Things to Know Before Drinking Ensure while Pregnant

  • Post category:Pregnancy / Blog
  • Post last modified:November 16, 2021
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Confused about drinking ensure while pregnant? Don’t be. Because, in this article, you will find out everything that one should know before drinking Ensure while being pregnant.

Woman drinking Ensure during pragnency
Photo credit: ensure.abbott/uk/

Ensure is one of the well-known American brands of nutritional supplements and meal replacements. It is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. 

Ensure comes in various flavours and sizes and with two primary forms- one is liquid, and the other is the powder form. My personal favourite flavour is the Vanilla one. And luckily, my daughter has the same taste bud as me.

A 28-fl oz of bottled Ensure contains:

  • 220 calories, 
  • 6 grams of fat, 
  • 15 grams of sugar, and 
  • 9 grams protein.

The prime ingredients are water, corn maltodextrin, sugar, milk protein concentrate, canola oil, and soy protein isolate.

Ensure has a reputed brand value in America since 1903. Many doctors recommend consuming it to their patients who cannot eat enough food during the day. I frequently used Ensure shakes when I was expecting my first child. And guess what, I am lactose intolerant!

Can a Pregnant Woman Drink Ensure?

Pregnant women drinking Ensure
Photo credit: Ivan Samkov

In short, yes, they can. 

Pregnant mothers can consume Ensure to help meet their nutritional needs. Read that again! HELP meet nutritional needs. It is not recommended to rely only upon Ensure or any supplements to meet your dietary needs in pregnancy. Pregnant mothers should always attend to the medical advice of their health care providers. And also, consult your doctor if you intend to consume more than one serving per day. 

Although not all protein or nutrition shakes are marketed as foods, luckily, all Ensure products are marketed as foods. According to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration), all the ingredients are approved as food safe (source: Ensure). That means Ensure is safe in pregnancy. 

Remember, there is a difference between what is ‘SAFE’ during pregnancy and what ‘HELPS’ you meet optimal nutrition. If you are taking a quality prenatal vitamin, you most probably won’t need any additional supplements to meet your nutritional needs in your pregnancy.

With that being said, there are few situations where Ensure shakes can be helpful. I present to you two of the main situation I faced during my pregnancy and Ensure came to the rescue.

#1 If you’re having frequent cravings-

We all know cravings are common in pregnancy, right! I remember eating cheese while pregnant, a lot. But are you having frequent cravings for low-protein, high-carb foods like white bread, pasta, or chips? Then maybe it’s because you are missing out on protein. So, in that case, one or two servings of Ensure daily can help you meet your protein needs while honouring your cravings.

#2 Morning sickness and nausea-

Throwing up while pregnant is another time when Ensure can give you a much-needed nutritional boost.

If you’re worried that you aren’t eating enough for both of you, then the first best thing is to discuss with your medical provider. Make sure there isn’t an underlying medical concern.

Flu symptoms before labor turning many pregnant women off from food is natural. Drinking supplements can be a good choice if you cannot keep solid foods down and throwing up every time. Or if you feel nausea and no food sounds appealing, drinking Ensure can be a great safety net to keep your nutrition high.

For me personally, sipping on the shake was easier than sitting down to a full meal during my pregnancy, especially in those days when the food smell was off-putting. 

Well, drinking Ensure won’t stave you off morning sickness; however, having an empty stomach can lead you back to nausea. Also, it can “buffer” an empty stomach and can help you feel less sick.  
However, Abbott Nutrition also offers Similac Mom, a product for breastfeeding and pregnant women.

Related: Does Gentle Ease Formula Causes Constipation?

Benefits of Drinking Ensure

Photo credit: Ivan Samkov

Ensure nutritional and healthy drink has several benefits despite gender and physical condition.

Nutrients in every serving of Ensure can benefit your body. For example, it contains soy milk protein concentrate, protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate. These components are excellent sources of calcium, protein, and B vitamins. And, there’s canola oil present which gives your body healthy fats.

According to the official Ensure website, Ensure shakes present you with 350 calories with 13 grams of protein in each 8 fluid ounce bottle. A single serving of 8oz contains 24 essential vitamins and minerals. Including the number of vitamins and minerals your body needs on a 2,000 calories per day diet. 

Ensure also carries 650 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (plant-based) called alpha-linolenic acid, which will promote better heart health. These drinks are also suitable for lactose intolerant moms like me. One Ensure drink generally holds about 25% of the iron that one may need daily. So clearly, if you’re drinking two 8oz bottles a day and taking your vitamins, our daily iron requirement is easily achievable. 

In fact, Ensure is considered as a baby item or baby food since you can enhance your baby’s growth by just putting baby food in the formula and feeding them. It will boost your baby’s healthy development and nutritional facts.

While protein needs are higher during pregnancy, most pregnant women are able to meet this through food alone.

or protein shakes. Only prenatal vitamins will do just fine.

Although, there are few exceptions to this. If you are:

  • Underweight in pregnancy
  • Not able to meet up your nutritional demands through food alone, or
  • Having an illness that hinders your ability to eat healthilyfood.

If any of these sounds familiar, make sure you discuss your matters with your medical provider.

Tip from my personal experience:

Prefer taking Ensure over iron supplements. That’s how pregnant you won’t have constipation which is a side effect of iron supplements.

Things to Remember Before Drinking Ensure

Woman drinking Ensure
Photo credit: Hsnstore

Proper caution must be needed whenever you want to introduce your body to any new healthy diet or supplement while being pregnant. Remember, everything you consume will impact your child first. Whether it is healthy or junk food, there are always consequences to consider.

Choose solid food over Ensure or any supplement

No food can’t be better than solid food when you’re pregnant. Especially, protein shakes shouldn’t be something that you rely on to meet all of your nutritional needs every day. However, they’re handy if you’re in a pinch.

Weight Watcher for pregnancy

Are you concerned about your weight gain due to pregnancy? Are you wondering if you can follow a weight loss balanced diet and fulfill those nutritional gaps through Ensure? Well, according to Monique Richard, RD, an integrative dietitian nutritionist and the owner of Nutrition-in-Sight- “Dieting including Weight Watcher is not suggested for pregnant women, since it can discredit the integrity of mom and baby’s nutritional status. And, that can lead to critical health conditions or long-term consequences.” Even WW mentioned that to get enlisted in the program, one must “not be pregnant.”

Watch out for the caffeine

If you’re a caffeine lover, be aware that a coffee-flavoured Ensure claims caffeine as a cup of coffee, and that is more than 200 mg. And during pregnancy, you should add it to your daily complete nutritional chart. Read the label thoroughly when you are picking a coffee-flavored Ensure.

Are you allergic to milk

Ensure does contain milk, so it’s not suitable for vegans or dairy allergies.

Stay in limitation

Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean you can take it as much as you want (since it tastes delicious). However, if you still choose to drink Ensure, limit yourself to 5-6 bottles or fewer per day. Women who are taking a prenatal vitamin higher in vitamin A will likely need to be more cautious. It’s safe for them to limit themselves to 2 bottles daily (no more than that). Because during pregnancy, over-consuming vitamin A can lead to congenital disabilities, and too much iron can link you to higher rates of diabetes while pregnant.

Also read: Why baby isn’t Babbling yet?

Pick carefully

If you need to rely on Ensure for an extended period, choose Ensure Original or Plus. Ensure Original and Plus are designed for complete and balanced nutrition.

Remember that your baby depends on what you feed yourself. Anything you eat or drink goes directly to your child’s growth, then you.

So, make it a priority to discuss with your dietitian or doctor before consuming this drink. Undoubtedly this is a helpful beverage to drink, but you must make sure it is suitable for you and your baby.

Also read: What to Do When My Child Swallows a Marble?

Conclusion

Ensure is readily available without a prescription at most food retailers. This product should complement your menu and not be consumed as a single source of proper nutrition. Unless under medical guidance and upon a physician’s recommendation. Every health situation demands specific nutritional and professional medical advice. So make sure Ensure is safe for you and your baby’s health by consulting with a registered dietitian or your health care provider.

Disclaimer

Regardless of the date, no information on this content should ever be substituted with any medical professional medical advice from your doctor. This content is only for informational purposes.

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