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Brie? Bubbly? Sushi? Help

(136 Posts)
Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 02:25:21

Hi everyone. I have just found out I'm expecting my first baby on 1 December. I'm a total over-planner and read a lot of books & medical studies on everything before we got the BFP, but with food I'm still quite confused ... the advice is all over the show.

I read Expecting Better which I found really helpful, and that, coupled with my own research means I'm comfortable with my usual one coffee a day (under 200mgs of caffeine) and 1- 2 units of alcohol a week in the first trimester (as a limit, not a target). I was a bit of a social smoker but I've knocked that on the head entirely.

The food thing, though, is really confusing me. No unpasturised cheese - well that's fine, all cheese where I am (NZ) is pasteurised. But then official information re soft pasteurised cheese (like brie, blue, camembert) is to only eat piping hot. Why?

I prefer my meat basically mooing in a paddock so well done meat will be a real struggle for me (but one I can live with if it's a real risk). But does the same apply to raw fish? I eat salmon sashimi at least twice a week from a good place, it's made fresh in front of us, been eating there for 4 years and never any problems. It seems like I can probably keep eating it? Some stuff says not to and some says it's fine.

I'm happy to go without various things if there's a good reason and a real risk but it seems like if I followed all the advice to the letter I'd be on dry crackers and not much else...

Cariad007 Mon 24-Mar-14 03:15:56

Sushi is fine if the fish has been frozen previously, which is the case in shop bought sushi. You might want to check with the restaurant though.

When the cheeses are heated up that kills the bacteria that causes them to be slightly unsafe for pregnant women.

dontevenblink Mon 24-Mar-14 03:29:09

Hi, Congratulations! I'm in NZ too, this is the second baby I'm expecting here. Have you seen a midwife yet and got the list of foods they say not to eat? I think the list here is much stricter than in the UK (I had dc1 and 2 there), it says things like no Sushi, despite the fact I think it is normally always really fresh here as like you said it is often made in front of you! Also things like processed ham etc, which I think is a bit silly - if it's sealed I still eat it, think it's more to do with deli stuff (I find in Countdown it always looks like its been sitting there for a while...).
In the UK it always said stay away from soft cheeses like Brie, but like you said they were un-pasteurised and here they are pasteurised so they might be ok... I stay away from them out of habit though smile If you haven't been given the leaflet I can get it out for you and have a look if you want, also any questions you have feel free to ask smile The maternity and postnatal care here is fantastic in my experience!

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 06:50:22

Oh thank so much dontevenblink! When are you due? Glad to hear you are found the maternity care here good! I have 1st appointment with obstetrician booked in but it's not for another month. I looked up the official list online & it just seems really crazily over the top.

Obviously I wouldn't eat dodgy sushi but I wouldn't eat it if I wasn't pregnant! No good sushi in NZ would use frozen fish so it's a bit weird. I remember when my sister was pregnant they advised against rice generally but that recommendation seems to have disappeared!

PickleMobile Mon 24-Mar-14 06:58:27

Here is the link to the uk guidance. Basically it's made up of things that could hurt baby (too much vitamin a in liver, listeria in rare meat) to things that could give you food poisoning (raw fish). I think it's wise to avoid the things that could hurt the baby and to use your own judgement about food poisoning.

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 07:28:52

Thank you pickles. I've read all the lists (well, UK and NZ) and I get the pate/vitamin A, raw meat/toxo risks, shellfish/listeria risks ... I don't understand why pasteurised soft cheeses have to be eaten hot? Or the blanket ban on sushi. Some of the rules seem to have no real basis.

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 07:29:35

Oops, that is, Pickle. I have pickles on the brain ...

glendatheveryexcitedwitch Mon 24-Mar-14 07:33:10

As a student midwife I would recommend abstaining from alcohol throughout pregnancy - especially the first trimester as this is when important systems are being laid down and alcohol can damage these in a number of ways - just google nofas (website about fetal alcohol syndrome) and look at their recommendations!!!

McBaby Mon 24-Mar-14 07:34:19

Raw fish can contain a parasite work no matter how good the sushi is or where it is from but freezing the fish before serving kills the parasite.

Soft cheeses can be made from pasteurised cheese but the issue is the mold on the outside of the cheese which is still live and can give you listeria which is can be serious for your unborn child but it's rare you might catch it so heating up kills the listeria and the mold.

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 08:01:57

Thanks McBaby, that makes sense. The mould is never mentioned specifically, I wonder what the risk is.

Glenda I realise that the first trimester is important for fetal development but equally there's absolutely no evidence that 1 -2 units of alcohol a week contribute to FAS at all. I have also checked with an obstetrician. I am naturally pretty risk averse as I'm a lawyer but I feel comfortable with this approach.

squizita Mon 24-Mar-14 08:13:44

Pickle confusingly there are 2 NHS pages and one is much more detailed than the other (and has some nice news e.g. stilton is not classed as a blue because it is hard - yum yum!)
Here is the more detailed one for the UK:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx#close
One thing to bear in mind is the guidelines vary from country to country in relation to eating habits and food hygiene laws - hence they are very strict in America because how cold fridges have to be (and more importantly how well policed the shops are) etc' can vary a lot from place to place. The UK is smaller and supermarkets are well monitored, so our guidelines seem more relaxed.

squizita Mon 24-Mar-14 08:15:09

PS. also IGNORE the headings, read the bits they link to! E.g. it says 'peanuts' ... which links to a bit about peanuts being perfectly OK but thyey listed them as people ask. CONFUSING!

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 08:17:34

Thanks squizita that's a really helpful list.

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:20:24

sushi does not have raw fish in it confused

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 24-Mar-14 08:24:11

Of course proper sushi has raw fish in it. It's only some of the shop bought ones don't. Waitrose -raw fish, Tesco -cooked fish.

NigellasDealer Mon 24-Mar-14 08:26:54

i can assure you that waitrose sushi or any other sushi does not have raw fish in it.
it is 'sashimi' that has raw fish.

Gennz Mon 24-Mar-14 08:29:48

I eat sushi a couple of times a week & it definitely has raw fish in it! Either tuna or salmon nigiri, or salmon roll with avo & cucumber.

mrsbug Mon 24-Mar-14 08:41:51

Sushi refers to the rolls with rice, it can be made with raw fish, cooked fish, vegetables or whatever you like.

Personally I decided to eat raw fish if I knew it had been frozen and the small amounts of alcohol you describe (although as it happened I totally went off the taste in the first trimester).

Wrt listeria where I live the number of listeria cases is tiny so I made the choice to eat soft cheeses - I figured it was a lot less risky than driving my car, for example.

TheGreatHunt Mon 24-Mar-14 08:49:52

Being pregnant means you're at greater risk from some bugs which would affect you more than if you weren't.

I gave up all alcohol as was easier, no caffeine (it tasted rank to me), soft cheeses (too hard to work out what was pasteurised due to rubbish labels) and deli meats. This was first time around.
Second time I'm ashamed to say I ate occasional brie and the odd sip of wine. Although I became a massive light weight so didn't bother towards the end.

TheGreatHunt Mon 24-Mar-14 08:50:02

Being pregnant means you're at greater risk from some bugs which would affect you more than if you weren't.

I gave up all alcohol as was easier, no caffeine (it tasted rank to me), soft cheeses (too hard to work out what was pasteurised due to rubbish labels) and deli meats. This was first time around.
Second time I'm ashamed to say I ate occasional brie and the odd sip of wine. Although I became a massive light weight so didn't bother towards the end.

FuckingFuck Mon 24-Mar-14 08:52:18

OP you sound like you have a sensible approach to this and you have researched well but I agree it can be really confusing!

I didn't drink at all in the first trimester because it made me feel ridiculously ill, but think occasional glass of wine is fine based on research. In regards to food I did occasionally stray from the list but did so based on knowledge of the individual foods and what I perceived to be the real risk.

Sometimes the advice does seem a bit strict so I think it's really all about making informed decisions and you seem to be well informed!

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 24-Mar-14 08:53:59

Well, I just ate it last week and it was raw salmon with rice: nigiri. Nigiri is sushi.

moonbells Mon 24-Mar-14 08:55:30

Congratulations!

I dealt with the sushi problem the easy way - once I stopped feeling rotten I only ate vegetable maki, or tamago (egg).

I told DH that the first day after getting home from the birth I wanted liver pâté on toast, smoked salmon and proper sushi. I can't remember what happened though! grin

pommedeterre Mon 24-Mar-14 09:01:31

Ive always eaten kilos of brie post birth!

Annoyingly when not pg I am on medication that means no cranberries at all, when pg I am on medication that its ok to eat cranberries with. So basically, at no time, can I eat brie and cranberry together! First world problems!

I have been eating vegetable sushi to satisfy my sushi needs. I have been eating cooked prawns too.

The NHS advice is written as if we are three year olds. Makes me want to go out and drink stagnant water from cold store floors.

dontevenblink Mon 24-Mar-14 09:04:17

Gennz I'm due 7th September. Whereabouts are you? I'm in Christchurch.

Sushi in NZ can contain raw fish but a lot of it doesn't as the sushi chains that started up here years ago (I was reading an article earlier smile ) decided to move away from that as they found people associated sushi with just raw fish and it was putting them off. They do lots of chicken ones, vegetables etc. Sushi is massive here, there are sushi shops everywhere, every mall has at least one (and normally many!). I'm making my own instead as I get a bit paranoid during pregnancy, but it always looks very fresh when you watch them making it.

The whole food in pregnancy thing is a massive minefield, it is so tricky to know, just got to use common sense to a certain extent I suppose!

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