Food Poisoning During Pregnancy
So you're feeling sick -- could it be food poisoning? We've got all the info you want to know about food poisoning during pregnancy, including how to tell if you have it and how to keep baby safe while you're on the mend.
How will my food poisoning affect my baby?
Most of the time, it won’t. Some cases of food poisoning are particularly dangerous to your baby, though. Listeria, a bacteria that may be present in uncooked foods and soft, unpasteurized cheeses, may cause miscarriage, premature delivery, infection or death to the newborn. (Scary!)
What’s the best way to treat food poisoning during pregnancy?
“Really push the fluids,” says Sharon Phelan, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. The biggest risk of food poisoning is that you’ll become dehydrated, so keep sipping water, juice and soups. You might want to try diluting a sports drink -- half sports drink and half water -- and downing it to replenish your electrolytes (but not overload on sugar).
What can I do to prevent food poisoning during pregnancy?
“Food safety is a biggie,” Phelan says. Keep uncooked foods away from ready-to-eat foods, make sure foods are cooked to the proper temperature and refrigerated or frozen promptly after use (if necessary), wash hands and utensils often and thaw foods in the refrigerator or microwave, not on the counter.
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to listeria, so presliced, prepackaged, pasteurized lunch meats are better than meats sliced fresh at the deli counter -- you should also heat deli meat before you eat it, to kill any potential bad stuff.
You might also want to consider avoiding fresh sprouts for the remainder of your pregnancy; they can carry E. coli, which causes food poisoning. Steer clear of raw meat (like carpaccio) and fish (such as sushi) while you’re pregnant too (find out what other pregnant moms do when they have food poisoning on Page 3).