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  1. #1
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    Listeria and Pregnancy

    I thought I'd start this thread to help answer question women have about avoiding the risk of developing Listeria in pregnancy. This is an issue that concerns woman and I get asked lots of questions about. While Listeria can have quite awful effects on the baby it is thankfully extremely rare. This article explores Listeria in pregnancy in depth and lists the foods to avoid in pregnancy. I'd love to hear your experiences on eating in pregnancy, tips on what foods to eat while you are out and to post any questions you have about Listeria in Pregnancy.
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  2. #2
    Listeria worried me a lot in my first pregnancy, by my fourth I wasn't so concerned. I found out how rare the risks were and figured there were a lot of other things that were more worth worrying about. However, as a precaution I always washed fruits and veggies well and made sure my food was thoroughly cooked. For the most part, I do the same thing when I'm not pregnant so it wasn't that big of a deal.

  3. #3
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    Listeria question

    Hi there

    I have a worry about listeria, and I would really appreciate your help!

    I am 33 weeks pregnant. 2 weeks ago I was at a bbq where they had chicken kebabs, and while half way through eating it (I ate about 3 pieces) i realised it wasn't cooked through and stopped eating it. At the same time, a few others noticed theirs wasn't either.

    The next morning I felt really queasy, and have had nausea and bouts of diarrhea since then, which I wasn't having before eating the chicken. I was straight away worried about listeria. I had a dr appt a few days later so I asked her about it .... she told me that Listeria is only a problem if it was early in the pregnancy, and not to worry. However I didn't feel satisfied with this answer, as I had read about the danger also in late pregnancy of premature birth or having a very sick baby, so I called the midwives at the hospital I am booked into, and they put me through to the registrar. He also confused me by telling me that if I had the Listeria bacteria I would be violently ill, but I know that Listeria can have mild or even no symptoms in a healthy pregnant woman, while still passing the bacteria to the unborn baby.

    So I am now not sure what to do, I am trying not to worry but I can't help it because the information I've been told by my medical professionals doesn't make sense, and would hate to stand by and do nothing if my little boy is being affected!

    I have read that there is a blood test for listeria, I guess I am wondering if I should ask my doctor for this or if there is any other test (eg a nonstress test?) that would be reasonable to request to make sure everything is ok??

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. #4
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    Hi Beth - I understand that you are worried about Listeria. It doesn't help when you've been given some different advice that isn't in keeping with what you've read on the internet. You are correct Listeria can be a mild illness and can affect babies in the second and third trimester. There is a blood test you can have to see if you have Listeria and if it is positive you can take some antibiotics. However I am not sure how accurate this test would be if it some time since you've had the symptoms you mentioned above. You would need to talk to your doctor about this. Non stress tests are not very reliable in telling us very much about the baby. Telling a baby is infected is very difficult. A blood test from the baby carries a very real risk of miscarriage. An ultrasound of the baby's organs can give a clue if the baby has an infection (but again this would be difficult). Please hold onto the fact that Listeria is rare. Are you able to talk to another midwife or doctor about your concerns?
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  5. #5

    listeria in meal

    hi there
    i am 5 weeks pregnant and i ate ham in a parmagana meal at a resturant a few nightss ago before i knew i was pregnant, im not sure if it was cooked at high temps or just grilled until the cheese melted. im really worried that i may have contracted a listeria infection should i get a blood test or am i worrying to much

    thanks Charmaine

  6. #6
    Hi Charmaine,

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. I worried a lot during my pregnancy and I think it's quite normal because you want your baby to be born happy and healthy. My thought was, if I even was worried or felt like I should call my doctor I did. I didn't care if I was a pest. You are your own best advocate so if you have any symptoms of Listeria you should contact your doctor right away.

    Keep on posted!

    ~Christie

  7. #7
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    I ate a turkey and brie sandwich from Cosi (an american restaurant chain that makes cold and warm sandwiches. The meat was not what I thought of as "deli meat." It is chunks of turkey meat, but I ate it cold due to a mistake on their part. (ordered hot to go but after left realized it was not heated and ate it anyway because I thought the type of meat was ok). Now I am freaking out. I am 34 weeks pregnant. Should I make myself throw up the sandwich? Is it any cold meats even if it was cooked fresh and then put into a sandwich? or just traditional, pre-packaged deli meats? For example if I ate cold left over thanksgiving turkey from my home would I be at risk? I have researched this to death in the last 30 minutes but can not find an answer. Thanks for any help!

  8. #8
    Hi tcr6,

    Please try not to worry. It is possible to have a blood test to see if you have listeria if you are still worried. Also, if you had listeria you would have flu-like symptoms. Remember the chances of getting it are still small. I know it's hard not to worry when you are pregnant - but it will be best for both you and your baby if you try to have as little stress as possible.

    This article on Listeria in Pregnancy explains cold meat is ok to eat if it is within 12 hours of it being properly cooked. A cold meat cooked fresh and put in a sandwich is safe to eat.

    Does this help to reassure you?

    Please do post back if you are still worried.

    LJ

  9. #9
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    Hi. I have just been invited to a family get together at a popular resort breakfast buffet tomorrow. I know this is short notice but what is safe to eat? I'm 12weeks 6 days today.

    Thanks. Claire.

  10. #10
    My husband and I are trying to concieve and last night I ate unpateurised brie from France when out at a restaurant. I have read it can take up to 90 days for listeria infection to occur following ingestion. As I'm not pregnant, I have no midwife to ask. Do I now need to wait 3 months before we continue to try for a baby? This would be really upsetting as I am already 32 and the clock is ticking.

  11. #11
    I am 11 weeks pregnant and just had diarrhea for five days! They symptoms have gone away and I am no longer sick, but I am worried about the health of my baby? Should I call my doctor for a blood tests, I just had my 1st appointment and told him I had been sick with diarrhea. We did not do an ultrasound, but the heartbeat was normal. what should I do, I am worried about Listeria.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sgaugler View Post
    I am 11 weeks pregnant and just had diarrhea for five days! They symptoms have gone away and I am no longer sick, but I am worried about the health of my baby? Should I call my doctor for a blood tests, I just had my 1st appointment and told him I had been sick with diarrhea. We did not do an ultrasound, but the heartbeat was normal. what should I do, I am worried about Listeria.
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. As others have said, listeria is rare, there are literally hundreds of more likely reasons for your bout with diarrhea. I, for one, had diarrhea intermittently throughout the first and last trimesters of my pregnancy. In the first I think a lot of it is related to changes in diet and shifts in your internal organs, to make room for baby. In the last trimester, it is mostly related to the pre-birth "cleaning out" that most women experience.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  13. #13
    Dear sgaugler,

    Please try not to worry. The chances of getting listeria that affect your baby are very small (although it is still best to eat carefully when you are pregnant). As you had your scan since the diarrhoea, you can be reassured that the baby is ok. As mom2many says, diarrhoea is common in the first trimester. However, if you do have any other concerns during your pregnancy then don't hesitate to get some advice.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  14. #14
    Hi Sgaugler,

    I agree with Mom2Many and LJ. If your doctor wasn't concerned then I wouldn't be concerned either. Thankfully our bodies know that we may not get much nutrition during the first trimester, usually due to morning sickness, nausea and/or vomiting. In your case diarrhea is another one of those things that can cause the body to not absorb the nutrients from food and supplement like it normally does.

    But because our bodies are prepared for this, it also means that in most cases, the body can support a pregnancy even with a bought of diarrhea for a week. Your baby is so very small and doesn't require a lot from you. This will all change in your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

    So rest assured that your baby is just fine, and now it's important for you to take care of yourself. Rest, and eat nutritiously dense foods to help you gain your strength back. Green smoothies are a great way to do this. Here's a thread that talks more about how to make green smoothies.

    Please post back and let us know how you're feeling.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  15. #15

    Help! I just had expired Beef Broth!

    I just consumed expired beef broth. Yes, I know completely dumb on my part. The can was in perfect condition and I was making french onion soup (it went extremely bad) and I had to add some beef broth to make it taste ok. Anyways I didnt realize to check the can until after I consumed the soup. I brought everything to a boil for probably 1-2 minutes then it simmered for about 15....then I put the soup in the oven for around 10minutes at the broil level.

    Nothing tasted off and I didn't notice a bad odor from the can of beef broth. Should I be worried about listeria? I know they say cooking food kills it. Hopefully it applies to this case because I'm freaking out!!

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