Talk to me about breaking the (eating) rules - Mothering Forums
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I'm Pregnant > Talk to me about breaking the (eating) rules
staceychev's Avatar staceychev 08:31 PM 07-27-2009
I had a little bit of raw milk cheese (aged 60 days) on a picnic yesterday. I had it consciously, but there was that little voice in my head saying "but you're pregnant!" And I'm kind of jonesin' for blue cheese dressing. Someone posted a recipe for it in the Nutrition forum. (Of course, I could just buy pasteurized blue cheese dressing.)

OK... so what's the deal. Does anyone break the food rules?

(I'm 8 weeks by the way.)

november's Avatar november 08:36 PM 07-27-2009
I eat lunchmeat and don't feel guilty, if that makes you feel any better. I don't eat it regularly, and the risk seems so miniscule that I don't worry myself about it.
mamaheids's Avatar mamaheids 08:39 PM 07-27-2009
This pregnancy I've broken all of the food "rules" I think, with the exception of certain types of (large, carnivorous) fish and my own self-imposed rules of no artificial sweetners.
I've done raw cheese, sushi, smoked fish, deli meat, wine + beer hmmm (in half-quantities), what else?:
So far no illness, babe is healthy. With my 1st I was much more "careful". This pregnancy, I've had a problem gaining enough weight, so if I'm actually craving something and hungry- I eat it.
ExuberantDaffodil's Avatar ExuberantDaffodil 08:41 PM 07-27-2009
I'm one of those "moderation" people. I also go with my gut and what my body tells me. early in my pregnancy, I craved sushi. And I ate it. The raw kind. yeah, I did. I had some brie cheese with crackers at my bridal shower. It was yummy. Also, I drink a small glass of wine (always slowly and always with a meal) every once in a while. In fact, I had a glass of very fresh, hand-made sangria (which was mostly fruit juice with a little bit of red table wine) just the other day at a tasty little Mexican restaurant, and I won't even apologize for it.

If I ate nothing but raw meat and raw cheese and drank nothing but copious amounts of alcohol, I could see that as being quite problematic. But, like I said, moderation is huge factor. I don't take any OTC medications other than the occasional benedryl, and I most certainly don't smoke or do any recreational drugs. But some soft cheese? A glass of wine? Less often than once a month? pshaw.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 08:58 PM 07-27-2009
I have broken the rules in both of my pregnancies, but I'm not one to buy into all of the fear and hype imposed on pregnant women in the age of the What to Expect mindset. I think that if I eat a balanced healthful diet that things will be fine. I eat blue cheese, feta, locally made goat milk chevre from very happy goats. I've had a couple of beers and they were yummy. I crave Subway sandwiches and don't heat the meat until steaming, nor did I with DD. I don't eat the stuff all the time, but I do eat it. I guess I'm a rule breaker.

I did eat the chevre a bunch with olive tapenade when I was like 14 weeks, it was the only thing that sounded remotely interesting. With DD I craved sprouts, and I ate them. Honestly I didn't even know any of the rules when I first was pg with DD, and when I read them I just thought ok fine, well nice to know and that was that.
Mamatoabunch's Avatar Mamatoabunch 09:05 PM 07-27-2009
I eat what I desire, do not follow "food rules". We have a milk cow and goat so I am biased toward raw milk, have consumed it in every pregnancy from my third. I also eat raw milk cheese and other no no's.
spmamma's Avatar spmamma 09:23 PM 07-27-2009
The only food rule I've felt comfortable breaking is soft cheeses. As long as it's pasteurized I don't think there's anything to worry about. I'm not a big sushi person, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything there. And I don't mind foregoing alcohol until after the baby is born.
angelpie545's Avatar angelpie545 10:44 PM 07-27-2009
I've broken the lunchmeat rule, which actually wasn't a rule until recently. I don't remember a thing being said about it with my previous two, which were born in 2000 and 2003. I've had two friends who recently had babies though and both of them said they were told the same things: No lunchmeat, Odawalla juice (because it's flash pasteurized, so I guess not good enough?), and the usual no raw cheeses, sushi, ext. I'm personally an "it's okay in moderation" type of person. Each to his own.
Peony's Avatar Peony 10:46 PM 07-27-2009
Eh, I've never been to into all those "rules".
Abraisme's Avatar Abraisme 10:49 PM 07-27-2009
Ha ha.. Yeah, I break all the rules (except I make DH clean the litter box, he he). I've had soft cheese, lunch meat, hot dogs, raw eggs and even sushi. I'm really not worried about it. I eat healthy and have a great immune system.
stik's Avatar stik 10:51 PM 07-27-2009
I'm another rule-breaker. I'm nauseous half the time I'm pregnant, so if a food is appealing, I eat it.

I think the vast majority of the pregnancy health risks that are alleged to be connected to food are vastly over-stated. I think they're really cultural fetishes that people like to enforce or showily comply with as a way of proving that they are "good enough" to deserve a baby.
VegMomma's Avatar VegMomma 10:51 PM 07-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExuberantDaffodil View Post
I'm one of those "moderation" people. I also go with my gut and what my body tells me. early in my pregnancy, I craved sushi. And I ate it. The raw kind. yeah, I did. I had some brie cheese with crackers at my bridal shower. It was yummy. Also, I drink a small glass of wine (always slowly and always with a meal) every once in a while. In fact, I had a glass of very fresh, hand-made sangria (which was mostly fruit juice with a little bit of red table wine) just the other day at a tasty little Mexican restaurant, and I won't even apologize for it.

If I ate nothing but raw meat and raw cheese and drank nothing but copious amounts of alcohol, I could see that as being quite problematic. But, like I said, moderation is huge factor. I don't take any OTC medications other than the occasional benedryl, and I most certainly don't smoke or do any recreational drugs. But some soft cheese? A glass of wine? Less often than once a month? pshaw.
:
I'm vegan, which eliminates a lot of the no-no foods, but I agree with the pp's mindset completely.
sunnygir1's Avatar sunnygir1 12:08 AM 07-28-2009
I didn't even know about the lunch meat rule.

I eat good food. Mostly organic, locally produced when possible, low in heavy metals, etc.

I have never gotten sick from sushi, cheese, raw milk, lunch meat, etc. I know it could happen, but I'm much more likely to get in a car accident, and I haven't stopped driving either.

I limit caffeine and alcohol, but don't cut them out completely. I haven't had sushi or raw milk this pregnancy, but I will if the opportunity arises...yum!
gardenmommy's Avatar gardenmommy 12:57 AM 07-28-2009
I guess I'm bad then, because I break those rules, too. Raw milk, raw milk yogurt, raw milk kefir, raw cheeses... I think that if you know your source, you are probably better off with raw than pasteurized, because raw still has all the beneficial bacteria intact. JMO.
guestmama9916's Avatar guestmama9916 01:44 AM 07-28-2009
I'm a raw milk lover too and IMO it's especially good for pregnant mamas because it contains more vits and minerals. Most food poisoning comes from eating raw/undercooked meats and fresh veggies so I'm not worried about milk/cheese or lunchmeats.
Lauren31's Avatar Lauren31 03:07 AM 07-28-2009
I eat undercooked meat- like medium burgers, wild salmon, etc. I also eat pasteurized soft cheeses... No worries, you are fine. It is something like 2500 listeria cases every year.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 03:11 AM 07-28-2009
Yeah - I'm a terrible person.

I don't eat the high-mercury predator fish, and I don't smoke or do drugs or drink (although I honestly see zero issues with moderate alcohol intake!), but otherwise I've broken pretty much every rule. Or, "rule", since I mostly break them after reading the research and deciding that there's a lot of junk science scaremongering out there aimed at controlling pregnant women.

I try to eat wholesome whole food, heavy on veggies and organic when possible, but otherwise I'm a scofflaw. Just today my care provider earnestly explained that I should put a moratorium on peanuts for the duration, and after going home and reading the abstract from the original single study that found a peanut-asthma connection, I'm going to keep on having moderate amounts of delicious organic peanut butter.

As an aside, I really liked the book Panic-Free Pregnancy, which debunked a lot of the myths about sushi, cheeses, coffee, etc.
kitteh's Avatar kitteh 04:30 AM 07-28-2009
I had a hankering for sushi and white wine tonight, so I had both. I ate california rolls (not raw) with salmon and tuna on top (raw) and another roll which I think was spicy tuna (raw) with avocado on top. I tried to "fool" myself by eating mostly cooked sushi, but I couldn't just do all california roll. I also had two glasses of white wine. Generally I think moderation is more healthful then abstinance, and I think stressing out about every bite that passes my lips is worse for the baby than my dinner tonight was.
staceychev's Avatar staceychev 08:53 AM 07-28-2009
Sigh.

I think I just needed to know that I wasn't crazy.
Bluegoat's Avatar Bluegoat 10:49 AM 07-28-2009
Yeah, some of the rules don't even make sense on the face of it - no pasteurized soft cheese? Give me a break. No honey? - your chances of botulism from honey are no greater when you are pregnant than when you aren't, and how much do you worry about that?
mumkimum's Avatar mumkimum 11:26 AM 07-28-2009
Well, when I was pregnant with now 3 year old dd, I developed a taste for STRONG blue cheeses that I hadn't previously liked. So I think you'll be fine.

The "no raw dairy" thing I personally think is hardly a big deal. If you're worried at all, just make sure it's high quality.
Quinalla's Avatar Quinalla 11:36 AM 07-28-2009
So many of the hard "rules" should really be about moderation anyway. It's just with our lawsuit happy culture (in the USA anyway), they would rather say "No X, Y, & Z" then "Only eat/drink in moderation". The only thing they seem to do the latter for is caffeine and that is because our coffee/caffeine addiction trumps all apparently

I have eaten sushi and other seafood (though I do stay away from the really high mercury predators and I am aware of how much fish I am eating), cold lunch meat (though I do like it warmed up so I will eat it that way if it is easy, but I don't go out of my way), etc. and while I haven't had any yet, I am not opposed to a small amount of beer or wine. I am limiting caffeine, but honestly it has very little effect on me and I only consume it because I can't get caffeine free versions of some of the drinks I like and I like a bit of chocolate now and again. I am more worried about caffeine after the baby is born and I am breastfeeding.
cristeen's Avatar cristeen 12:18 PM 07-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenmommy View Post
I guess I'm bad then, because I break those rules, too. Raw milk, raw milk yogurt, raw milk kefir, raw cheeses... I think that if you know your source, you are probably better off with raw than pasteurized, because raw still has all the beneficial bacteria intact. JMO.
:

We're the only society that imposes those rules on pregnant women. In France, you think pregnant women avoid cheese for 9 months? Or how about Japanese women and sushi? No, they don't.

And BTW - that's my blue cheese recipe, I'm 32 wks and I've had it at least a half dozen times this pregnancy... and I only buy raw blue cheese.
tayndrewsmama's Avatar tayndrewsmama 12:39 PM 07-28-2009
I eat/drink raw dairy and raw honey regularly. Whatever. I have so many food allergies and intolerances that if I also follow the silly 'rules' I'd be half dead. I know my sources well and have consumed them for years and years. I am not about to stop now.
Juvysen's Avatar Juvysen 02:06 PM 07-28-2009
I've been thinking about the raw thing. I am so craving sushi... but I'd have to avoid high mercury fish, I think... for my own sanity.
Mommy2Haley's Avatar Mommy2Haley 03:40 PM 07-28-2009
I was very careful when pg with DD and this time not so much. I don't eat fish (except for tuna and fishsticks, but you can't really qualify that as "fish"), I'm allergic to shellfish, and I'm still dairy free due to DD's dairy allergy. That takes me out of the running for mercury and raw milk issues.

I eat at Subway every few weeks (or Quiznos). I try to limit nitrates/nitrites but when a hot dog calls to me I respond. (No comments on my eating hot dogs!!)

I gave up caffeine 7 years ago and I'm not interested in alchohol since my triste with white zinfandel at my high school reunion last november.

Moderation is key!
Snuzzmom's Avatar Snuzzmom 04:02 PM 07-28-2009
There aren't rules. There's research available to you that tells you the possible effects of certain foods on your unborn baby. If you decide to ignore that and eat what you want, no one is going to break down your door and arrest you. Listeria CAN indeed kill your fetus... it's also incredibly rare. You need to research for yourself and weigh the risks versus the probability of having any particular food issue.

I see that some people here site soft cheese as being an issue and it is not. It's unpasteurized cheese that can contain listeria, and if you live in the US and buy regular old brie from the grocery store, you're fine. Make sure you get the facts straight before becoming reactionary.

Again, it isn't rules. It's science. It's there to help you make an informed decision and if you choose to ignore it, that is totally your business. I am not sure why so many people feel oppressed by it.
staceychev's Avatar staceychev 04:32 PM 07-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
I see that some people here site soft cheese as being an issue and it is not. It's unpasteurized cheese that can contain listeria, and if you live in the US and buy regular old brie from the grocery store, you're fine. Make sure you get the facts straight before becoming reactionary.

Again, it isn't rules. It's science. It's there to help you make an informed decision and if you choose to ignore it, that is totally your business. I am not sure why so many people feel oppressed by it.
OP,here. I was throwing this out for conversation because I was curious what other mamas do, but I gotta say that I'm a little thrown off by your tone. I know it's science, I never claimed to feel oppressed, and I certainly don't see myself as being reactionary.
Snuzzmom's Avatar Snuzzmom 04:39 PM 07-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
OP,here. I was throwing this out for conversation because I was curious what other mamas do, but I gotta say that I'm a little thrown off by your tone. I know it's science, I never claimed to feel oppressed, and I certainly don't see myself as being reactionary.
Sorry-- I wasn't responding you you specifically. Just in general... I've seen threads about this in the past where people seem to get really upset about these rules when really... they don't even exist.

I'm just pointing out that there AREN'T any rules, there's only a list of foods that aren't recommended when you're pregnant and the list requires some research so that you can decide for yourself why that food is on the list and whether or not you agree that eating that food is truly risky to your baby.

Again, sorry about any offensive tone. Totally not my intent.
staceychev's Avatar staceychev 04:42 PM 07-28-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
Sorry-- I wasn't responding you you specifically. Just in general...

Again, sorry about any offensive tone. Totally not my intent.
No worries! Thanks for the reply!
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