Food and Drink through Pregnancy

A lot of pregnant women, when they find out that they are pregnant, she immediately wonders, What can i eat? Any Fish? What can i drink? Any Caffeine? If so, how much? Well i am hoping that i can help you out! I am not doctor, so i hope that this is as informational as you need.
First thing is first, Food Safety. During pregnancy, it is as possible too get food poisoning as any other time in your life, and you are more prone to getting it since your immune system is providing for the baby as well. So you ask, food poisoning? will it hurt the baby? The answer is, YOU are more likely to suffer from the vomiting and/or diarrhea. The only thing that is a MAJOR risk, for you AND baby, is that you may become dehydrated. So, if you do fall victim to food poisoning, make SURE that you stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water, juices (not too much sugar cause this can increase diarrhea) and a good thing, is chicken noodle soup, or just chicken broth. Some ‘guidelines’ that i follow while/when i am pregnant. Here are some:
– When in doubt, throw it out. (this is probably the most important one!)
– Always, ALWAYS wash your hands. Before and AFTER handling raw meat, eggs, fish, etc.
– Keep your kitchen counters & sinks CLEAN. (I became the bleach queen) Wash your dishcloths, and replace your sponges regularly (they can harbor dangerous bacteria)
– Avoid fish with high mercury. (bigger fish, like halibut, shark, rock fish have higher levels of mercury. And mercury can cause brain deficiency and {later in pregnancy} can cause blood stream issues with your unborn baby)
– Thaw frozen meat in the fridge, never thaw foods at room temperature, this again, can cause dangerous bacteria to grow. (i use cold water)
– Wash raw vegetables thoroughly, if they will not be cooked (the same with fruit)
– Stay with pasteurized dairy products. soft cheeses, such as, Feta, Brie, blue cheeses, made by unpasteurized milk can be contaminated with Listeria.
– Cold cut meat can also be contaminated with Listeria (hot dogs, salami… etc.)

~ If you don’t already know, you are probably wondering what “Listeria” is… Listeria is a bacteria that can cause a serious illness, called “Listeriosis” .. but is very rare, (kind of like mad cow disease)Even though it is rare, you still will want to avoid foods that can contain it.

– Juice should be pasteurized as well, if you are not sure if it is pasteurized or not. Refer back to the VERY first guideline 🙂

Drinks:
Every woman knows that alcohol is out. But there are also women who think that your are not supposed to have caffeine at all, BUT if you are anything like me (as in human) you will need some kind of caffeine. But too much caffeine can dehydrate you. But what i do, for every caffeinated drink that i drink, i drink a glass of water. (because i am sure if you haven’t figured it out yet, you need to stay hydrated, lol) Energy drinks though, are OUT most definantly, because they have a very high level of caffeine. Sports drinks are OK, because they are made to hydrate you, but still you will not want to drink just these, because your body and baby need the nutrients in water.

Eating and Drinking During Labor:
Yes or No? No studies have shown that not eating or drinking during labor benefit you, although not drinking can cause stress levels to increase and can cause (again) dehydration. Although, some studies have shown that women who do eat and drink during labor do not require ‘oxytocin’ to speed up labor, require fewer pain medications (before and after) labor, and have babies with higher Apgar scores.
Some suggestions for ‘eating’ during labor are:
– Hard candies (to keep your mouth moist)
– The ever popular ice chips
– Fruity Popsicles (make sure they are not too sugary)
– Jello
– Home-made juice Popsicles (i know your thinking, how will i have these at the hospital? But some women have to labor at home, so these will be good then)
– dry toast
– clear broth
– Water with LOTS of ice

Some hospitals do not allow you to eat during labor, but most DO allow you to drink water and eat/suck on ice.

Well i hope i was helpful, i know that most of this was common knowledge, but i still hope that i was able to help at least ONE person. There are GREAT books out there, like the ever popular “What to expect, when your expecting.” (where i got ALL of my knowledge on pregnancy) I found that books are very helpful during pregnancy, and if your on bed rest, they can help pass the time. Thank you for reading 🙂

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This entry was posted in Cooking.