A very commonly asked question is:


A-The short answer is that your body has donated lots of its nutrient reserves to make your baby’s body and placenta and you want to replenish your nutrient reserves so that you can enjoy the miracle that is your new baby and be healthy yourself. Also, it is very important to prevent immediate and future health problems by taking a high potency postnatal nutrient program to replenish these nutrient reserves. Most doctors recommend just continuing to take your prenatal vitamin after giving birth. In our experience, prenatal vitamins do not contain enough high quality nutrients to replenish postpartum nutritional needs.

Here is the more detailed answer from our articles section:


by Dr. Dean Raffelock

Throughout the past 30 years in private practice, hundreds of women have told me they felt that their current health problems started soon after the birth of their child. The child may have been her first or fifth, and might now be a teenager or even a grown man or woman, but the mother remembers the postpartum onset of her symptoms as if it were yesterday.

The symptoms that usually start within the first to twelfth postpartum months vary widely among mothers. A few of the most common are depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, lack of confidence, loss of sex drive and passion, muscle and joint pains, unhealthy skin and hair, digestive disturbances, bladder problems, heart disease, asthma, and a host of troubling emotions and moods swings. A woman can be puzzled, frustrated, even embarrassed when she reveals symptoms that have plagued her for years. She may have shared these self-observations with doctors only to find that they were not worthy of an acknowledgement or comforting comment from her physician. Any attempt on her part to connect the birth of one of her children with those symptoms may have been met with skepticism or passed over. Yet, she can’t shake the feeling that something about that particular birth began her health decline.

Her observations do have validity and merit. What most mainstream medical practitioners don’t fully take into consideration is that a baby’s body is formed and made entirely of nutrients donated by the mother’s body. Her child’s brain, eyes, muscles, bones, organs, glands, nerves, skin, tissues and fluids are completely comprised of the nutrients taken from its mother’s bloodstream via the placenta.

If there is a lack of vital nutrients, the mother’s body is the first one that is deprived because her developing baby is Mother Nature’s priority. All mothers need to consciously replenish their lost nutritional and energetic reserves during the postpartum period. If this isn’t done, they might end up spending the rest of their lives wondering why they “just haven’t felt the same since the baby was born.”

The energy demands of caring for a newborn can further drain and deplete the mother’s nutrient reserves, especially if she is breastfeeding and sleep-deprived. If a woman has lost a great deal of blood while birthing her baby, the need for replenishing the nutritional components of blood is even more critical. Women who undergo Cesarean section also need to restore nutrient reserves; not only have they become mothers, they have had to have major surgery in the process. Women who lose a good deal of blood during the birth process and who don’t replenish key nutrients might experience light-headedness and throbbing headaches, along with extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.

A new mother is also faced with the stress of integrating the intense needs of a new baby into her lifestyle while tending to her mate and perhaps other children and returning to work. All of these responsibilities that women – and those who are cared for by them – have taken for granted for millennia demand high-quality nutrients. Our food supply presently contains only half the nutrients that food contained in the 1940s due to the nutrient depletions in our soil. This fact makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for a mother to fully replenish the nutrient reserves her body donated to make her baby’s body solely from the food she eats. Eating highly refined and processed “junk” foods further depletes vital nutrients, which deepens the need to replenish postnatal nutrients even more.

Every physiologic process in the human body depends upon nutrients. The most important time to consciously replenish postpartum nutrient reserves begins immediately after giving birth and extends to 24 months postpartum. The failure to do this often sets the stage for chronic health problems that may last for decades.

There was a time that women throughout the globe would be given their placenta in some edible form to consume directly postpartum, much like dogs and cats do instinctively. The placenta contains highly concentrated amounts of the nutrients that the mother has lost through giving birth. The fact that eating one’s placenta is now culturally distasteful further supports the need to make a concerted effort to consume the appropriate nutrients and nourishing foods necessary for rebuilding and replenishing the new mother’s donated nutrient reserves. A high potency postnatal nutrient program is now essential to help a postpartum woman replenish her nutrient reserves.

Presently, about 30 million Americans take anti-depressant drugs. The majority of these are postpartum women! Many doctors prescribe Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and a host of other anti-depressant drugs before considering whether the mother’s depression, fatigue, or lethargy might be caused by postpartum nutrient depletion. Postpartum nutritional depletion can cause a physiological depression that is far too often misdiagnosed as a mental/emotional depression. All the brain neurotransmitter chemicals (like serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and GABA) that deeply affect one’s emotional states, energy, and most of the physiologic processes in the body are made from nutrients! This is a medical short-sightedness that needs to change so that postpartum women will receive better care. A postnatal nutrient recovery program should be the very first thing a doctor thinks of and prescribes for postpartum women presenting these symptoms; especially with women who have no history of depression, anxiety, or fatigue prior to giving birth. If one does  need the assistance of antidepressant drugs (and certainly some women do), these drugs contain no nutrients, so the need to replenish nutrient reserves still exists and should be addressed to prevent other health problems. It is fine to take AfterBaby Boost postnatal nutritional program and an antidepressant medication simultaneously. The need for high potency postnatal nutrients is greater now than ever before because the pace of life keeps getting faster, more complex and stressful.

Omega-3 oils are robbed from the mother’s body at a very high rate via the placenta to help form her baby’s brain, eyes, nerves, and cellular membranes. Breast feeding robs even more Omega 3 oils from a postpartum woman’s body because it is removed from her body to form the milk her body is producing. Many studies show the importance of Omega 3 oils to relieve depression, dry skin, thin hair and nails, fatigue and prevent heart disease in postpartum women. Omega 3 oils are an essential ingredient in a good postnatal nutrient program to assist a mother to replenish her nutrient reserves.

All the major nutrients are taken from mother’s body to help form baby’s body. Alpha Lipoic Acid and coenzyme Q10 are essential for the body to make energy. Without enough of these two essential nutrients the energy producing mitochondria in our cells will often make only 2 units of ATP (cellular energy) instead of 39 units of ATP per cycle. These two deficiencies are major causes of postpartum fatigue and mood swings. These two nutrients along with B vitamins, minerals including calcium and magnesium are also essential nutrients to help a mother replenish her postpartum nutrient reserves and should be included in a good postnatal nutrient formula. The postnatal nutrient program offered contains these essential nutrients in very high quality form.

Postpartum mothers require a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, moderate exercise and a high quality postnatal nutrient program. Prenatal vitamins do not adequately supply all of the nutrients that new mothers require after bringing new life into this world. A high quality postnatal nutrient program should be an integral part of the pregnancy recovery program required for all postpartum women to replenish their nutrient reserves. This can assist new mothers to not only regain their health and prevent later health problems, but also to allow her the best chance of happily raising her family and having other healthy pregnancies and healthy children if desired.

We at Sound Formulas are proud to offer the first and only clinically tested postnatal nutritional program called AfterBaby Boost.

Dr. Dean Raffelock is the lead author of A NATURAL GUIDE TO PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM HEALTH published by Avery, Putnam, Penguin in 2003. Dr. Raffelock has  taught research based clinical nutrition for numerous medical organizations over many years, formulates nutritional products for a number of nutritional companies (including Sound Formulas), and has a holistic practice in Boulder, Colorado. Along with his Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree (1976) he has earned board certifications in Clinical Nutrition (DACBN), acupuncture (Dipl. Ac./L.Ac.), and Applied Kinesiology (DIBAK). He has also been certified as a clinical nutritionist (CCN) from the International and American Association for Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN).



  1. 1 tyarkoni November 13, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    I was diagnosed with severe Hypothyroidism after my first pregnancy and as you correctly pointed out Dr. Raffelock, the symptoms really seemed to kick in after I got a nasty cold about 8 months after my daughter was born. Things got so bad I went immediately on to Synthroid (150mcg daily) to find relief and have been on it ever since. I am now pregnant with Number 2 and am interested in coming off medication and finding a natural way to deal with my thyroid after my next daughter is born. When do you think is a good time to start exploring a natural option?

  2. 2 pregnancyrecovery November 16, 2006 at 2:56 am

    Hi Tanya,

    I’m guessing that when you say that I “correctly pointed out” something that this is something you read in my book. I cannot give you personal health advice on the internet but I can share some generalities about the thyroid gland that may assist you to have a productive conversation with your doctor who prescribed the Synthroid for you. You and your physician will have to decide what’s best for you.

    There are many reasons for thyroid glands to malfunction. Infections like viruses are one possibility. Heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, and lead can bind to the amino acid L-tyrosine (instead of iodine binding to it) and prevent the adequate formation of T-4 and T-3. An autoimmune problem like Hashimoto’s Disease is another cause of first hyper-thyroid and later hypothyroidism.

    Synthroid is synthetic T-4 which needs to be converted into free T-3 to have the proper effect on the cells of the body. You may want to ask your doctor to check the following on a blood lab if not already done: TSH, free T4, and free T-3 to make sure that the T-4 in Synthoid is adequately converting into T-3. The body requires progesterone, DHEA, selenium, and other co-factors to convert T-4 into T-3 in the cells. Synthroid can lower TSH but still not convert into T-3 so while the blood level of TSH looks good… one may not be receiving the benefits that T-3 provides.

    By the time a physician prescribes a fairly robust dosage of Synthroid, they usually have a very good reason for this. Often the need for thyroid hormone is there because of one of the above mentioned reasons or another reason and going a natural route is not always in your best interest. If this is the case, Armor thyroid and Thyrolar are thyroid preparations that contain both T-4 and T-3.

    My suggestion is to discuss your concerns thoroughly with your physician. Hopefully he/she will work with you in a way that you feel heard and comfortable with the recommendation. If not, you can always seek a second opinion.

    Wishing you good health,

    Dr. Dean Raffelock

  3. 3 hollywardm5 March 21, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Stephanie and the rest of the gang there,
    I just wanted to send another thanks, now 3.5 years into using both your products and/or your book. I am post partum with my fifth wee one and still flip through this book(now tattered) so often. Every time I reach a speed bump or need guidance, this book and the tons and tons of wisdom it consists of, has helped me far beyond anything physically so far. What health I am gaining is so much due to your support and work! Thanks so much and keep it up! Your perspective is still so quiet and needs to be shared! Thanks and good luck! Holly Ward

  4. 4 pregnancyrecovery March 27, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I guess I qualify as “the rest of the gang there.” :)Stephanie and I are so glad that you have received the benefit that you so generously express from my book and our After Baby Boost postnatal program. Before Baby Boost, our truly complete prenatal nutritional program will be available in April of this year(2007)and like After Baby Boost will consist of BBB #1 a very high quality, high potency multiple formula icluding ginger extract and papain enzyme to soothe tummies,BBB #2 the ever essential Omega 3 oils (heavy metal and PCB free with 4 antioxidants to prevent rancidity)and BBB #3 and a 2:1 ratio of Cal/Mag citrate. So if you decide to have a sixth “wee one” (WOW!!!) we hope you consider Before baby Boost for your prenatal nutrient program.

    Thanks so much for your kind words, enthusiasm, and encouragement!

    Warmest regards,

    Dr. Dean Raffelock

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