Posted on March 2nd, 2009 No comments
I had always heard that pregnant women should avoid deli meats, hot dogs, and other pre-cooked meats. I never really knew why until recently.
In general, I know to avoid certain things during pregnancy…smoking, alcohol, and certain foods. Not smoking is an easy one for me, because I never have and never will smoke. Alcohol is also easy, because I rarely have any in the first place. I’ll have an occasional glass of wine on a special occasion or with the ladies from my local Mom’s Club. As for food…
I know to avoid foods that contain nitrates, nitrites, or sodium nitrates. Foods that usually contain these are hot dogs, salami, luncheon meats, and smoked fish and meats. They are used as a preservative in these foods. I recently found out that nitrates in food can be converted to nitrites, which can react in your stomach to form nitrosamines, potent cancer-causing agents. As I would NOT like to risk getting cancer from what I eat, I will avoid these foods, especially while I’m pregnant. I am unable to find more thorough information about nitrates, etc. related specifically to pregnancy, although this page on iVillage, talks about nitrites in well water causing miscarriage.
The other big thing related to food I just found out about is Listeriosis, and I must say what I read shocked me.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating foods contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. About one-third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy.
You get listeriosis by eating food contaminated with Listeria. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy. The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts at the deli counter. Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk may contain the bacterium.
Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking; however, in certain ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after cooking but before packaging.
A person with listeriosis has fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. When infection occurs during pregnancy, antibiotics given promptly to the pregnant woman can often prevent infection of the fetus or newborn. Even with prompt treatment, some infections result in death.
I knew to avoid soft cheeses (feta is the only one I really like), unpasteurized foods, and cold cuts without ever really looking into why. I can’t believe I went through an entire pregnancy and I’m now almost halfway through my second and have only just now found out this information.
Part of the reason I wrote this post was to hopefully inform other pregnant women who are searching for information on this subject. I don’t mean for it to scare anyone or to add more foods to the “unsafe during pregnancy” list, but really wanted to share what I learned.
As a mother of one and soon-to-be two, I feel it’s my job to protect my children and do whatever I can to keep them safe. That begins with being safe and healthy during pregnancy and doing my best to avoid anything that could be bad for my developing baby. I feel better about avoiding these foods now that I know the reasons behind why I should avoid them.
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Posted on January 22nd, 2008 No comments
For those of you that have been pregnant, you know how difficult it is to lose the baby weight afterward. Since Sam was born in May of last year, I had been losing weight steadily, less than a pound a week…until Thanksgiving dinner. Then came Christmas…and Christmas parties and family gatherings, all with lots of food. So, a couple of weeks later the weight began to come off again…
During my pregnancy, I gained 41 lbs., which I think was a little more than average. Now I’m only 5 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight in August of 2006. I haven’t done any particular exercise to lose the weight. All I’ve done is go for walks with the baby. We didn’t do much over the summer, because Sam was so young, I was recovering from a c-section, and it was so hot outside. Then in the autumn, the temperature was cooler and I was out of the “new mom haze,” so I took for Sam for lots of walks in the stroller. Now that there’s snow on the ground, I carry her in a backpack carrier. It’s good exercise for me, especially now that I’m carrying her, and it gets us both out in the fresh air.
Lately I had been noticing that the jeans I bought in a bigger size after she was born were getting a little loose, and I’ve even had to tighten my belt by a notch. I bought them when I stopped wearing maternity pants, and all the elastic waist pants like sweatpants and my super comfy Life Is Good lounge pants.
So I was doing some organization in the basement a few days ago and spotted a box of pre-pregnancy clothes. I thought, why not, so I pulled out my favorite jeans and tried them on. To my surprise, they fit! Granted, they are a little snug, but they weren’t uncomfortable to wear. It’s been almost eight months since Samantha was born, and I can finally fit into my pre-pregnancy pants!
I don’t know how I compare with other new moms in terms of their post-pregnancy weight loss, but I’m definitely happy with how I’ve been doing!
Posted on November 23rd, 2007 No comments
I have been asking myself this question for over a year now. My husband, Matt, blogs regularly and so do a few of my friends. He told me I should blog my pregnancy when I became pregnant in August of last year. I said, “Sure, I guess…when I have time.” Did that happen? No. Then he said I should blog weekly after the baby was born in May, as kind of a running record of her life. Our friend, Sara, blogged her pregnancy and has done every week of her son’s life so far. I said, “Sure, I guess…when I have time.” Did that happen? No.
Our daughter, Samantha, will be six months old next week. It’s a great idea in theory, you just have to actually sit down and do it. I have done a handful of posts in the past; photos that I took last year and wrote a sentence or two about each one. I would have liked to continue doing that, but once winter comes it’s harder to find interesting things to photograph outside, then I was busy being pregnant and resting, then I was busy being a new mom. So here I am now…I suppose by writing this post today, the day after Thanksgiving, that it means I will magically become invested in it and write new posts regularly.
One reason for my readiness to blog now is money. Since we had Sam, I’m now a full-time mom, so I’m home a lot and we’re living on one paycheck. I’m not saying we’re hurting for cash by any means; we’re definitely doing all right. It would be nice to have extra spending money, though. I see the checks from ad companies that Matt gets, and I realize that if enough people read my blog and click on the ads, I can make money as well, with little time or effort. The other thing is that I spend a lot of time at home, and the majority of times I leave the house is to spend money. Shopping for groceries, baby items, and browsing at the mall with friends (browsing=spending money) is a good but expensive way to spend the day. So, please check back every week or so for new posts. I will most likely write about Sam when she does something amazing (which is all the time), or when I take a particularly cool photograph, or just when I have something to say.