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What, if any, of the "foods to avoid" have you eaten? Or plan to eat?(33 Posts)
When I was pregnant with PFB dd, I avoided literally everything on the list of foods to avoid. This time around I'm thinking more "what actual harm can it do?". So I'm interested to know what other people actually do avoid.
Partially cooked eggs are still on the banned list, but I have eaten them this time as the guidance is changing.
I also have had a small amount of camembert, although I'm wondering if that was a bit too far! I've never actually heard of anyone catching listeriosis from supermarket bought camembert though!
So do you avoid it all? And if not, what are you reasons?
I eat everything, certain things in very small quantities (vitamin A related products) while pregnant. I do make a judgement call on things that may have been prepared in less than hygienic situations more when pregnant than not however.
When I first fell pregnant I ate my steak medium, not thinking that steak would come under the blanket of undercooked meat. It wasn't until I ended up eating very rare lamb (sadly I had eaten most of it without really realising) that I saw it wasn't a good thing
I've not eaten meat pink since - so since around week 13.
I've had a few small glasses of wine but none since I started feeling baby move, just doesn't feel right somehow
I ate everything.
The only things I avoided were soft drinks like Coke (didn't drink often pre-pregnancy, anyway - maybe once a month, if that) and coffee. But I lapsed on the coffee a couple of times. It was just a personal preference to avoid those, really.
Baby turned out perfectly healthy.
I've reduced caffeine to 2 cups of instant coffee a day (from about 6 previously) and I'm not eating blue cheese. Soft cheese is fine if warmed (think baked Camembert) and I'm allowing 1-2 small glasses of wine a week. I'll eat runny eggs, cheese, Mr Whippy etc because I'm taking a reasonable view of risks. For example- last known case of lysteria in the UK was ages ago... I think that's fine for me. Blue cheese mainly off because I can't stand the smell. So only caffeine and alcohol really
The only thing I've actively avoided has been rocket and salad leaves, since there's been an ecoli outbreak linked to those in the UK this summer. I haven't fancied alcohol or much coffee, but I would have those in moderation. I've been enjoying my soft cheeses and runny eggs, though!
It would be worth reading Emily Oster's 'Expecting Better'. She goes through the evidence for the bans, and I was surprised how thin some of it was, as well as how the dangers of some things (like gardening!) are never mentioned.
I have a friend who's a doctor in the neonatal ward. She's told me stories about babies who have suffered from mum eating food on the banned list. I don't risk any. I think your chances of anything bad happening are really, really low. But if you are unlucky then the consequences are terrible. It's only 9 months so I wouldn't take the risk. She's not all doom and gloom though, and thinks the odd drink is fine.
I steered clear of anything with a listeria risk (soft and unpasteurised cheese, pate etc). I also avoided fish with high Mercury content.
I ate partially cooked eggs & rare steak & had the odd small glass of wine. Eggs are such a minimal risk I felt it was negligible as long as they were lion stamped. The risk with rare steak is toxoplasmosis. I am a life long cat owner & would have been exposed to this already. I limited myself to 2 cups of caffeine a day.
It really helped me to read about why these recommendations are made and to take an educated decision rather than listen to scaremongering. It also meant I could stand up for myself when I got told off for eating smoked salmon!
Thanks for all your responses. I have been trying to research, but there is so much conflicting advice! The cheese was a week or 2 ago, so if it had made me ill I'd know by now. Haven't eaten it since then.
I don't drink caffeine anyway, so that's no harm to avoid. And I don't fancy alcohol, never have been a big drinker.
It's nice to know what others do when making these decisions. When I was pregnant I had a friend pregnant too who wouldn't even eat some of the stuff deemed safe and made me feel guilty if I did.
Everyone has their own approach and that's ok - it's when people try and influence your choices that stops being the case. Do what feels right for you!
I avoided known toxins (alcohol, Mercury, vitamin A). Everything else I considered fair game; the most common source in this country for listeria poisoning is from prepackaged sandwiches - and I don't see anyone banning those. I've had cats for years so the toxoplasmosis risk is low, and lion stamped eggs have come from chickens immunised against salmonella.
Also, cooking cheese means it's ok to eat, so you can fill your boots with baked Camembert...
Things like tuna, pate, coffee, chirizo etc, i limit due to concentration of certain minerals or whatever.
Eggs, I eat runnny. Rare steak I have arguments with dh because he's more risk averse and is worried about me eating it.
I haven't consciously changed what I eat but I've gone off a lot of foods so what I actually do eat is now very limited.
The only thing I don't do is pick up after the dog. The midwife was quite forceful on that one. She said everything else just don't eat too much and it'll be fine.
When I was pregnant with DD, I went on holiday, and it was a choice between mayonnaised salad and soft cheese or breaking my veggie principles or a week solely restricted to bread and tomatoes. I spent the first three days on the bread and tomatoes and became so hungry I cried... and then gave in and ate the mayo and cheese. In retrospect, I think I should have eaten the meat as a one-off (I came home very anaemic) but at the time, it seemed unconscionable.
The moral being, I think, we all just do he best we can
I eat runny lion stamped eggs. Also steak cooked medium rare, but only at home after I've frozen it for a few days. The risk with undercooked steak is toxoplasmosis, caused by a parasite that can be killed by freezing.
Oh man, I've eaten most of it.
- Runny and raw eggs
- Soft cheese (a lot of supermarket-bought camembert and other soft cheese is actually made with pasteurised milk, check the label!)
- Sushi (but have made sure to avoid raw shellfish and not eat too much tuna)
- Caffeine, in moderation
- Alcohol, in moderation (1-2 glasses of wine some weeks, then none for weeks on end as well)
- Rare steak and medium burgers
- Cured meat
...the list goes on. I have been very careful to wash salad and peel veg or scrub it properly if I'm going to eat it raw, however.
The way I see it, I have never had listeriosis before and the risk is vanishingly small, I get tested regularly for toxoplasmosis (I don't live in the UK so it might be different there) and if I ever get it it can be treated before it does any harm to the baby, although in 30+ years of owning a cat and eating raw steak
and plenty of soil as a child I have never had it. Alcohol and caffeine are generally considered to be fine in small quantities, my doctor doesn't have a problem with either.
This is my first and I always thought I'd be a bit PFB about it and follow the guidance to the letter. But honestly it's been much more important to me that I eat a healthy, balanced diet, ensure my weight gain is not too rapid or too high, get LOADS of exercise, drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep (increasingly difficult as I approach week 30...) and avoid too much stress.
My scan last week showed that my baby is growing perfectly if a little on the large side, my anomaly scan at 23 weeks showed the same. Of course, there is no way to know that everything will be completely healthy but I don't feel I have damaged my chances of that at all by eating the odd steak that hasn't been incinerated, alongside a very small glass of good red wine.
I eat everything, but I'm much more careful about old food when I'm pregnant. Food poisoning is absolutely horrible when you're pregnant.
Chicken that smells like it could possibly be on the turn but will probably be fine? In the bin. This kebab place looks filthy, but the food probably won't make me ill? Nope...
Stuff like that. But soft cheeses, runny eggs, rare steak etc just gets shoveled in as long as it's fresh.
Ah yes I'm also with Mavis - I'm pretty highly strung with best before dates and not taking risks with food when I'm not pregnant, but I'll admit I've been hyper vigilant toward ensuring food is cooked, smells right and eating out at places I know have good hygiene standards.
We don't get tested routinely over here for toxoplasmosis Struggler which I've always found a bit odd considering we are a nation of pet lovers, meat eaters and gardeners - three factors which can increase risk. Toxo was actually something I was really freaked out about after the lamb incident I mentioned above, but I was dismissed by my midwife who said it only came from cat poo and unless I had a cat I wasn't to worry - no wonder people get so confused during pregnancy!
In the end I've tried to reconcile the risk in my head by knowing I've eaten rare steak for years and I had several cats from the age of 2-28.
Loving this thread, I thought I was alone with not taking the banned list too seriously and trying to just be sensible with things. Have eaten runny eggs, medium steak and had the odd drink. As one of the posters said above, no alcohol since I started feeling her move because it feels weird. My mum was actively told to eat lots of liver and she had 3 perfectly healthy babies :-)
Anything that you can usually get food poisoning easily from I have avoided, as it's quite dangerous for the baby in pregnancy, and am making sure to wash all my fruit and veg thoroughly. As this is my first pregnancy, I don't want to take any risks, although women have been popping out babies for years all over the world, so I am sure most things are fine in reality.
I've completely avoided raw sushi, (most high street places seem to differ whether their tuna and/or salmon have been frozen, so I just avoid all), although I have been eating crab and prawn sushi as that is precooked.
I've eaten soft eggs, although I did avoid all eggs while on holiday as I know they aren't lion stamped like they are in the UK.
I'm also getting my chorizo fix but making sure it has been well cooked first, although am missing cold meats on the odd occasion.
I'm not a coffee drinker, a pate lover or a steak eater, so that hasn't affected me at all, but I do miss really stinky blue cheese and a gin and tonic! The smell of alcohol is still making me feel queezy, so am completely off most alcohol anyway.
Was coming to recommend Expecting Better but someone got there first! Its really good about remaining level-headed about risk. Most people are really really shit at analysing risk.
People always recommend Expecting Better, but I wouldn't suggest it for steak lovers. I had the odd medium steak in pregnancy and felt v guilty after reading that book.
I ate everything apart from Stilton when pregnant with dd1 and the same this time round, I only avoid Blue cheese because I can't stand it in the first place but I was/am more careful about out of date food, washing it and reheating
I even have the odd very weak alcoholic drink maybe a 1/3 ale to 2/3 lemonade for exapmle once a month when the urge hits im not a big fan of alcohol that's about my usual intake for a month anyway
It's interesting reading all the different takes on food! Thank you all for your responses. I definitely am more cautious about use by dates and food storage now! Always was rather blasé about that until I was pregnant with DD.
I might have to look at Expecting Better. There needs to be more factual, not conflicting advice!
My DD has a hole in her heart and I think it's because I drank alcohol in the very early weeks before I knew I was pregnant when the heart was forming. I don't know this for sure but the reading I've done suggests it could have had an effect.
Having a child who will possibly have to have open heart surgery in the future certainly puts things in perspective. Next time I will follow every rule to the letter, I don't care how small the risk is, it's not worth taking for me.
I already miss rare steak actually but have tried to stay clear of it. I've gone off coffee and wine which is very lucky as i am sure they were my main vices before. What's the deal with soft cheese? Because that's a conflicting one. Some people say it is OK if it isn't unpasteurized and some say it's not ok because it is "mould ripened".
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