Many meal replacements boast about their health benefits, weight loss solutions, and great tasting shakes, but are they the same with pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Herbalife sits on the fence, saying that, while certain products would be absolutely fine, as they are simply a replacement meal, other products do show a warning against Herbalife consumption in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Can You Drink Herbalife While Pregnant?
While some Herbalife products might be acceptable during breastfeeding or pregnancy as a vitamin or protein boost, it’s not recommended to use any Herbalife products as meal replacements while pregnant.
Although Herbalife does showcase products for extra vitamin consumption and energy build-up, they are best known for their healthy shakes.
However, these are typically meant as a meal replacement, usually for weight loss.
Losing weight during pregnancy is never recommended. In fact, by the start of your third trimester, most midwives will suggest consuming around 340-450 extra calories per day to keep your baby growing at the correct speed.
During pregnancy, your unborn baby needs to take vitamins from your body to keep them healthy. This is already a drain on your resources, which is why women in the later stages of pregnancy become tired quickly.
Consuming any weight loss product during pregnancy is likely to exacerbate the problem, causing you to become easily drained.
It may also remove some of those great vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to grow strong.
Losing weight for you also means losing weight for your baby. You need to consume more calories to help your baby grow at the correct rate.
Using a weight loss solution of any type may mean that your baby can’t get all the nutrients they need from your body, and it could affect their growth and development.
Trying to lose weight during pregnancy could:
- Cause your baby to be born prematurely.
- Cause your baby to be under-developed at birth, meaning their brain or body isn’t equipped for survival outside the womb.
- Lack of specific vitamins might cause the malformation of certain aspects of their body – e.g., lack of calcium could cause the bones to be more brittle.
- An absence of specific vitamins may mean that your baby is intolerant to certain foods after birth.
Loss Of Vitamins
If you check the back of any Herbalife container, you’ll see that most products contain the recommended amount of daily vitamins. Great, right?
In theory, this works for most adults, as a daily diet generally includes lots of some vitamins and less of others depending on what you like to eat. Herbalife simply evens it out.
However, what’s not apparent is that while you’ll get an even coverage of vitamins, you might lose out on the extra that you usually get from your standard diet.
For example, if you eat a lot of oranges, then you’ll get a lot of vitamin C from your normal diet.
If you scrap the oranges and just use Herbalife, sure, you’ll get some vitamin C, but probably not as much as you were getting with oranges, as the shake has to make room for other great stuff that oranges might not have.
Are There Any Herbalife Alternatives For Pregnant Women?
Consuming a high protein diet while pregnant or breastfeeding really helps your baby to grow.
It’s recommended that a pregnant woman should consume around 70-100 grams of protein per day from eggs, soybeans, or potatoes. This helps with the growth of the body and, most importantly, the head.
Some women suffer significantly from nausea during the second trimester of pregnancy, meaning that the consumption of such heavy foods is problematic.
It’s acceptable to consume some protein powders to build up to the right level in this situation.
Herbalife has some pregnancy-friendly powders for this reason, and other protein powders such as Whey are fine for pregnant women.
There’s no substitute for freshly sourced ingredients. Herbalife is primarily a supplement, so some of the good stuff in there is likely to be synthetic so that the powder will last a little longer.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables gives you all that goodness, straight from the source.
Recent studies have discovered that the ellagic acid in some berries can protect the body from cancer, while kale and spinach contain calcium for strong bones and teeth and lutein for excellent eye health.
These ingredients that come naturally from fresh produce don’t appear in Herbalife powders.
Can You Drink Herbalife While Breastfeeding?
Yes, you can drink the Herbalife shakes as a booster for your nutrition during breastfeeding.
However, it would be best if you didn’t use the shakes for weight loss at this point. Your baby still needs your milk to have lots of nutritional value to help them develop.
You should continue to eat the same varied diet and mix a daily shake on top of this, rather than as a replacement meal.
Herbalife has a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your baby’s development, but you need to ensure that this is extra to the great everyday food you eat and not instead of.
Certain products made by Herbalife are designed as energy boosters rather than weight loss products.
If you’re looking at boosting your energy, some products may contain caffeine, which can affect the quality of your milk.
Make sure you check the label of the products to ensure they’re breastfeeding-friendly first. If you’re feeling a little drained, try some fresh fruit or vegetables as a booster instead.
Trying to lose weight during pregnancy probably means that you’re fighting a losing battle. You should wait until your baby is born to consider cutting down your food intake.
Certain Herbalife shakes could be used to boost the number of vitamins you’re already taking in if used as an extra meal, rather than a meal replacement, but make sure you check the label to see that there’s no caffeine.
Anything that isn’t baby-friendly will make that quite clear.