Pregnant women face many questions. At an event for pregnant women, McLeod OB/GYN Candice Greenan, MD, helped answer a few questions related to concerns some women raised about certain foods – from sushi to ice.
Here’s a summary of what Dr. Greenan told the group:
The CDC recommends that you don’t eat undercooked meat during pregnancy. But if you’ve eaten chicken salad or you ate sushi, you don’t need to freak out, because most people who eat things will be just fine. It’s just that the CDC recommendation to reduce your risk of getting bacteria during pregnancy is to eat things that are fully cooked. But if you’ve already eaten it and you’re not sick, you’re probably fine.
In terms of deli meat, the recommendation is to heat it to steaming hot for your entire pregnancy, or just avoid cold deli meat altogether. If you go to the CDC website there’s a whole list of instructions on what to eat, or things that are things you can eat but with caution. It gives you all the instructions of what temperatures to cook each type of meat and what foods to avoid.
Also, it’s always good when you’re pregnant to check the listeria outbreaks. That’s the bacteria that we worry about. There haven’t been any recently, but it’s good to know if there are any listeria outbreaks. The CDC website is the resource for that, too.
Tuna in a can is fine. As for the tuna salad that you buy at the grocery store: the CDC recommendation is to avoid eating any cold salads such as tuna salad, chicken salad or anything you’ve bought in the grocery store that’s been prepared and has been sitting out. It’s fine to make it at home, but mayonnaise-based products sitting out at a grocery store shouldn’t be consumed.
Eating a lot of ice won’t hurt the baby, but it can be a sign of iron deficiency in the mother, which is something that can be tested and treated with iron supplements. People who have low iron have tendencies to eat ice and other things, such as paper or clay. If you have that type hunger, we usually can check your iron level and decide whether or not you need supplementation medication.