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Thread: Listeria and Pregnancy
11th July 2012 07:22 AM #16
Please try not to worry and remember that it is very rare to get listeria plus the fact that you cooked it for that amount of time makes the risk even less likely.
If you are still worried, you could see your doctor and ask to have a blood test. If you got listeria you would experience flu-like symptoms.
I know it's easy to say and harder to do, but try not to worry. Keeping stress levels to a minimum is also important in pregnancy and from what you describe I wouldn't be concerned.
Best wishes to you in your pregnancy,
11th July 2012 12:16 PM #17
I wouldn't be concerned about it at all. Most canned products are good WAY beyond the expiration date, and companies know that their canned products may be consumed after the due date, so they put an "earlier than is true" expiration date on them (i.e. if they think it will be good for 4 years on the shelf, they may put an expiration date of 3 years on it.). On top of that, you boiled it and broiled it, and I can't imagine anything surviving after that.
I'm with LJ - best not to worry, and I'm sure there wasn't anything to be concerned with. Anytime you start to experience vomiting or diarrhea during pregnancy, and you know it's not the typical morning sickness or due to the flu, then call your doctor, but in this instance, I'd be super surprised if anything comes of this. Stores donate their expired canned goods to homeless shelters all the time, and they feed it to the homeless with no problems. You said the can had no dents and it wasn't bulging, so it was likely just fine.
31st July 2012 03:21 PM #18
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- Jul 2012
I'm 7 weeks pregnant and have been so concerned eating ham and everything else on the list, that today when I ate a ham sandwich I now feel so frustrated with myself.
I have had pretty bad morning sickness over the last 2 weeks, so when I think I can keep something down, I'll try eat. Unfortunately today all I could stomach was a ham and salad sandwich. I did toast it, but probably not for long enough... I have a doctors appointment tomorrow to make sure everything is ok, but that is still nearly 24 hours away.
Is this whole listeria thing more paranoia than necesary for pregnant woman? I am struggling so much with the changes to my body and not being able to eat my normal food that I am worried all this stress is doing more harm than good.
I have had flu like symptoms for several weeks now (the flu is going around) so I do not know if I would be able to notice anything different. I have also been having mild cramping since week 4 (no bleeding). Is there cause for concern having eaten a toasted ham sandwich?
31st July 2012 06:02 PM #19
Ham sandwiches are just fine during pregnancy, and you shouldn't be concerned if the ham was cooked.
Eat what you can and don't worry about listeria. It is very rare.
Please post back and let us know how your appointment goes, but my thought is that you likely don't need to see the doctor if you've just got morning sickness or a touch of the flu, as long as you're able to keep some things down and you're staying well hydrated.
I didn't have my first appointment with my midwives until I was 10-12 weeks along, for all 5 of my babies, and I never thought twice about eating ham.
Hope this helps to put your mind at ease.
15th December 2012 11:15 AM #20
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- Dec 2012
- Rhode Island
I have a question. I am 37 weeks pregnant. I had a yogurt on Monday that I believe gave me food poisoning. Within 2 hours of eating the yogurt, I had very watery diarrhea. Since then (it's now Friday) I have had a sore throat, runny nose, headache, and a slightly stiff neck. I am very concerned about listeria. I spoke to my OBGYN, but they did not give much credence to what I was saying. I have not had a fever at all. I have been checking my temperature regularly. Should I push for a blood test? The yogurt I consumed was not expired but I am concerned that it was not kept cold enough at the market and that is what caused it to spoil. I am very concerned. Please respond!
15th December 2012 11:50 AM #21
Congratulations on your pregnancy. I'm sure you're getting eager to meet your little one. You're definitely in the home stretch now!
Listeria can be found in soil, water and animal droppings and typically infection occurs when someone eats infected meat, unpasteurized milk or certain processed foods like soft cheeses (cream cheese), hot dogs and deli meats which have been contaminated after processing.
I'd have to say that Listeria is rare because our family drinks raw milk regularly and I eat raw beef daily, and we have never been infected.
My guess is that the yogurt you ate had been made from pasteurized milk so if you reacted to it, it was likely food poisoning from e-coli bacteria which is the most common form of food poisoning.
But from what you are sharing, it sounds more like you may be fighting some kind of virus, like a cold or the flu.
Sore throat, runny nose, headache and slightly stiff neck are all flu symptoms. The fact that you have not had a fever at all is another indication that you may just be fighting a cold or the flu. Anytime you are fighting a virus or bacteria your body will elevate it's temperature either slightly or much higher in order to fight off the flu.
Right now you have a lot of progesterone in your system which is keeping you from going into labour, and progesterone naturally raises body temperature. If you weren't pregnant you might notice a slight increase in temp but being that you're pregnant, your body is probably already running a little on the warm side. I've had low grade temps that I knew were truly a low grade temp when I wasn't pregnant, yet that same temp was perfectly normal for me during my last few weeks of pregnancy. I also found that if I was able to boost that temp by wrapping up in a warm blanket for awhile, that my body would fight off the infection faster.
I know it can be a bit unnerving when you're pregnant and not sure exactly what is causing symptoms of illness. If you feel that a blood test would put your mind at ease you could certainly ask for one. The fact that you already contacted your doctor's office and they didn't seem concerned is an indication that your body will probably fight this off on it's own and that it's nothing to be concerned about - that coupled with the fact that you didn't really eat anything that would cause suspicion (if you had a raw egg and the egg touched the shell, and the shell was contaminated with the chicken's droppings, this could introduce the listeria bacteria into your body). But again, this would be very rare, and likely you would know of a recall for any foods that had been contaminated.
I would encourage you to call your doctor again if you continue to be concerned, and in the mean time, boost your immune system by resting, drinking plenty of purified water to move the pathogen out of your body, avoid all sugar and white flour products, and add in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Make yourself a green smoothie to drink. This will help you get more dark green leafy vegetables into your diet to help you heal faster.
You can also get some colostrum and probiotics (acidophilus/bifidus, etc.) form the health store and take this. The probiotics will help with digestion and boosts the "good bacteria" while the colostrum has super immunity properties in it and can help to boost your immune system so you overcome this as quickly as possible. But do remember that no matter what you do, if you don't get enough good quality sleep or if you're stressed, that will trump all the other "good" you're doing so be sure to make rest a high priority right now.
You can also start to drink some Red Raspberry Leaf tea each day to help your uterus prepare for labour and delivery. I drank this tea with my last two pregnancies and those births were the fastest and easiest of all of them.
I would also encourage you to see a Chiropractor who can help your hips and back to be in alignment so that baby's position will be optimal during labour. The better positioned baby is, the easier and faster birth can be.
If you need ideas to help you sleep better, or if you would like to see how a green smoothie is made, post back and I'll be happy to share more helpful tips.
15th December 2012 02:44 PM #22
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- Dec 2012
- Rhode Island
thank you Kate. I actually have been having 2 cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day for the past week. I guess my concern has been because listeria causes flu like symptoms in pregnant women and that is what I have been exhibiting. I think that I will request a blood test, but I am not too optimistic about my doctor agreeing. I also read that listeria can occur with spoiled food and I do believe that the yogurt was spoiled as I did have GI symptoms 2 hours after eating it.
What do you think about evening primrose oil and using it to aid in cervical dilation?
15th December 2012 03:11 PM #23
I used evening primrose oil with great success during the end of my pregnancies. But what I found most helpful in aiding dilation was making love. If my body was ready to go into labour, then making love triggered contractions. If it wasn't, then making love didn't do anything for me.
An example of this was with my 5th pregnancy at the age of 40. My husband told me that he wanted me to labour on Labour Day (Labour Day is a holiday in the USA) but I didn't care. I was so ready to have that baby that I was really didn't want to wait 11 days past my due date to go into labour. So I periodically asked my husband for sex, but he refused... because he wanted me to "labour on Labour Day". Well, the day before Labour Day arrived and we made love that afternoon. At 10PM that night labour started, and my baby was born in the wee hours of the morning on Labour Day. He was able to "brag" to the guys at work that I had "laboured on Labor Day".
I believe that I may have gone into labour earlier had we made love earlier, but the semen definitely acted like a prostaglandin on the cervix, causing it to ripen, which caused contractions to start.
I have a friend who went into labour, and then her labour stopped. The midwife encouraged her and her husband to make love and rest. They did, and labour picked back up a few hours later.
Here's one of my favorite web pages with information on how to prepare for birth.
If your OB won't do a blood test you could ask your GP for one. Boosting your immune system should help with whatever it is you're fighting. Sure hope you feel better soon.
7th August 2013 11:23 PM #24
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- Aug 2013
I ate something I shouldn't...
Hi ! Sorry for my bad English.
I know this thread is a bit old, but I try, just to see.
Yesterday night, I ate pastas with a sauce (a "rosée" sauce, I don't know how you call that... there is cream and tomatoes in it). The sauce was opened for 6 days, in the refrigerator. I made it boil for at least a minute just in case and ate it with the fresh pastas.
But after I thought of it, and realised that the sauce was MUCH older than that, and that normally, even if I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't eat it ! Something like 16 days old.
I'm at 24 weeks now, and I'm worried... if something happens to my baby because of my stupidity, I will never forgive myself.
So my questions :
- In some place they say that boiling kills Listeria, and in some places, they say that there is a kind of Listeria that can survive to high temperatures and that is responsible for half of infections... what do you think of that ?
- If I want to have a blood test just not to be stressed for months in case the infections shows after 70 days, after how much time would the test be valid ? I guess that today for example would be too early. I couldn't find any information about the time for the plasma rate to get important, I just found things about the incubation time.
I'll try to call my doctor on that, but she can be hard to join.
A big thank to anybody who has reliable informations about that stuff to share with me.
8th August 2013 05:44 AM #25
Thank you for your post.
I know you must be concerned but please remember that listeriosis is very rare.
My understanding is that cooking the food to boiling/ steaming will kill the bacteria that cause the Listeria (for reference: food should reach a temperature of 165 degrees F).
I take it you don't have any of the symptoms of listeria as I'm sure you would have put this in your post. Most stomach symptoms of listeria occur within 48 hours of eating the contaminated food, other symptoms can take 2-6 weeks to occur. However, having no symptoms and a negative blood test will give you an extremely high level of likelihood that you have not contracted listeria. In pregnancy the listeria is generally accompanied by fever and fatigue.
The blood test will be able to show you if you have listeria even if you don't have the symptoms.
I would call your doctor to check but remember it is extremely rare, even if you consume food past its used by date. Try to stay calm as stress is not helpful in pregnancy and it is highly likely that everything will be just fine.
Do post back and let us know how you get on with your doctor.
8th August 2013 06:15 AM #26
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- Aug 2013
Thank you ljmarsden for answering so fast
You are right : I have no symptoms for now. I didn't know that the symptoms were arriving in two times, I thought that for some people it was all of a sudden many weeks later.
I know that it's rare, but as there are still a few hundreds of infections each year, and as pregnant women have 20x more risk to have it, and because of how serious it can be in that case, I couldn't help it, I was worried. I still am, but I try to be realistic : I would need to be very badlucky to have it in these conditions... but after trying to have a baby like crazy for 4 years, I tend to be a bit quick on the "worry" button with this first pregnancy. I still cannot believe I did that... risking my baby not to waste food... but I was really sure it wasn't that old...
I tried to join my doctor, but at the clinic they told me she wasn't there and that they don't answer this kind of call, that if I'm worried I have to go without appointment... but I'm not sure the little risk worth to miss a working day, I'll probably just look like crazy and she might not even prescribe the test if she thinks the risks are low... Instead, I'll see a doctor from work, explain my case and ask if they can prescribe it to me, so that I can be more in peace. I just wonder when I have to do the test... but I guess that 48h after the ingestion is a good moment, so that the bacteria had the time to enter the blood. I hope they will confirm me if that is a good plan.
And I promess I try to stay calm in the meanwhile ... and I am calm now (nothing to compare with this morning), but of course I can't just quit thinking of it completely. I focus on that little boy playing soccer inside me, I guess that as long as he moves like this, there is nothing to be too afraid of.
So first step : try to have a test. 2nd step : my appointment with the nurse which is scheduled at the end of the month.
I'll let you know. In the meanwhile, I'll identify everything in my refrigerator with the date ! I don't want to live that again !
Thanks again !
A crazy and paranoiac future mom.
8th August 2013 06:46 PM #27
You are not crazy and paranoid - just a normal mum! I can really emphasise with you - I know from my own experience that it's hard not to worry when you are pregnant. It's great that you can feel your little man kicking away inside you. I always found the movements and kicks so reassuring and special.
I think your plan of action sounds logical. Yes it should be enough time since you ate the suspect food to have a blood test.
Don't make yourself feel guilty about eating the sauce - we all make mistakes
How wonderful that you are pregnant; I'm sorry to hear it took you so long to conceive. Have you thought about your hopes for the birth? Now is a good stage in the pregnancy to think about the birth you would like as you have lots of time to prepare. Are you hoping for a birth in a hospital, birth centre or at home?
Keep us updated.
10th August 2013 05:42 AM #28
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- Aug 2013
I discussed with a doctor at work yesterday. I trust her very much, she's a nice and very skilled doctor (even if not working in obstetric). After I told her the details of my story, she said that I could stop to worry right now, and that she was absolutely not worried for me in that situation.
I think I may not even take the test. I still have no symptoms, and I ate the food almost 72 hours ago. Of course, if I start to have any of the symptoms, I'll run to the clinic, but I think that the risk is very low, and I'm slowly "forgetting" my worries.
Yes, we had a hard time trying to conceive, and we tried everything, even IVF, twice, with no success... we were about to start a 3rd attempt of this when the miracle happened. And yes, the movements are incredibly reassuring, and amazing ! I'll give birth at the hospital, it's the options that makes me feel more safe (and I think that almost everybody here does so, so didn't really need to think of that question, it's normal and good to me). I didn't visit it officially for now (that is for soon), but I know someone who had her two children there, and I visited her, and this hospital is a-ma-zing... all new, and it's maternity department is reknown by many. I started to think of my hopes for the process and the event of the birth itself, and I'll discuss them in a near future with my doctor and nurse. I hope that it will all be possible... but in the end the baby might decide of many things ! One thing I'd like to try is not to have the epidural. Normally physical pain is something I can bear more than others... but again, we never know, I may ask for it like crazy, yelling at the nurse to find the anasthesist FAST, when the time comes
13th August 2013 05:53 AM #29
I'm so pleased to read your latest reply - I'm glad the doctor could reassure you.
I hope you have a happy, stress-free rest of pregnancy!
That sounds like a good plan; as you say wherever you feel comfortable and normal is the best place for you to give birth. If you want to try and give birth naturally, you could opt to have a water birth. Many hospitals have a birthing pool in at least one of their rooms (although sometimes it unfortunately depends on whether it is being used already or not). If you like to relax and unwind in a bath then this is a good sign that water can help you to relax in labour. The more relaxed a lady is in labour, the quicker and easier her labour is likely to be.
In my last labour, I used hypnobirthing techniques in order to breathe through the surges (this is hypnobirthing speak for contractions - its fascinating the effect language can have on you in labour). Calmbirth is an education birthing programme where you learn, amongst many topics, which muscles to relax during the labour to make it as comfortable as possible.
The key for me is making an informed choice - whether it is to have a waterbirth, a home birth or an epidural it should be a positive decision the woman is making herself with the support of others.
Congratulations again on your miracle pregnancy!
14th August 2013 01:35 AM #30
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- Aug 2013
I'll have to think of all of this. Yesterday night we had a course on the steps of the labour and delivery, and we learned about what our hospital offers and what is not available (for example : no birth in water, but anyway I wasn't looking for it), and we will prepare a plan that the nurses check in order to do things as we wish (if possible with the circumstances !). I'm not convinced with hypnotherapies for now, but I'll read a bit more and see if I'm tempted.
A big thank for your support in this stressful moment ! I'm still the king of person who keeps preoccupied about everything, and even more in this situation of pregnancy (I'm preoccupied if he moves less one day, or for any little stupid thing if I'm not sure how normal it is), but I'm not getting panicked (OK, I was a bit in panick when I realised about the sauce, but now I'm ok ).
I may not think of getting back in November after the birth (I might have a few things in mind then !), but I really appreciate, and will remember this site for later.