Ive read articles on foods NOT to eat while your pregnant, like fish and things like that, Ive eated fish and things since ive been preg, and now im terrified that ive hurt my baby!!!
Pregnant women and other at-risk groups should see their doctor promptly about any flu-like illness. It is advisable for pregnant woman to be aware of foods associated with an increased listeria risk.
Now you are eating for two. That doesn't mean double the food, but rather to be more particular about WHAT we eat. Everything we eat, and everything we don't eat, has an effect upon our health and the healthy development of the baby inside. Eating is something to do thoughtfully and not just to fill (the growing) belly.
You may eat more food, at least at first. I was always famished at the beginning of my pregnancies but as my belly grew, even though I might have felt hungry, I also felt FULL - full of baby. As the baby takes up space, smaller meals or grazing throughout the day is best for most of us. Trust your body and how you feel and listen to your cravings carefully. If you're craving a milkshake, for example, it's probably that you need calcium instead of an empty calorie milkshake from a fast food place.
While pregnant, it's just safer to avoid eating:
Most Fish, except that the baby needs Omega 3's for proper brain development and we need it for our health. The problem is that there is Mercury in fish due to the toxins put in our waters.
Mercury can cause nerve damage to the baby in the belly so just be careful and cautious when and if eating fish. Babies exposed to high levels of mercury during pregnancy have exhibited delayed walking, talking, inability to speak, brain damage, mental retardation, blindness, seizures, cerebral palsy, altered muscle tone, or deep tendon reflexes. There is also a link with mercury and adverse effects on the developing reproductive organs and spontaneous abortions and even still births. Low level exposures could cause learning disabilities.
To understand which fish is "safe" to eat, look at fish that have the least amount of mercury. Even "safe" fish have some levels of mercury.
It is best to avoid most fish and get the omega 3 essential fatty acids from DHA or high omega eggs (from hens fed a high omega diet) and safer fish including wild (NOT farm-raised) Alaskan or Pacific (NOT Atlantic) Salmon. You can also get these EFAs through fish oil or supplemental pills, but I'm not a big fan of additional pills and you have to be careful that the fish oil or pills do not have high levels of mercury too.
Ready-to-eat seafood such as smoked fish and smoked mussels, and oysters. Actually, it's probably a good idea to pass on the shellfish altogether.
Raw seafood such as sashimi or sushi. Don't eat it raw. The only thing you should be eating raw is your generous servings of fruit and vegetables.
Pre-prepared and store-made salads, including coleslaw because these things can carry the bacteria listeria
Alfalfa Sprouts are dangerous because they can carry e-coli bacteria and listeria. Alfalfa sprouts also contain the amino acid canavanine which is an anti-nutrient that can inhibit the natural immune system so they are best avoided anyway.
Leftovers - save those for the husband. It's just safer to skip those unless they are from something you made and you know that you got them into the refrigerator promptly after it cooled down.
Of course avoid raw or undercooked eggs for fear of salmonella. However, many suggest raw egg yellows too and in that case make sure they are fresh and splurge on the High Omega Eggs. And remember that all studies indicate that the real salmonella danger is in fast food and breakfast restaurants where they may not keep eggs at the proper temperature and therefore allow bacteria to grow. Therefore, you are probably safe at home, especially if you know your supplier and are getting fresh eggs however, this is such a big risk for such a little benefit, that you may want to play it safe and cook them through.
Same goes for meat, make sure it is cooked and not rare.
Avoid processed meats like sliced deli meats which can contain nitrates and bacteria.
Pre-cooked meat products which are eaten without further cooking or heating, such as pâté, sliced deli meat, hot dogs, and cooked diced chicken (as used in sandwich shops) can carry unsafe bacteria. Only eat these if they are steaming hot when you get it. And most deli meats have nitrates which should be avoided anyway.
Don't drink unpasteurized milk or foods (cheese) made from unpasteurized milk. Ultra pasteurized milk is also not good period.
Pass on the soft serve ice-creams and instead opt for the scooped ice cream on occasion. The soft serve machines do not get cleaned out regularly and can be a breeding ground for bacteria like listeria which can linger there. Listeria can cause you a stomach ache but can actually kill the unborn baby so it's a frightening bacteria. Hard ice creams and yogurts are fine as well as regular yoghurt.
Avoid soft cheeses, such as Brie, Feta, Camembert, Blue Cheeses, Ricotta, Mexican cheeses including Queso Blanco Fresco, and Asadero. These are safe if cooked and served hot, but I suggest avoiding brie and camembert since those are just usually warmed not really cooked. Hard and semi-soft cheeses from pasteurized organic non-rBGH milk are safe.
Avoid caffeine and even decaf coffee. Coffee has been associated with early miscarriage, even decaf. If you must have coffee, it's said that a cup a day won't do harm or better to move to Green Tea but ask your midwife or doctor about that first.
Alcoholic beverages - I know they say a glass on occasion is fine, but is the risk really worth it? Best to avoid all alcohol, and we're not just talking hard liquor, this includes beer.
And obviously stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
Listeria is a form of food poisoning which rarely affects healthy people.
Those at high risk include pregnant women, newborn infants, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.
Listeria is a form of food poisoning which rarely affects healthy people. However, the disease can be fatal in unborn children, newborn babies, and those with weak immune systems.
Listeria is different from other food poisons because it grows at fridge temperature - rather than room temperature like other food borne illnesses.
Pregnant women are at 20 times more risk of listeria than healthy people, and one third of cases of listeriosis occur in pregnancy women. People with AIDS are at 300 times more risk of serious illness from listeria than the general population.
Listeria causes a flu-like illness with a fever, headache, and sometimes nausea and diarrhoea. The illness normally strikes within two to eight weeks after eating contaminated food, but it can take up to 10 weeks to become ill.
Pregnant women infected with listeria can experience fever and chills and should contact their doctor as soon as possible because drug treatment can prevent a spontaneous abortion or stillbirth.
Antibiotics are given to pregnant women who have been infected with listeria. This can prevent the infection passing to the foetus.