The prenatal friendly world is growing with a variety of supplement related "snack" products appropriate for a pregnant woman. And when you're constantly being told you have to avoid x, y and z because it's not appropriate for pregnancy, it's nice to find some supplements that specially address the issues you're dealing with during your 9-month journey. But what do all these supplements do? Are they necessary or even helpful?
Below, we took a closer look at some of latest and greatest on the prenatal snack shelf. (Note: it’s always important to consult your physician before you try new products.)
Good for: Those that don't want to swallow our prenatals.
The Scoop: Think Viactiv … but for pregnancy. Who wouldn’t love to consume prenatal vitamins as decent tasting chewable, chocolate balls that contain iron, folic acid, calcium and DHA? Some of us couldn’t handle the prenatal vitamins (Ahem, that was me!), so this is a better way to consume the vitamins daily. The brand also offers a line of “boost” nutrition snack bars. I haven’t had the opportunity to try these bars but upon assessing their nutrition panel, I’d suggest it appropriate as a snack if you’re on-the-go and need fuel. However, be weary of bars in general as many of them contain hidden sugars and artificial ingredients. You’re better off eating something like 2 tablespoons of nut butter with crackers, celery sticks or apple slices.
Good for: A pregnancy-safe alternative to raw juices.
The Scoop: During pregnancy, it’s important to pay attention to raw juices. If the juice hasn’t undergone heat pasteurization such as commercial brands (i.e. Tropicana) or high pressure processing a.k.a HPP (i.e. LUMI Organics), then it’s not safe for a pregnant woman to consume due to the existence of bacteria. Bundle Organics launched a line of prenatal juices formulated to contain the essential nutrients required during pregnancy. These juices undergo a process of flash pasteurization, which helps preserves more nutrients, quality and taste as compared to the traditional heat pasteurization process -- all without compromising safety. While it is great that these juices cater to pregnancy and include ingredients such as spinach, kale, ginger, lemon etc. it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on a well balanced diet to obtain nutrients the most optimal way. The nutrition panel indicates the potassium and sugar content, which are both within reason for half the bottle so it’s good to portion out the juice quantity accordingly.
Good For: More folic acid.
The Scoop: Many times during pregnancy, sparkling water is a staple because it helps alleviate unwanted gas issues and discomfort. Flash forward to Bump water, a beverage brand dedicated to pregnant women that offers sparkling or still flavored water bottles. Interestingly enough, Bump water also positions itself as “Folic Acid In An Easy-To-Drink” beverage. So while folic acid is crucial to pregnancy, so are iron and DHA which the water doesn’t contain at present. On the whole, Bump Water contains essential vitamins and is low in sugar calories (important to consider for beverages in general) so for an on-the-go pick me up, you’ve got my RD approval. A few flavors are sweetened with Stevia which has been approved as safe consumption during pregnancy. However, you’ll still have to find a way to get the other clutch micronutrients for the growing baby. As always, everything in moderation.
Good for: Morning sickness or nausea relief
The Scoop: Preggie Pops are naturally flavored and specially formulated lollipops and lozenges made for pregnant women to offer morning sickness or nausea relief. When you’re going through the first trimester, the thought of sucking on something that could provide relief is certainly appealing. The pops contain a combination of essential oils and aromatherapy and because you suck on them, the method of absorption also aids in relief. Preggie pops may not be a calorie dense food item but they do provide some calories, which is important when you’re unable to hold anything down. They could also alleviate dry mouth and provide energy during labor. Three lollies also launched Queasy Pops to help settle a queasy stomach. These could be useful if you’re pregnant and suffer from motion sickness (i.e. traveling).
Good For: An energy boost
The Scoop: The brand offers a variety of supplemental style products for pretty much every symptom you may feel during pregnancy. The founder of Healthy Mama has connected with MDs, RDs, and RNs to create a well-rounded offering to women at this stage. The juice is sweet and delicious, and many of Healthy Mama's products are noted to contain natural ingredients – dye-free and gluten-free when possible. However, I am skeptical about the caffeine-free protein energy drinks--anything labeled as an “energy drink” or an “energy bar” causes me to raise my eyebrows.
When consuming any of the above products, please consume in moderation – as with anything you choose to eat or drink during pregnancy. In addition, if you’re feeling any uneasiness or discomfort upon consuming these products, please stop and consult your doctor right away.