I've been mulling a pregnancy nutrition thread for a while, and then today I got this email at work. I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting it for you. Feel free to chime in with ideas, suggestions or questions about what to eat and what not to eat if you are expecting a baby.
quote:Eating healthy foods is only part of pregnancy nutrition. It's equally important to avoid harmful foods. You want what's best for your baby. That's why you slice fruit on your fortified breakfast cereal, sneak extra veggies into your favorite recipes and eat yogurt for dessert. But did you know that what you don't eat and drink may be just as important as what you do?
Start with the basics. Knowing what to avoid can help you make the healthiest choices for you and your baby.
quote: Seafood can be a great source of protein and iron, and the omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can help promote your baby's brain development. However, some fish and shellfish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Too much mercury may damage your baby's developing nervous system. The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it may contain.
So what's safe? Some types of seafood contain little mercury. According to the most recent guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can safely eat up to 12 ounces a week (two average meals) of:
Canned light tuna (Limit albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces a week.)
In July 2006, a popular consumer magazine raised questions about the safety of any type of canned tuna for pregnant women. The FDA continues to support the safety of up to 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, including canned light tuna. To avoid ingesting harmful bacteria or viruses, avoid raw fish and shellfish * especially oysters and clams * and anything caught in polluted water. Refrigerated smoked seafood is also off limits (like lox), unless it's an ingredient in a casserole or other cooked dish.
When you cook fish, use the 10-minute rule. Measure the fish at its thickest part and cook for 10 minutes per inch at 450 F. Boil shellfish * such as clams, oysters and shrimp * for four to six minutes.
quote:During pregnancy, changes in your metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of bacterial food poisoning. Your reaction may be more severe than if you weren't pregnant. Rarely, your baby may get sick, too.
To prevent foodborne illness, fully cook all meats and poultry before eating. Look for the juices to run clear, but use a meat thermometer to make sure. Skip medium or rare burgers and sausages. The Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria commonly found on the surface of meat may be distributed throughout the whole product during the grinding process. Unless you cook ground meat to an internal temperature of 160 F, you may not raise its internal temperature enough to kill E. coli. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat is done.
Be careful with hot dogs and deli meats, too. These are sources of a rare but potentially serious food-borne illness known as listeriosis. Cook hot dogs and heat deli meats until they're steaming hot * or avoid them completely.
quote:Dairy products such as skim milk, mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese can be a healthy part of your diet. But anything containing unpasteurized milk is a no-no. These products may lead to foodborne illness.
Unless these soft cheeses are clearly labeled as being made with pasteurized milk, don't eat:
Blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort
Mexican-style cheeses, such as queso blanco, queso fresco, queso de hoja, queso de crema and asadero
And something I didn't rip off from that article...
What is listeriosis?
Listeriosis is an infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes is a common bacteria; they live EVERYWHERE. Listeria usually doesn't cuase problems in healthy people, but in the elderly or immunocompromised, Listeria can cause severe -- possibly fatal -- illness.
In pregnant women, Listeria can do some serious damage. During pregnancy, a woman's immune system is suppressed to allow the baby to develop without the mother's antibodies attacking it to death. This means bacteria like Listeria can move in and cause infection.
Listeriosis can cause symptoms such as high fevers, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, stiff necks (a sign of Listeria meningitis), rashes and so forth. It is especially dangerous to pregnant women because Listeria can get into the womb and infect the baby. This can result in premature delivery, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Listeriosis is curable with ampicillin (a penicillin-type antibiotic), but it has to be caught in time.
This year, I have already seen 4 cases of perinatal listeriosis. Fortunately, none of the babies nor mothers died. However, all of the babies were born very sick and terribly underweight. One is still in NICU, still not 5lbs, even though he was born last month. That baby will live, but he already has serious brain damage due to the infection he had while he was in his mother.
So ladies, it is important that if you are pregnant, make sure you stay away from soft cheese, cold cuts, and so forth. Cook he germs out of your food, and you will avoid Listeria.
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.