When I became pregnant with my oldest nearly 17 years ago, the first thing I did after my first doctor’s appointment was run to the pharmacy and get my prescription for prenatal vitamins filled. Taking those rather large horse pills once a day was annoying, yes, but it was a badge of honor that I wore proudly as a mom-to-be. After I gave birth, my doctor suggested that I continuing taking the vitamins as long as I was nursing. Soon thereafter, I became pregnant again…and nursed again…and then become pregnant a third time…and nursed that baby too. In the summer of 2003, I was glad to relinquish the prenatal vitamins because they were a symbol of the past three years of pregnancies. I was happy to finally not be pregnant or nursing or taking vitamins that actually required a prescription. When I returned to work full-time, I stopped taking the vitamins and starting taking a regular multivitamin.
Note: I realize I’m dating myself, but prenatal vitamins did require a prescription way back then when they can now be purchased over-the-counter. To make it more convenient, you can even purchase prenatal vitamins from Diapers.Com.
While I’m sure that the multivitamin served its basic purpose for my postpartum body, I noticed something very quickly. I didn’t have as much energy, I saw more hair breakage than I had seen in several months, and routine blood tests revealed that I needed to take supplements for vitamin d, calcium, and low iron.
After my youngest was born, I ended up taking four vitamins a day compared to the one I was taking when I was pregnant. How ironic. Continue reading