It's not labeled a "pre-natal"; for that matter, it's not even a vitamin. But in my book, that is a plus.
I like natural. Most know that... So the automatic questioning I have for anything is, "Is this the way things were intended to happen naturally?" Because I believe in the power of both God and science. I think they are one in the same honestly... I think science is so complex because God created it and only something that mighty could create something so perfectly planned and well thought-out.
Today's world is full of artificials and shortcuts. I admit sometimes these options, at first glance, are way more appealing than their alternative. But I always come back to what was the way the world was created to work and can I take that route?
But let's also be clear that I'm not an All-Natural-Only-Nazi about life. I take each situation as its own and try to decide what will be best for me, my family and anyone else involved. For example, I wanted to have an all-natural birth, but after 50+ hours of labor and Lou being face-up... my options were to see if an epidural would relax my body enough for her to turn and come out... or a C-section. I chose the epidural and gratefully delivered a healthy baby without having my belly cut open. Every situation is its own.
So when it came to taking pre-natal vitamins, my immediate thought was, "When did this start? Pre-natals haven't always existed and there have been healthy babies for centuries." ...Followed by... "God did not create procreation with the idea we would need to assist our bodies in that creation." So why had pre-natals become a "must" in pregnancy?
It's because we want and need to make sure our bodies are getting everything they need to grow a healthy baby. Nothing wrong with that. I think it's wonderful that we are:
(a) so aware of this and
(b) science has allowed us to understand what those highly important things are we need when growing a new life
But it only makes sense that God created us to naturally have what we needed...and I think if we were eating the way God intended we would. But the truth is, today, we don't eat healthy. Even when we try to...it's nearly impossible. Even if you are eating fruits and vegetables and whole foods, it's so hard to get ones not dowsed in GMOs and chemicals AND ones that have the nutritional content that existed a century ago. (Why do you think the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings keeps going up?)
I truly believe eating whole foods--especially fruits and vegetables--is the key to our health; therefore I also believe it is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Juice Plus IS fruits and vegetables. AND it is not a supplement. There are more and more studies/revelations saying that vitamins aren't doing the wonders we thought and hoped because our bodies cannot absorb the nutrients at the levels vitamins provide so we end up sending out and wasting so much of what we put in with vitamins.
Not only is Juice Plus+ not a vitamin, but it actually was studied specifically to see that it is
(a) getting into the blood stream and
(b) having a positive difference on cell regeneration.
The studies say YES to both--and these are just some of the peer reviewed studies out there...Need I say more?!
When I first got pregnant, I was only using the Orchard and Garden blend Juice Plus+. Like any first-time Mom, I wanted the confidence I was doing as much right as I possibly could, so I didn't forego standard pre-natal vitamins and go with JP+ without researching the option. With folic acid being what was the most stressed piece of the "pre-natal" discussion I decided to add the Vineyard blend to my daily JP+ regimen. This would give me nearly double the amount of folic acid recommended--and I could know it was getting into my system, therefore my little one's.
I realize an apple or broccoli is the more natural choice than Juice Plus+, that's why we call it "the next best thing"...and not "exactly the same." I also realize that I could get regular pre-natals cheaper--possibly free. But again, sometimes the cheaper, more convenient option isn't the best route.
I've continued to take all three JP+ blends since delivery and will continue to do so. You see, my other thought that occurred with my first pregnancy...what with all of the "pre-natal needs" and daily food recommendations through each trimester is... Why is it only in pregnancy that we should eat so well? Isn't the pregnancy "diet" a diet we should follow all of the time? Growing a life is important...but maintaining our own is pretty darn important also.
Editor's Note: I should note that I am not discouraging the use of pre-natals other than Juice Plus+. I simply find JP+ to be a wonderful, whole food option. I think it's wonderful anytime an expectant mother is taking JP+ even if it is in addition to other pre-natal vitamins. Any extra nutrition for that growing and developing baby is a blessing!