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Thread: Listeria and Pregnancy

  1. #31
    Enjoy your pregnancy and your birth.

    "The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power source. She may need, and deserve, help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will have the power." Heather McCue, Doula and Childbirth Educator

    Best wishes,


  2. #32

    Im not sure if this thread is still going but i need some help. Im 35 weeks pregnant and have made a huge mistake.
    I didnt sleep a wink last night, i was shaking with fear and about to loose it. I feel sick to the stomach with worry and how could i be so stupid! Just How could i be so stupid! It could have been avoided!
    MY son and i went to the inlaws for dinner last night and ds went out with his poppy to ride the tractor and see the newborn twin lambs that were born the previous night or early that morning. One of which was weak and he got to pat it a few time on the head.
    I asumed when the returned back inside he had his hands washed after being outside touching the animals.

    We sat up for dinner and he had a little pick at a few things then left it so i ate the rest.
    It wasnt until i got home it dawned on me.....had he actually had his hands washed????...... Answer no but he only patted it a few times on the head ( doesnt matter he touched it, a little or alot, he touched a new lamb and now his fingers could have horrible damaging bacteria harmful to baby!!) .
    I know newborn lambs are a huge no no to touch in pregnancy due to the listeria and toxo risk.
    But worse so as this little one maybe weak especially if his infected with listeria. Im hoping not as his twin is healthy.

    Our local Dr's is open sundays but my Dr wont be there until monday. Last time i saw a different dr to my normal baby dr he thought i was crazy and didnt seem to concerned about my worries. So i finally got into my normal dr and she ran the test twice just to make sure.

    My question is how long does it take Listeria to show up in a blood test? I know sometimes symptoms can appear between 1-90 days from being infected but wondering if you can detect it before symptoms show.
    Im wondering if i should be getting tested for listeria weekly until baby arrives so if i do happen to have it it can be treated asap with antibiotics and baby can be closely monitored before and after birth.

    I know Toxo wont show up for 3ish weeks after exposure because that's the incubation period. ( ive previously been tested after handling my very ill Dog. So im extremely upset with myself for not washing my sons hands myself then i wouldn't be in this stressed mess. I couldn't bare loosing my baby, having a still born or a very i'll baby. I will only blame myself.

    Sorry i sound like a paranoid freak. My anxiety is extremely bad and im embarrassed to go to the dr because i go there alot becuase i worry.
    Im totally loosing it.
    Thanks Worried!

  3. #33
    Hi tamz026,

    Please try not to worry. I know this is easier to say than do. It is extremely unlikely that you will have contracted listeria from the situation you have described. Animals with listeria can pass on the disease through their stools but even given this: the lamb would have had to have listeria, then your husband would have had to touch some of a contaminated stool and then this pass to you through the touching of the stool. Even if all this happened you are still unlikely to contract listeria. I know it is a serious disease but it is still rare.

    In answer to your question, you could have a blood test this week to check if you had contracted the listeria even if you had no symptoms. Most symptoms do begin shortly and you have not shown any of these yet.

    Remember that your baby will benefit from you trying to be as relaxed and not stressed as possible. If you feel yourself worrying then try to bear this is mind.

    You could see your doctor tomorrow to check their opinion but in the meantime hold onto the fact it is very unlikely and that you need to minimise stress for the benefit of your baby.

    Warm wishes,


  4. #34
    Thank you LJ, Pregnancy has to be one of the most stressful things i have ever been through. This will be our last , i truly dont think my body and mind could handle the stress of another.

    Im booked in today to see my Dr, she will think im crazy :-) but hey!

    Thanks for easing my mind

  5. #35
    Been to the dr which I feel was a total waste of time :-(

    I was told there is no blood test available for listeria so I'm none the wiser.
    The vet also said they could test the after birth for listeria and toxo but it could come back negative when there are traces so it's not always 100% and for $400 I'd want it to be correct.

    I'm just crossing my fingers and toes hoping like mad I haven't got anything and baby will be healthy at birth and afterwards.

    I just keep telling myself that if the lamb was carrying toxo or listeria it's condition would / should have worsened not gotten better and if listeria was present there would of been sheep misscarry rather then going to term and having healthy lambs.
    I hope I'm correct. The next 5/6 weeks can't come quick enough so all my worries can be over , well mostly. It will always be in the back of my mind for the 1st few weeks incase.

  6. #36
    I'm sorry to hear that your doctor wasn't more supportive.

    There is a blood test for listeria but perhaps your doctor did not think the risk of you having caught it was very great. I would emphasise again that the risk of you getting listeria is still very low given the situation you described.

    Try to stay calm and remember any stress will not be good for you or your baby. Have you thought about your wishes for the birth?

    Thinking of you,


  7. #37
    For the birth i am hoping i can do the same as last time.
    I had an amazing waterbirth. Im so lucky our local hospital offers this!
    They are becoming a more and more popular choice here.

    Still paranoid :-/ my son has woken up with a cold this morning Running blocked nose ( his the one who patted the lamb not my husband, sorry to confuse you. I probably used the wrong forum lingo )
    Would that be a similar to symptoms of listeria. I know it is for toxo as that what i got tested 10 weeks ago after dealing with a sick dog.
    Its got me totally paranoid because when ever he gets sick i get sick to and we both ate the same dish his hands contaminated.
    the next 4/5 weeks cant come quick enough.
    My midwife is away at the moment and she is so supportive and helpful. I feel like she actually genuinely cares unlike my Dr. So when my midwife returns i will be asking her if she can request the tests. Its clearly a waste of breath and money seeing my Dr.

  8. #38
    Hi again,

    Your local hospital sounds excellent. I wish you another amazing Waterbirth.

    A cold is not a symptom of listeria. There is more information about the symptoms of listeria here.

    Sorry I read your previous post wrong - I see it is your son who touched the lambs.

    Please hold onto that fact that it is very unlikely that any infection would have made its way to you because you did not touch the lamb directly. I'm very glad to hear your midwife is supportive - I hope she will be able to support you further.

    Note that most stomach symptoms of listeria occur within 48 hours of being infected. It sounds like neither you nor your son have stomach symptoms so I hope that is further reassurance to you.

    Warm wishes,


  9. #39
    Hi, I'm 12 weeks pregnant and live in the uk. Last Friday- a week ago I went on a spa day with friends followed by a three course meal- soup, lamb chump and dauphinois potatoes and side salad, stuffed apple and ice cream. As I ate the lamb I was happy with the first chump of two, well done- no pink, but in cutting into the second one it was a definite pink so I left it and continued with the rest of the meal- stupidly with the same knife. I also ate the salad which I didn't particularly enjoy as it was smothered in an oil dressing but as I hadn't eaten much veg that day thought I'd better have it! The following morning I woke with a bad stomach- just cramps, which got slightly better and then got worse only managing 1.5 hours sleep on the Saturday. It was all in upper stomach and there was no v or d, although I did go to the toilet at 4 and 5 am to pass two small soft stools but not loose (sorry tmi) I couldn't stomach much food Sunday due to nausea and my stomach still not feeling too good and completely exhausted but now am panicking about the lamb, how well was the salad washed or even was the ice cream left out of freezer to long and refrozen etc etc and questioning listeria and toxoplasmosis. Spoken to a doc and my midwife who are not overly concerned and told me not to worry suggesting if it was something nasty I would have had v and d- which I have read isn't strictly true when it comes to listeria, so I'm still worried!!

  10. #40
    Hi KatyAnderson,

    Welcome to the forum and a huge congratulations on your pregnancy.

    I would agree with the advice of your doctor and midwife as listeria normally leads to stomach symptoms (which generally occur within 48 hours of eating the problem food). Have you had your 12/13 week scan yet? When is your next midwife appointment.

    Please do remember just how rare listeria is. You could always ask for a blood test if you still have concerns. In the UK, there is also the Tommy's midwife-lead pregnancy advice line which you can call for extra advice.

    Warm wishes,


  11. #41
    Thank you for your reply by stomach problems
    I take it you are referring to v and d not just the cramps that I experienced?! I have my 12 week scan on Tuesday, but I have already had a viability scan at 10 weeks to ensure everything was in the right place etc as I am a type one diabetic. I will look at the website you mentioned and thank you again for the advice


  12. #42
    Dear Katy,

    Yes - most cases of listeria result in vomiting and diarrhoea within 48 hours of being contaminated.

    I hope the scan goes well on Tuesday and you enjoy seeing your baby again.

    Warm wishes,


  13. #43
    New Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Sorry to hijack this thread...
    Just curious about Salad and listeria.
    I am pregnant and regularly have lettuce at home, whilst all recommendations are to wash lettuce before use, i would like to know how well it needs to be washed before consumption to avoid listeria.
    I have just been rinsing the individual leaves under cold water quickly before use, is this ok?

  14. #44
    New Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Mummy View Post
    Sorry to hijack this thread...
    Just curious about Salad and listeria.
    I am pregnant and regularly have lettuce at home, whilst all recommendations are to wash lettuce before use, i would like to know how well it needs to be washed before consumption to avoid listeria.
    I have just been rinsing the individual leaves under cold water quickly before use, is this ok?
    BTW I discard the dirty outer leaves (iceburg) and I only quickly flick it (to get some of the water off) after rinsing ...
    Sorry to be so paranoid, might have to re-think my washing technique :P

  15. #45
    Dear Mummy,

    Welcome to our forum and a huge congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I think you are wise to be careful about washing salad. One study found that the greatest cause of E.coli in prepared foods was found in fresh fruit or vegetables. These could have come into contact with dirty hands, pests or even animal faeces before arriving in your fridge.

    One way of killing any bacteria is to first wash the salad in some salt water and then rinse it after in clean water to get rid of any excess salt. You can use 1 tsp of salt per 1 ltr of water. You need to use water which would be safe to drink when washing your salad.

    I hope this helps and please do post back any further pregnancy-related questions you have here on our forum.

    Best wishes for a happy, healthy pregnancy.


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