Food plays a vital role during pregnancy since through the foods the mother consumes, the fetus is nourished and receives all the vitamins necessary to thrive. For this reason, for most pregnant women, food represents a significant concern since they fear consuming foods that are prohibited during pregnancy and that may cause some harm to the development of the baby.
Among the most common doubts of future mothers about food are whether or not they can drink infusions or eat fish, sausages, canned goods, and dairy products. We will talk about the latter in this FastlyHealarticle since many people frequently ask themselves: Can pregnant women eat cheese? Find out below!
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Can pregnant women eat cheese?
The consumption of cheese during pregnancy is not prohibited. However, some limitations are recommended to be respected to prevent contracting bacteria and diseases that may complicate the development of the fetus. The pathology sought to avoid by limiting the consumption of cheese is listeriosis. This disease occurs when a person has been infected with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, and that can cause spontaneous abortions. Therefore, to prevent the spread of listeriosis, it is necessary to take into account the following recommendations regarding the consumption of dairy products in pregnant women:
- Do not consume unpasteurized milk or cheese: Dairy products that contain the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes are precisely those that have not been pasteurized. Raw milk is the primary source of this bacteria, so all cheeses made from it can contain listeria. You can also find this bacteria in meat or vegetables that have been in contact with the ground.
- Do not drink raw milk: Raw milk is preferable to boil before being consumed or processed. Heat is the only thing capable of killing the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, so dairy pasteurization is carried out at high temperatures during cooking.
- Cheeses to avoid: The cheeses that are most likely to contain the listeriosis bacteria are feta cheese, goat cheese, queso fresco, white cheese, cream cheese, panela cheese, leaf cheese, and camembert cheese since generally its preparation is done with raw milk instead of pasteurized milk.
- Read the labels: Check the labels of all dairy products to see if they are made from raw milk or pasteurized milk. If the product is not pasteurized, you should not consume it.
In conclusion, can pregnant women eat cheese? Yes, as long as the cheese is made from pasteurized milk. In fact, during pregnancy, the consumption of dairy is significant for the development of the fetus and the health of the mother, so it is not recommended to eliminate their consumption but to choose them correctly. In the following article, you will find all those foods you should not eat while pregnant.
What is listeriosis?
Limiting the consumption of unpasteurized cheeses during pregnancy helps prevent listeriosis. This disease is caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which is frequently found in raw milk but may also be found in meats and vegetables or fruits that have been in contact with the earth. The disease control and prevention center assures that 1600 people are infected with this disease a year and highlights that pregnant women, as in the case of rubella, are more sensitive to the spread of this infection that can cause the baby’s death.
The disease usually begins with a gastrointestinal infection. Still, it can also spread to other parts of the body, and depending on the area it affects, its manifestations will rely. It can involve a heart infection, conjunctivitis, brain infection or meningitis, pneumonia, septicemia, gastroenteritis, and skin lesions. The symptoms of listeriosis are:
- Lack of appetite.
- Soft spot.
- State of shock.
- Difficulty breathing.
As in most infections, treatment for listeriosis focuses on the consumption of antibiotics that allow the bacteria to be eliminated from the body and stop its lesions and expansion.
Listeriosis and pregnancy
When a woman is infected with listeriosis early in pregnancy, a miscarriage can occur since the mother can transmit the disease to the fetus through the placenta, directly affecting the amniotic fluid. Listeriosis can also cause the baby to be born lifeless (stillborn), more common when the infection occurs in late pregnancy.
When treatment is given immediately, and the baby survives the infection without complications, the baby is likely to be premature, be born ill, or become sick within a few days after birth. The most common problems in babies with listeriosis are meningitis, fever, shortness of breath, infection in the blood, lesions in various organs, and skin ulcers.
Other tips to prevent listeriosis
Identifying this disease in time is key to avoiding its transfer to the fetus. However, it will be even better to prevent its contagion completely, so we offer you these tips to prevent listeriosis:
- The listeriosis bacteria is tough to kill, so sometimes it can even be alive after being cooked. Therefore, any food or leftover that you will consume should be heated to a very high temperature until it is steaming.
- Avoid eating fresh or raw food, especially in restaurants or fast-food franchises.
- Don’t eat unpasteurized cheese or dairy.
- Sausages such as pâté, meat spreads, and refrigerated or pickled products must be previously cooked before consuming them.
- Wash and peel all fruits and vegetables well before consuming them.
- Don’t eat anything less than two hours after it comes out of the refrigerator, as bacteria thrive in the cold.
- Avoid all sprouted products like bean sprouts.
- Do not keep food for a long time; it is not suitable for you to consume it after two days.
In the following FastlyHealarticle, we answer other questions you may have, such as how often should I eat while pregnant?
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Can pregnant women eat cheese? , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.