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Listeria during Pregnancy
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Listeria during Pregnancy
I just found out I am preggers with #2 and I am obsessing about the
prosciutto I ate last week. I know pregnant women are not supposed to
eat deli meats/luncheon meats when not ''steaming hot.'' I've read
that Listeria infection is very rare but I would appreciate some
I ate deli sandwiches several times a week during my entire
pregnancy. Nothing bad happened! I wouldn't give it another
thought - people eat, drink, and imbibe all kinds of stuff they
aren't supposed to before they find out they're pregnant. Ask
your doctor if you just can't put it out of your mind; I'm sure
s/he will reassure you.
Wow, I never heard of that one before, and I ate lots of
luncheon meat when pregnant with my first. (I also ate some
sushi, and soft cheeses, and had one or two glasses of wine a
week.) These are just guidelines. Getting sick from these
foods is rare but American doctors are so scared of every little
thing so they don't want you to do anything that could pose the
slightest risk. Do you feel OK? Then you are fine!
Sometimes I think we simply know too much. Do you honestly
believe you will kill your baby by eating ham? I never heard
that about cold cuts before and I have two healthy great kids.
There always seems to be something. When I was pregnant (5 and
2 years ago), I never heard of this sleeping on your left side
thing either but a collegue of mine was so determined that that
was the right thing to do, she cause sciatica in her leg and had
to leave work 2 months early because she was convinced she would
kill her baby if she didn't sleep on her left side. yikes. my
great grandmother had 22 babies and I doubt she worried about
procuitto or the left side. relax and congratulations. Hell,
Courtney Love admitted to shooting heroin during her pregnancy
and that kid seems okay........well okay in terms of the
consequences of her birth.
it's all good.
Even in ''what to expect when you're expecting'' which is a very
book, they say not to beat yourself up for anything you might have eaten
knew you were pregnant. Anyway, wouldn't you have symptoms by now if
there was a
I went through similar anxiety after a deli sandwich when
pregnant with baby #1. I'm not sure what I can tell you except,
nothing happened and, as you said, listeria problems are
extremely uncommon. Being pregnant for the first time is
incredibly scary, even for the non-hypochondriacs out there. With
baby #2 I ate just about everything -- soft cheese, deli meat,
even tuna (only chunk light, and only occasionally) -- though I
did still refrain from raw fish. I think once you realize that
it's pretty tough to ruin your baby, you realize that your
anxiety is probably worse for the kid than any piece of
prosciutto could be.
I wouldn't worry too much about it--if it was prosciutto from
Italy, those cows are treated pretty well and the EU has stricter
food guidelines than the US. Most cases of bacterial infection
of raw meats can be traced back to factory-farming practices in
the US (that's not to say it can't happen in the EU, but I do
remember reading it's less likely), and I suppose with deli
meats, there is also the introduction of the processing plant.
If you are really worried, you should ask your practitioner for
bloodwork sooner rather than later, and just rule it out, because
your worry is probably more detrimental to the fetus than the
minute chance of listeria infection.
That being said, I am pregnant now and freaked when I found out,
because I had taken a hot bath at week 3 or something. I worried
about it for quite some time, so don't beat yourself up about not
being able to stop worrying; it's natural, but just do what you
need to do to rule out the possibility of infection so you don't
need to worry in the future.
I think you should talk to your doctor - not because I think you have
worry about, but because s/he will be able to reassure you. When I was
one day I bought a salad for lunch that had some cheese sprinkled on it.
It smelled a
bit funny, but I figured that it was probably some blue cheese, and it
going to kill me. Well, it took me a couple of bites to realize that the
cheese was in
fact spoiled feta. Well... I was certain that I had just caused
irreparable damage to
my baby, and how could I forgive myself for being so stupid. That night,
upset I was, my husband suggested that I call my doctor, so I called the
pregnancy hotline. A very kind and patient nurse listened to my story,
something along the lines of: ''Honey, if one bite of bad salad killed
wouldn't be so many people on this planet.'' She did go ahead and
consult with a
doctor, just in case, but they were not worried in the slightest.
And by the way, I ate turkey sandwiches throughout my pregnancy and
was just fine!
I didn't respond to the original post but after reading the
replies felt I should. The issue with listeria is that it can
cause a miscarriage or severe birth defects. I am not an
alarmist, I had sushi and the occasional drink while pregnant
but did stay away from lunchmeat/soft cheese like it was the
plague. The chances of contracting it are extremely slim but
the results can be devastating so that's why dr's are
concerned. It cannot be compared to eating sushi where if you
get sick, you are just way more uncomfortable - in this case
you could lose your baby. I'd advise you not to worry if you
have already eaten the lunchmeat but I would stay away from it
the rest of your pregnancy.
not worth the risk
One last word on listeria--everyone who told you to take it easy
and not worry said that they had eaten something forbidden and
not had a bad result. That's really not a great reason to
encourage someone else to eat something potentially harmful.
Yes, not everyone who eats soft cheeses or deli meat will get
listeria. BUT, I happen to know someone who ate something on the
list of no-nos and DID get listeria--went into labor early, and
nearly lost her son who became infected with it and was in the
NICU for a long time. He seems fine now, but who knows the long
term consequences. So, now everyone knows someone who knows
someone who had an issue with listeria. There is a reason docs
advise not to eat certain things. So, if you ate it, and nothing
happened. Great. But, I would advise avoiding it in the future
to be safe.
It's not so hard to avoid certain foods while preggers
this page was last updated: Nov 4, 2007
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