food poisoning pregnancy

Food poisoning during pregnancy

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If you eat something contaminated with a bacteria, virus or toxin and experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea you may have food poisoning. During pregnancy, food poisoning can be confused with morning sickness or another illness. If the symptoms present suddenly, you feel different from your usual morning sickness or you think that you ate something that had gone bad, you probably have a foodborne illness. If you are unsure or continue to have symptoms don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to rule out a virus or infection.

Food poisoning is usually not harmful to your baby. You’ll definitely feel very sick and not be able to treat it with just any medication, but usually your baby will be okay. On the other hand, if left untreated some bacteria found in uncooked or contaminated food such as Listeria can be harmful for the baby. Listeria is a bacterium sometimes present in uncooked foods such as deli meats or unpasteurized cheeses. This bacterium can pose serious health risks for your developing baby, but it is very rare to contract it because uncooked or unpasteurized foods are not recommended during pregnancy.

Treating food poisoning during pregnancy

Becoming dehydrated is the most common effect and the biggest risk of food poisoning. If you become sick, be sure to sip lots of water throughout the day. Start with a single sip and when you can tolerate liquids increase your consumption. You could even dilute a sports drink with water to replenish electrolytes, but skip on excess sugar. Be sure to rest too, proper hydration and adequate rest can do wonders for healing the body.

Be sure to contact your doctor too. Food borne illnesses can be dangerous and your doctor will give you the adequate instructions to recover quickly. Also, if you feel you are becoming dehydrated or the vomiting and diarrhea does not stop, your doctor might recommend coming in for an IV to replenish fluids.

Preventing food poisoning

• Avoid uncooked foods at all costs
• Keep raw food away from clean veggies, fruit and ready to eat food
• Store food at the proper temperature and refrigerate or freeze promptly after use
• Wash hands before eating and after using the bathroom
• Keep plates and utensils clean
• Heat deli meat before eating (but try to avoid it if you can)
• Wash or disinfect all produce
• Look at expiration dates before consuming a product
• Don’t eat food from street vendors


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