I remember distinctly the first pregnancy moment where I had the thought: Is this safe to take? I was standing in my kitchen, about to pop my daily dosage of probiotics when I stopped myself, curious if it was safe for me to take with a bun in the oven. Between safe cheeses, pain killers, and sleep positions, pregnancy has a way of making us second guess even our healthiest choices. But what about something like Plexus, the popular pink drink that claims to help your gut and have more energy? Can you drink Plexus when you're pregnant?
First of all, what is Plexus, right? Referred to as "the pink drink," Plexus touts a long list of benefits that result from using its "premium microbiome activating formula that contains ingredients clinically-demonstrated to improve gut health and promote weight loss," according to the website. In addition to its trademark drink, Plexus Slim, the company also offers supplements, chewables, and protein drinks.
But the fact that none of the statements have been evaluated by the FDA causes many doctors to caution pregnant and breastfeeding women against taking Plexus. At least, that's what happened for 29-year-old Amanda, a Pittsburgh-based teacher who is pregnant with her second child. While Amanda found increased energy and a 23-pound weight loss with Plexus after the birth of her first child, she chose to follow her doctor's lead and hold off on sipping the drink during pregnancy.
"I'm a very by-the-books type of person," Amanda tells Romper. "When I found out I was pregnant again, I asked my obstetrician about the products; I even took them to her. She said that they were 'probably safe' and if I took them everything 'should be fine.' But when it comes to pregnancy and my babies, I don't mess with 'probably' and 'should be.' I didn't feel comfortable making that decision."
Dr. Sheeva Talebian, co-founder of Truly-MD.com and a director at the New York-based office of The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine tells Romper in an email interview that it's those murky waters that cause her to say she would not recommend the use of Plexus during pregnancy "unless specifically discussed and cleared by your healthcare provider."
"Weight loss during pregnancy should only be encouraged in women who are significantly overweight pre-pregnancy, and this should be achieved by a healthy diet and exercise regimen approved by your healthcare provider," Talebian says, adding that the lack of safety data and reliance on anecdotal reports makes it unclear whether or not Plexus use during pregnancy would cause any negative impact on fetal growth and development. "Generally, 'supplements' and other oral agents to promote weight loss should be avoided during pregnancy."
Want to do good by you and your growing baby without the possibility of risk? Packed with folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, and lots of other goodies, your prenatal vitamin is first on that list. Andrea Short, a maternity nutrition and wellness specialist, tells Romper that DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, is another prenatal component that is important to pay attention to because of its benefits for healthy brain development.
"Even if you're consuming large amounts of foods that contain Omega 3s, it's probably not enough to create the DHA that is needed for pregnancy," Short says. "This is why taking a prenatal vitamin that contains DHA is imperative, or taking a separate fish oil supplement if your prenatal is lacking."
If you are interested in giving Plexus a try during pregnancy, then keep in mind the moral of the story: Ask your doctor. Bring Plexus and similar products with you to an appointment and let your healthcare provider look over the label and ingredients. After all, the safety of you and your baby is top priority.
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