Monday, July 22, 2024

Are Erewhon Smoothies Safe For Pregnancy? A Doctor Explains

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Celebrity-backed Erewhon smoothies are one of the viral attractions that keep consumers coming back — in spite of their high price tag. In case you’ve missed them on your FYP, the supermarket chain’s stacked smoothie resume includes Hailey Bieber’s strawberry-glaze skin-care smoothie (made with collagen and sea moss), and Sofia Richie’s sweet cherry smoothie (complete with bovine colostrum). The drinks have become known for their unique ingredients, fun flavors, and aesthetic appeal, but because of these eccentric recipes, some people are questioning whether or not Erewhon smoothies are safe to drink while pregnant.

“The smoothies are crazy though because they’re not safe for pregnant people,” said internet personality Trisha Paytas in an April episode of the “Cancelled” podcast with Tana Mongeau and Brooke Schofield. Paytas explained that she originally inquired about the safety of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good For Your Gut” smoothie in December 2023 to see if she could try it herself while pregnant. In response to her Instagram comment, Erewhon responded, “Your health and safety are our top priorities, so please feel free to consult your healthcare professional for personalized guidance,” adding that “sea buckthorn and maca are generally advised against for individuals who are pregnant.” Erewhon did not respond to PS’s request for comment.

For Paytas, this response was discouraging. “I’m like, well, if you can’t have it when you’re pregnant, why would you want it when you’re not pregnant?” To shed some more light on the subject, we asked a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist if Erewhon smoothies are safe to drink while pregnant.

Experts Featured in This Article:

Jessica Madden, MD, IBCLC, is a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist, as well as the medical director at Aeroflow Breastpumps.

Are Erewhon Smoothies Safe For Pregnancy?

The good news is, most of the main ingredients in Erewhon smoothies seem to be pregnancy-friendly (although you should always consult with your doctor for personalized medical advice). That said, Jessica Madden, MD, IBCLC, advises not to consume herbal supplements while pregnant. “This is because we don’t have enough research on the safety of herbal supplements while pregnant, and we do know that some herbs are associated with premature labor, bleeding, and/or changes in hormonal levels,” Dr. Madden says. “If you are thinking about starting on an herbal supplement while pregnant, I encourage you to discuss with your obstetrician or midwife beforehand.” As a note, both maca and sea buckthorn (which Erewhon flagged to Paytas on Instagram) are considered herbal supplements. According to the American Pregnancy Association, other unsafe herbal supplements for pregnancy (depending on how they’re used) include:

  • Saw Palmetto
  • Goldenseal
  • Dong Quai
  • Black and Blue Cohosh
  • Ephedra
  • Passion Flower
  • Yohimbe
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pay D’ Arco
  • Roman Chamomile

The tricky thing about the “superfoods” used in some Erewhon smoothies is that — depending on the dosage — they could be considered herbal supplements (even everyday ingredients like ginger, turmeric, rosemary, and garlic can be used as herbal supplements at higher doses). In general, Dr. Madden suggests speaking with your doctor before starting any supplements while pregnant . . . even if they’re just in your smoothie. If you know there’s a particular smoothie you really like, it may even be a good idea to have the ingredients pulled up at your next appointment. The bottom line? “If it’s unclear if a supplement is safe or not during pregnancy, please avoid it,” Dr. Madden says.

Are Erewhon Smoothies Safe For Breastfeeding?

There are a few disclaimers when it comes to Erewhon smoothies and breastfeeding. Along the same lines, “The base ingredients in Erewhon smoothies (almond milk, fruits and vegetables, spirulina, and collagen) appear to be safe while breastfeeding,” Dr. Madden says. However, she still recommends against adding any herbal supplements while breastfeeding, given that they can cross into breast milk, and research about their effects is lacking: “I would avoid adding in espresso shots, as we know that caffeine crosses into breast milk and can cause babies to become jittery and not sleep well,” she adds.

Once you get your doctor’s OK, there are ways to modify an Erewhon smoothie so that it fits your specific needs. When ordering online, you can type a list of the specific ingredients you’d like removed, or ask for the modifications in person.

Chandler Plante is an assistant editor for PS Health & Fitness. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant for People magazine and contributed to Ladygunn, Millie, and Bustle Digital Group. In her free time, she overshares on the internet, creating content about chronic illness, beauty, and disability.

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