Postpartum Vitamin and Mineral Depletion, Oh My!

If you have ever had a baby you know the incredible strength and knowledge that the human body is capable of. The baby will receive everything it needs to grow and develop from its mother. If you are not replacing those essential nutrients with quality vitamins and minerals it can leave your own body lacking and feeling drained physically, mentally and/or emotionally. These problems can go on for years if not discovered or treated and can get worse if your body goes through multiple pregnancies without every giving it what it needs nutritionally.

The following are the most common micronutrients that are lacking postpartum in order of importance:

1) Iron – Is utilized for many different proteins and enzymes, liver detoxification and is a major component of hemoglobin. You may find yourself tired and lacking energy if you don’t have enough of this mineral.

2) Zinc – Is important for overall body function and you may experience a variety of symptoms from hair loss, to anxiousness, or recurrent infections if not restored.

3) Vitamin B12 – Aids in building and repairing of the body as well as immune system function. You may experience confusion, forgetfulness, “mom brain”, heart palpitations, dizziness, or fatigue if you are lacking Vitamin B12.

4) Vitamin D – This vitamin works closely with calcium in our body to create strong bones and muscles. Signs that you may be deficient in Vitamin D include bone or muscle pain, weakness, or backaches.

[ebs-notification type=”alert-info” close=”false” ]Did you know that exposing your belly and thighs to the sun is the most effective way of obtaining Vitamin D? Your body produces the most Vitamin D in those regions. You should refrain from showering for at least 10 minutes after sun-exposure or else you will wash away all the newly developed Vitamin D that has formed on the surface of your skin.[/ebs-notification]

5) Copper – Is essential during pregnancy. It is necessary for blood vessels and creating the placenta. It is rare for this to be depleted postpartum and is more likely that you may have an overabundance of this mineral. You may have an imbalance of copper if you notice skin sensitivity to nickel, ringing sensation in your ears, anxiousness or mood swings, or difficulty falling or staying asleep.

6) Magnesium – Is required for proper muscle and nerve function. This mineral is also needed for many of the other vitamins and minerals to work the way they are supposed to. Magnesium is often depleted because it has so many jobs that our body runs through it rather quickly. There are many symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency such as irritability, depression, difficulty concentrating, headaches or neck pain, and muscle spasms or tremors.

7) Trace elements including iodine, selenium, molybdenum, and manganese – these elements are responsible for balancing out hormones and have very specific roles.

8) Other B Vitamins – Regulate mood and energy levels. You may experience lethargy, depression, or fatigue if you are lacking these vitamins.

9) Vitamin C – Is an antioxidant that is critical for strength of ligaments, connective tissue, and in development of neurotransmitters or important brain chemicals.

10) Fat-soluble vitamins, especially A, E and K2 – Aid in immune health and blood vessel structure.

Levels for these micronutrients can be obtained via blood or urine tests to confirm a diagnosis. If you have ever been pregnant and haven’t checked your levels you may be missing a vital vitamin or mineral that is affecting your health.

Serrallach, Oscar. The Postnatal Depletion Cure. New York; 2018.

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