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Shan’ann Watts intended to brand baby Niko and credit Thrive for her perfect pregnancy – but her plan backfired

The ultimate test for whether Thrive really works or not centers around the question: should you use it while pregnant? Is it safe to use while pregnant or could it actually harm the growing fetus?

In Shan’ann Watts case this question was even more pertinent since she suffered from lupus, an autoimmune disease that in some cases can actually prevent conception and pregnancy.

We take it as a given that using Thrive supplements might have no effect or a negligible effect. But looking closer, even the arrest affidavit states that Shan’ann was not feeling well during the trip to Arizona.

In fact, the entire Watts case starts because of a check well-being call. Nickole Atkinson alerted the police not to report a crime but because she was concerned about Shan’ann’s health while pregnant.

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Atkinson had reason to be concerned on Monday morning. She’d personally witnessed Shan’ann not feeling well during their trip. On top of this, Shan’ann had a doctor’s appointment scheduled hours after her death.

Cut to exactly two months after the murders:

On October 12th, Watts’ attorneys filed a special motion to keep “health information” confidential. Since Le-Vel classifies itself as a health and wellness brand, and the Watts case is massively high-profile, it’s possible this instruction [or advice] actually came directly from Le-Vel.

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Watts’ financial situation is dire, but Le-Vel’s isn’t. So who is paying for his defense? Well, wouldn’t Le-Vel – the company that hit $1 billion in lifetime sales just a year earlier – have a vested interest in protecting their brand by controlling the health aspect of the criminal trial narrative?

The legal loopholes will be dealt with in due course. For now, let’s deal with Shan’ann’s intentions to Thrive-brand her baby and Thrive-promote her pregnancy and the speed of her conception. Is there any evidence that’s what she intended to do?

Yes, based on her social media statements, it was clearly and explicitly on the cards .


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Sounds like a fairy tale pregnancy already, doesn’t it? This was a far cry from her struggles to even have children once upon a time.

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Irrespective of Shan’ann’s strategy to use her pregnancy as a vehicle to promote Thrive, there’s also the reality. Are Thrive products truly healthy? As I’ve mentioned, if Thrive is genuinely life-enhancing, then this is the ultimate test: can Thrive be used while pregnant?

Shan’ann wasn’t the first promoter to be faced with this question. One woman posted a query in September 2015.

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Another in late 2017 expressed concern that she was 17 weeks pregnant and still losing weight because of the product.

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But what was a doctor’s advice likely to be?

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Apparently, Shan’ann had sought advice from her own doctor, based on these posts:

She hashtags both posts #DoctorApproved [implying but not saying directly that Thrive is approved by her doctor for pregnancy], but we see her wearing a patch so it must be, right? In the post on the left above #DoctorApproved she admits she’s “Not doing #burn!”

So evidently she has been advised, and has been advised not to use certain products after all. But was it really just certain products, or was she told, in lieu of her lupus, better be safe than sorry and stay away from Thrive completely in order to insure a healthy pregnancy?

We know that Shan’ann’s dizzy product promotion in July and August dropped precipitously, so if she intended to brand Niko a Thrive baby, something changed a few weeks into her pregnancy. There was definitely a shift in momentum, a reverse swing of the pendulum.

Over the last 7 months of her life the final 2 months showed the lowest output in Live videos, down from double digits to just 5, and then 0.

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Apparently the same warnings applicable to Thrive are standard with another health supplement – Herbalife. Even Herbalife shakes are considered dodgy enough to require a doctor’s approval.

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The advice from the medical professionals is pretty incredible. In order to enjoy a healthy diet one should simply eat a balanced diet. Talk about common sense operating as Rocket Science!

If Shan’ann had chosen to have a third child as a genius way to stand out among all the other promotors, finding out she couldn’t publicly endorse the product without getting herself [and possibly the company] into trouble would have been a huge blow. These health warnings would also have rung another bell, and one Chris Watts would have heard.

If Thrive promotion had to take a back seat during Shan’ann’s pregnancy, then their finances which were hanging by a thread were about to drop through the floor. And who would blame who for that?


  1. Meagan

    His defense team are public defenders, so the State is paying for them.

    • nickvdl

      Okay so it was their idea to keep the health information confidential, and they got no legal advice from a multi-million dollar company associated with their client, with massive vested interests riding on the outcome of this case. Why do his public lawyers want to keep the health information confidential? To protect their client? But he’s already confessed to murdering his wife. To protect him from what?

  2. Pauline

    You’re on to something here Nick. She goes from 18 videos the very month she finds out she’s pregnant to 0 in August. She could have at least made 1 or 2 from August 1 – 10 you would think. Something was going on there. This was going to be a Thrive pregnancy. She’s even attributing Thrive to getting pregnant. Then the weekend she died she isn’t feeling so hot.

    Now notice how quickly Prepaid Legal changed the name of their company after Travis Alexander was butchered. And the arrogant Searcy testifying on the stand wanted to make perfectly clear that his company was not a pyramid, that he had gotten rich because of Prepaid Legal and that Jodi Arias who was in Prepaid Legal in no way tainted the company. I don’t think it out of line to suggest that LeVel doesn’t want to get sued by being associated with this case, but truthfully I don’t know how it all ties in yet.

    • nickvdl

      Pauline the Watts case is both a PR bonanza and a PR catastrophe for Le-Vel. Right now it’s in the bonanza phase as thousands, perhaps even millions of people pore over Shan’ann’s promo posts, and a few of them sign up for Thrive while they’re at it. Free advertising. Once the case goes to trial, experts may be called to prognosticate on issues relating to the economics of MLMs and the health benefits of this one in particular. That’s when the tide will turn, and it will be time to cash in chips.

  3. Diana

    It could just be a matter of Chris dealing with health issues he wanted kept private and nothing to do with the murders. As a nurse, I’ve actually dealt with this type of situation while treating prisoners.

  4. Georgia

    How did she know it was a boy so early on in the pregnancy if conceived naturally? What I found online was you can find out the gender at 18 weeks or between 16-20 weeks but I don’t think she was that far along was she? She didn’t make the scan so how did she know already?

    • nickvdl

      That’s a great question Georgia. Not only did she know the gender, they even had a name for him before 15 weeks.
      Shan’ann seemed to be very organized and OCD in terms of scheduling her life and perhaps others. Maybe that’s why Le-Vel appealed to her so much, everything had its time and place, and promotors could get other promotors to do their bidding and feel powerful and significant within that schema.
      You may be aware that as early as May 5th, Shan’ann knew their flight schedules by heart for the next 3 months, including the flight dates and times to Phoenix in August.

      If she was this clear on flights, why wouldn’t she know precisely what was going on with her pregnancy, especially since she had lupus to deal with as well.

      Do we know exactly when she knew it was a boy, or when Niko was mentioned for the first time as the baby’s name?

      • thecafediary

        I know this is an old comment but I found out at 10 weeks with both my pregnancies that I was having a girl. They offer blood testing that checks for genetic abnormalities and also gives you the gender if you want it. It’s often offered to moms 30 and older. It’s not that curious that she found out so early and named her baby before 15 weeks. This is very common.

  5. Pauline

    Does Sha’nann actually say we’re having a boy, or did she say “Chris wants a boy,” and if it was a boy they would name him Niko. Then at autopsy it was discovered it was a boy. Or did I miss a crucial post where she says it’s a boy. The gender reveal party was to tell others it was a boy, I don’t think she knew. You are right Georgia that the sex can be determined between 16-20 weeks. Closer to 18 weeks.

    • nickvdl

      Well if there was a gender reveal party at 15 weeks, I think you could tell the gender at 15 weeks. On the Facebook discussion group one mother said she knew at 12 weeks.

      It may be that she didn’t know. But that’s the question we’re asking. Did she know and if she did, when did she know?

    • Georgia

      This was on a CNN site “Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant. She posted a video of herself on social media announcing the pregnancy to her husband.
      According to a Facebook post from her brother, Frankie Rzucek, she was pregnant with a boy. The baby was going to be named Niko, the post says. KDVR reported that only a few family members knew it was a boy.”
      Good point Spock, there definitely would have been more tests/scans with the Lupus in the mix. I looked back at a couple of videos looked like she shared the news she was pregnant super quick she must have been so excited. A lot of people wait until 12 weeks or so to tell others. Given that she knew and didn’t post straight away about it being a boy sets the news apart from everything else she shared so freely. She treasured that.

      • nickvdl

        Frankie only knew the sex of the child after her death. It’s possible Sandi knew which means the ultrasound on the 13th wasn’t necessarily to determine gender. But as you say, it’s significant if she knew and wasn’t disclosing on social media. I think the gender reveal was the big splash for that.

    • Jean Speer

      I know I’m very late on this whole case and only found out about two days ago. I’m sure everyone here already knows this now but thought I’d still add it. From all of my reading the last few days this is what I read, two of her friends were putting on the gender reveal party and after she found out Chriss’ feeling on the pregnancy she called off the party. The friend had the results in an envelope from the doctors office. Not sure if she was present for the test and got results handed to her personally or if Shanann got them sealed and later gave to her friend to set up the gender reveal. Shanann was obviously upset at the turn of events and wanted happy news so she wanted the results. The friend said she didn’t think the news should be given over the phone so she could either come over right then ,which was about ten pm ,or wait till the morning she chose to wait till the morning. This must have taken place in that short window between getting back from N.C. and her leaving for AZ. I’m sorry I don’t have the friends name as I didn’t know I would be responding to a post and I’ve read so much in the last two days to even begin to know where to look again other than googling “who were the two friends that were to give the gender reveal party?”

    • Melissa

      You can get genetic testing at 12-13 weeks that will reveal gender. I had it done, but I was of “advanced maternal age ” and that was 35. She likely had that done because there is no way to be certain of gender by ultrasound that early.

      • CassieM

        You can now find out the baby’s sex with high accuracy (I believe around 98%) around 12-13 weeks. It’s based on something called the “nub theory” and is based on the angle of something called the genital tubercle, which is basically a “nub” that will eventually develop into either male or female genitalia.

  6. Spock

    Due to the Lupus she would’ve been considered a high risk pregnancy. I wonder if she had specialized blood tests done. Blood testing would determine the sex much earlier than ultrasound.

    • BAMS13

      Yes it’s true, apparently due to Lupus she was able to find out the sex at 7 weeks gestation.

  7. Pauline

    Very good point Spock!

  8. Shannon

    Something was going on when she was away. Suitcase with thrive, announcing she giving all her thrive away.
    If foreclosure on the house, marriage in trouble. Did she figure she wouldn’t be able to sell Thrive anymore.
    Figuring she would have no where to sell and video like a nutcase anymore.

  9. Montoya

    This is the dumbest article I’ve seen here yet! NICKVDL needs to let others do the thinking.

    • Mustang Sally

      Nothing dumb about this article unless you want to ignore the big white elephant standing in the middle of the room while discussing the case.

      • JC

        @Mustang Sally. I think you found the MLM “hun”.

  10. A

    This article is absolutely ridiculous and serves no purpose whatsoever. It lends no pertinent information useful for anyone and it’s just based around, yet again, more judgment on Shanann. It begins with questioning and making assumptions that Thrive was the sole reason for why Shanann was feeling sick during her pregnancy before the murders. If you did any type of research beyond fitting your useless narrative, you would easily realize that she was feeling this way because her marriage was falling apart. She had a gut instinct that her husband was cheating on her and he went as far as telling her that he didn’t even want the baby anymore, nor did he want Shanann.. his wife of six years. She hit rock bottom in her final weeks of life because of CW. If you’re being cheated on and told by your husband that he doesn’t want the baby you’re pregnant with anymore and told that you’re no longer compatible, I’m pretty sure 99.9% of people wouldn’t have the same “momentum” and would be feeling “not well.”

    • thetinytech2018

      Would you like top sell us some of your Thrive while you’re here? Also do you think her parents not even waiting until the funeral to start using their daughter as cash cow was a classy move? I’ll wait for your response

  11. Lee

    It’s a very tragic story She was a very showy person. She did everything for the camera and posting. Matching outfits neck braces patches videos of her husband finding out about the pregnancy. I think Chris felt suffocated by her promotion of herself and her marriage and her family. Women who post videos of how wonderful their spouse is are often hiding something or attempting to build up a weakened troubled relationship. She used something like 18 exclamation points in her anniversary post. It’s all excessive and seems very very manufactured. Chris is a killer. She and her daughters are victims. Their life together was nothing like her canned manipulated posed social media presence. And I do wonder if she lied at times about her lupus/infertility/knowing the sex of her baby.

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