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Raw milk while pregnant - is it ok?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'm new to exploring the traditional foods concepts. I am vegetarian right now and pondering eating pastured meat. But for now I am adding more pastured dairy - but I am wondering if RAW dairy is ok for pregnant women? I had a bottle in hand but it warned it could contain bacteria, etc. (I know, probably has to be there for legal purposes) - but I know pregnant women are often cautioned not to eat un pasturized cheeses. So I thought I should check before buying raw milk or cream for myself. I'm not a huge milk drinker per se, but I do use some. My 3 yr old consumes the bulk of our milk purchases. 

 

Thanks!

 

Cindy

post #2 of 36

This is completely a personal choice.  I do drink raw milk, although mine is from our cow-share and not OP or Claravale.  I've been drinking it off and on throughout this pregnancy (DS gets most of it).  When I don't have enough for the adults, I buy Strauss as an alternative, since it's non-hom.  DS only gets the raw. 

 

Don't know if you're interested in a cow share, but I think there are still some available, they just recently got another cow.  Let me know if you're interested and I'll send you the info. 

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

Yay - Cristeen, I'm so glad you replied! I'd seen you mention a cow share on another thread and I was going back trying to find that so I could PM you and ask you about it. :-) Not sure if you remember me from a couple meetups - totland, etc. Anyway, I'd love some info. Definitely interested in the dairy part of it and if I do indeed start eating meat, I'd be interested in the meat part. I've been craving red meat. Thanks!

 

I know strauss is not homogenized, but it is still pasturized, right? I guess I don't know the dif between the two. But doesn't the heat kill most of the good stuff? Or is the temp low enough to not kill everything? 

 

Cindy

post #4 of 36

Please don't consume raw milk while you're pregnant. Raw milk can be contaminated with pathogens ranging from E. coli, which can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (kidney failure) to Salmonella, which can cause sepsis and arthritis, and Listeria, which can cause stillbirth and miscarriages.

 

Raw milk is not more healthy than pasteurized milk. Pasteurization is heating; it kills bacteria. It does destroy some nutrients, but those aren't the nutrients you drink milk for in the first place.

 

Homogenization treats the fat globules in milk so they remain suspended in the milk, instead of separating out.

 

And please don't give raw milk to children. There are currently two outbreaks of E. coli linked to raw milk in this country; one in Oregon, another in Missouri. Five children in those outbreaks are hospitalized, suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome.

 

There is NO good reason to drink raw milk. Pasteurization changed the face of dairy. Before milk was routinely pasteurized, raw milk and raw milk products caused 50% of the food poisoning outbreaks in this country and killed thousands. Now milk only causes 1% of foodborne illness.

post #5 of 36

I agree with the poster who said it is a very personal choice. I did choose to drink raw milk while pregnant. I grew up drinking raw milk and now own shares in both a cow herd and goat herd. Have you been to the campaign for real milk website, www.realmilk.com? Personally I think there is no good reason to drink pasteurized milk, so if you're not drinking raw then you shouldn't really be drinking it at all. But, with that being said, you have to make absolutely sure that your raw milk is coming from a reputable source. Visit the farm/dairy and ask to see and hear about how they care for the animals, what they feed them, how they clean and milk them, how the milk is bottled and stored, how and how often they test for pathogens, etc. You can't be too informed!

 

There is a lot of mis-information out there on all sides, but if you do your homework you will be rewarded with true health! (As a side note, I didn't listen to any of the traditional advice regarding what to eat and not eat during pregnancy. Just stuck to organic, fresh, local, whole ingredients/food! A lot of what the doctors tell you is because they are covering their butts so they can't be sued if, by the slimmest chance, something did happen. Yes there are cases of food-borne illness that can cause major problems for a pregnant mom or her baby, but if your food comes from a good, clean source, you shouldn't have to worry about any of that.) My midwife had me drinking all the raw milk and eggs I could get (from animals on pasture, of course) b/c there is so much nutrition!

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 

I did check out that website, thanks. I do agree that a lot has to do with what the animals are fed and how they are kept, etc. 

 

I just came home from the store and bought some Saint Benoit milk. It is from pastured cows, non-homogenized and vat pasturized at 145 (lower than normal). It is soooo delicious! My daughter is a milk fiend - she normally drinks 1% organic and she LOVED it. Not sure if she loved it bc it really tasted different or bc it's whole milk. Maybe both. Very expensive though! I am still curious about non pasturized though. But also not sure if it is worth taking any sort of chance with my baby's health. 

 

Cindy

post #7 of 36

R


Edited by member234098 - 5/25/12 at 5:18pm
post #8 of 36

Better play it safe for now just in case. You have to be very comfortable with where your raw milk is coming from. Like in CA, since it is very regulated so it can be sold in stores, i wouldn't hesitate to buy from there. But in other states, look into what their regulations are (like is it legal or not) and how it is monitored, distributed, etc.

 

I do think raw milk is a healthy food, you just have to make sure it is produced and collected in a healthy way. I do hope to get raw milk again if accessability improves for me.

 

post #9 of 36

You have to decide what level of risk you are going to take with your pregnancy.

 

Raw milk can and does sometimes contain serious bacteria (listeria, ecoli) even with the most careful production standards. It can make you very to mildly sick if you are a healthy, non-immune compromised adult. However, it often causes a pregnant womamn to miscarry and can cause grave harm to a child.

post #10 of 36

i drank raw milk from a grass-fed dairy throughout my last 3 pregnancies.

 

prior to my first pregnancy, i was infertile with no cycles.  a raw foods diet, rich in raw egg yolks, raw cheese, juicing, and pastured meats cooked just rare, healed me so that i started to have cycles again.  when i conceived my son, i read that all these foods were risks to my unborn child.  but they were the only reason i had even been blessed with a pregnancy, so my only truly logical response was to source responsibly and keep eating the foods that I knew were healing to my body.  raw milk wasn't an option then.  but by the time i was pregnant with my second child, i had sourced state-licensed, grass-fed, raw jersey milk, and drank a quart of it a day with raw egg yolks and cream.  i would NEVER tell a pregnant woman to drink raw milk.  but i would never tell a raw milk consumer to stop drinking it because they were pregnant.  

 

my farmer also has had 2 children while consuming her own raw milk, and also caring for her herd day in and day out until labor each time.  grass-fed milk is far less likely to contain pathogenic bacteria than grain-fed or industrial milk.  since our farms are tested, they are well below the levels of bacteria in store milk.  and i consider our raw milk to be a key to the health of our family.

post #11 of 36

Most of the outbreaks are because of the fact that the farms are not as monitored.  There are raw milk farms that I think need to be shut down because they are the ones that cause all of this ridiculousness. 
But, there are more outbreaks from pasteurized milk than raw milk!  Raw milk is just in the media more, so that's what people see. 
If you find a grade A dairy farm, it is actually safer than pasteurized because it is highly monitored... very clean... tested often.
The reason why outbreaks were reduced is because back then, raw dairy farms were filthy.  Now, raw dairy farms are much cleaner than pasteurized.  It's all about the farming practices. 
Farms that produce pasteurized milk are dirtier, the cows are stuck in their own feces and filth (not allowed to graze), the cows are given hormones and antibiotics, and the cows eat anything (I've seen reports of cows actually being fed beef, gum and gum wrappers, candy bars, etc). 
 

Raw milk is a complete food.  You really can't get better than that.  It is much healthier than pasteurized, which is hardly a food at all.  Most of the nutrients cannot be absorbed into your body because the good bacteria and enzymes are killed off during pasteurization. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou1313 View Post

Please don't consume raw milk while you're pregnant. Raw milk can be contaminated with pathogens ranging from E. coli, which can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (kidney failure) to Salmonella, which can cause sepsis and arthritis, and Listeria, which can cause stillbirth and miscarriages.

 

Raw milk is not more healthy than pasteurized milk. Pasteurization is heating; it kills bacteria. It does destroy some nutrients, but those aren't the nutrients you drink milk for in the first place.

 

Homogenization treats the fat globules in milk so they remain suspended in the milk, instead of separating out.

 

And please don't give raw milk to children. There are currently two outbreaks of E. coli linked to raw milk in this country; one in Oregon, another in Missouri. Five children in those outbreaks are hospitalized, suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome.

 

There is NO good reason to drink raw milk. Pasteurization changed the face of dairy. Before milk was routinely pasteurized, raw milk and raw milk products caused 50% of the food poisoning outbreaks in this country and killed thousands. Now milk only causes 1% of foodborne illness.

post #12 of 36

I think the biggest thing to make sure of is that you are getting it from a safe source.  Raw milk is a highly nutrient food, so I believe it's great in pregnancy.  I buy my milk from a farm that tests every batch for bacteria. 

post #13 of 36

I drank raw milk throughout my last pregnancy and give it to my daughter since she was 16 months old, never a problem and I trust my source completely and continue to get it!

post #14 of 36

I'm 9 weeks pregnant and have been drinking raw milk (as well as eating raw eggs, raw fish, raw cheese etc).  As others have said, knowing your source is really important.  One more thing that I think is important is digestion.  I have done a lot of work since the birth of my first child 6 years ago to heal my gut and ensure that I have a robust immune and digestive system.  A strong digestive system--especially appropriate acid levels in the stomach--  is one of our first protections against possible infections from bacteria, parasites, viruses etc etc etc.   The OP may want to consider some digestive support in the form of hydrochloric acid or other enzymes since levels of these often decrease in those who haven't been consuming animal products for a while.

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'm the original poster. I decided that I'm not comfortable drinking raw milk while pregnant bc I have never drank it before. Had I been drinking it before, I likely would have continued. I just don't feel comfortable taking any added risks while pregnant. Not that every pregnancy isn't a miracle, but it was a LONG road to conceive this baby and I am being extra cautious about a lot of things. For now I am buy non homogenized and low temp pasturized milk (145 degrees) from pastured cows. I think I'll just wait until after I give birth to make the switch. :-)

 

Cindy

post #16 of 36

I started drinking raw milk at about 18 weeks pregnant if that helps ;)

janinemh, what have you done to heal your gut and improve digestion?  GAPS?  I'm planning on starting the GAPS diet when my kids get a little older, hopefully before I become pregnant again :)  Any pointers/tips?

post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

I started drinking raw milk at about 18 weeks pregnant if that helps ;)

janinemh, what have you done to heal your gut and improve digestion?  GAPS?  I'm planning on starting the GAPS diet when my kids get a little older, hopefully before I become pregnant again :)  Any pointers/tips?

 

I call GAPS my miracle because it was really a turning point for me in regards to my asthma.  I've also used nutritional therapy (I'm a nutritional therapist) and most recently nutritional balancing using hair tests to balance my minerals and detox heavy metals.  As for pointers with GAPS, I wish I had a practitioner in the beginning to help me do some targeted supplementation to support my digestion.  I think that really helps expedite healing and ease the way. Some people have a really rough time at the beginning because their bodies aren't ready to digest some of the foods.  You can PM me if you are interested in how I do this with my clients.

post #18 of 36
I drink it--9/10 wks along! My body thanks me when I drink it smile.gif
post #19 of 36

I drank raw milk in my last pregnancy, purchased directly from a farmer who I trusted. 

 

He went out of business brokenheart.gif Now, my family drinks either raw milk from another, less-convenient farmer that I trust, or low-temp-pasteurized milk from a local dairy, or organic Costco milk if I am feeling lazy. I only drink the raw stuff, because all the other stuff gives me digestive upset unless it's a small amount in coffee or a cooked recipe. 

post #20 of 36

You are completely buying into the exaggerated claims of the dairy industry! If it were so dangerous, it wouldn't have been a staple of so many traditional diets...and by the way, yes, pasteurization absolutely does destroy EVERYTHING good about natural grass-fed raw milk (and is in fact, probably just flat out bad for you)! Do the research, and don't just listen to the FDA, etc., because it's quite obvious where their priorities lie.

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