the ingestion of herbs that enrich and nourish your blood and supplement your Qi. Since the herbs help bring you back to a state of balance and harmony, this will result in better quality breast milk. The herbs that are unsafe for breastfeeding are those that substantially decrease breast milk supply, including barley sprout, oregano, parsley, peppermint, sage, spearmint, and thyme. You also need to avoid herbs that are overly bitter and cold, including rhubarb or da huang in Chinese, because ingestion may cause diarrhea in your baby. The herbs that are beneficial are neutral, warm, or sweet in properties and safe to use during breastfeeding.

 

If you are still concerned about consuming herbs while breastfeeding, you may avoid nursing 60 to 100 minutes after ingesting herbs. For the first 30 minutes after ingestion, the concentration of herbs is at its greatest in your blood stream and milk. It begins to reduce after that. It is beneficial to take herbs immediately following your nursing session so the blood and milk concentrations can peak and then fall by the time your baby is ready to feed.

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine principles, they follow the adage that in order to treat the child, you must treat the mother first. Therefore, whatever herbs support the mother’s health will in turn create more nutritious breast milk.

 

Don’t take tonic herbs if you are suffering from a cold or infection

You should avoid taking tonic herbs if you are suffering from a cold or infection. Tonifying herbs are utilized to strengthen your body and build your overall immune system. While it is essential to take herbs to build resistance from pathogens, when you are suffering from an illness, taking tonifying herbs will strengthen the pathogen and make you feel worse. It will prolong your cold or infection so it is critical to stop taking tonic herbs if you are dealing with an illness.  

 

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