I don't usually review supplements on this blog as I try to promote whole foods as much as possible. However I considered the new Mommi 3-in-1 shake very carefully as a useful alternative to taking prenatal vitamins. If you're expecting, your OB/GYN will advise you to take a prenatal vitamin every day to supply additional nutrients for the growing fetus.
When I was pregnant I was scared to death of becoming nauseous, so I chose to forego that single large prenatal vitamin and take the necessary nutrients (iron, calcium, vitamin D, folic acid) separately throughout the day (as approved by my doctor). Prenatals also have higher amounts of B vitamins and certain minerals that can promote nausea; add those to all of the other nutrients jammed into one pill. I personally feel that this megavitamin hitting your stomach can cause immediate stomach upset, especially when your hormones are constantly fluctuating and possibly creating a sensitive gut. Thankfully I didn't experience any nausea throughout my whole pregnancy, which may or may not have been helped by my self-prescribed vitamin regimen.
Mommi 3-in-1 shakes were created by CEO Erin Schurtz who, prior to her pregnancy, had always drank a protein shake daily and wanted to continue using them but could not find one deemed safe for pregnancy. She created these shake mixes to contain the recommended nutrients for a healthy pregnancy, as well as 15 grams of whey protein and 200 mg DHA (300 mg daily is recommended during pregnancy). DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to support the development of the nervous system and vision of the fetus, as well as lower the risk of pre-term labor and delivery, pre-eclampsia and postpartum depression. The shake ingredients are GMO and gluten-free.
I blended up the shake mix with one cup of skim milk for a taste-test, and enjoyed the mild flavor. It was frothy and not too rich nor too sweet (and no fishy smell!), perfect for an expecting mom with a sensitive stomach. I did not experience any stomach upset or nausea after ingesting the high dosage of vitamins. Another plus is that one shake made with 10-12 ounces of 1% milk provides the 300 extra calories recommended during pregnancy; many women overeat calories believing the baby needs this—a common myth that causes excessive weight gain and increased risk of gestational diabetes. This shake is portion-controlled and provides just enough calories. Keep in mind that if you're having the opposite problem of not eating enough calories because of nausea, these quick-digesting shakes are useful to maintain your calorie/nutrient intake. The website has several shake recipes that provide more calories if needed.
Erin took the time to answer my additional questions about Mommi 3-in-1:
Q: What inspired you to create Mommi 3-in-1, and in shake form?
A: When I was pregnant I couldn't swallow or stomach large prenatal vitamins and fishy-tasting DHA. In addition, all the protein powders I bought had warning labels for pregnant or nursing women. I knew there had to be something on the market that combined all three in a tasty shake but there wasn't! So I created it with the help of a wonderful team of nutritional scientists and Dr. Yvonne Bohn, a well-known OB/GYN.
Q: Does one serving of this replace a daily prenatal vitamin?
A: Yes, one serving of Mommi 3-in-1 has a full prenatal vitamin, 200 mg of DHA and 15 grams of protein; it replaces your prenatal pill and is taken every day with a healthy diet while pregnant.
Q: What is special about your product that someone should purchase it over drinking a shake made with regular whey protein and taking a prenatal vitamin?
A: The benefit of taking Mommi 3-in-1 over a whey protein and separate prenatal vitamin is that it also includes DHA, which doctors recommend women take every day while pregnant. It is vital for fetal brain development. It is also beneficial over a prenatal vitamin because in Mommi 3-in-1 the vitamins are coated so instead of sitting in your stomach as a large prenatal and slowly disseminating into the blood stream, the vitamins are easily digestible, preventing nausea or gagging. Our protein has also undergone intensive testing over the last year to ensure it passes every regulation for safety during pregnancy. Not all protein powders are safe for a developing baby.
Q: Can a pregnant woman use this as a meal replacement or should she take it in addition to her usual meals?
A: While pregnant, a woman should take Mommi 3-in-1 as a supplement to her regular healthy diet. Mommi 3-in-1 was designed to contain the approximate amount of extra calories pregnant women need to consume daily. When mixed with milk or milk substitute it adds the extra 200-300 calories (depending on the recipe used) pregnant women should be adding to their daily diet.
Q: Did you continue to drink the shake after giving birth as a snack or meal replacement to help with losing the baby weight? Or should it only be used during pregnancy?
A: Right after I gave birth I tried replacing breakfast with Mommi 3-in-1 to lose the baby weight until I learned that you actually need even more calories than while you are pregnant, for a healthy milk supply when nursing. So I continued to use it as a supplement and it helped curb my appetite for less healthy snacks. Once I am done nursing I will drink it as a meal replacement.
Mommi 3-in-1 is available for purchase on their website. FitMamaEats readers may use the coupon code 3icecream1 at check-out to receive a 20% discount, valid through July 31, 2014. Check it out!
Disclosure: I received shake samples for my honest review of the product.