Pretty sure I got salmonella from raw sprouts, will harm baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So....I am wondering if anyone else had food poisoning while pregnant, or had a friend who did, and did the baby turn out okay? (healthy, smart (meaning normal brain development), etc)??? I got something gastro-related, pretty sure it's a mild/moderate case of salmonella. I am 10 weeks pregnant.

 

5 days ago, I suddenly started having abdominal cramps/pain with diarrhea/loose stools, especially after eating, but sometimes randomly. The second day it kind of peaked, with a fair amount of pain. I could tell it was likely foodbourne....tummy angry and infected with something it didn't like. Then I remembered that the day before it started, I had had raw bean sprouts, and when I googled, I found pregnant women shouldn't eat them raw because they are often contaminated, and when contaminated, they are most likely to be contaminated with salmonella (vs alfalfa sprouts which can have other things too).

 

It is 5 days later and I am still having the symptoms. Symptoms were never severe; I would classify them as "moderate" because I only have the episodes 2-3 times daily. Severity is not getting worse, maybe slightly better, but still present which is annoying. I was hoping it would be gone by now, since it was never severe. Supposedly mild salmonellosis can last up to a week.

 

Anyways, I emailed all the above to my OB and I am going to see what she says. However, I googled and found that most women are told by their OB's (re: salmonella exposure) to not worry about it, and are told "it won't hurt the baby"..."just take care of yourself and don't get dehydrated." The common knowledge is that it usually does not pass to the baby. So I am kind of anticipating being told that, BUT I've also read that "occasionally" it CAN spread to the fetus, and that in those cases, babies are born with fever, diarrhea, and sometimes, rarely, meningitis. That is the part that bothers me, you never want to read that, so I was hoping to hear from anyone who went through this or had to research it, and what your thoughts are.

 

I am thinking everything is probably gonna be okay. My guess is that I DID get salmonella, because the severity can range (you aren't always vomiting and passing blood). I think it is most likely that I'm going to be a case of "it didn't spread to baby, the body handles it".....but it is hard to not worry. No one wants to know they have salmonella while pregnant! I think it mainly spreads in the rarer cases where you get a fever and the infection entered the bloodstream. I have no fever or chills.

 

Does anyone have words of reassurance involving a food poisoining/salmonella scare while pregnant.....??? I am not really worried about myself because my body seems okay, just worried about the baby.

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#2 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 05:17 AM
 
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I'm just guessing here, but I agree with you that the odds are overwhelmingly on your side.

Chances are:
  • You may have caught a random stomach bug, not food poisoning.
  • If it is food poisoning, your symptoms line up more with e.coli, which is even less likely to spread to the baby.
  • If you did/do have salmonella, it seems like most cases don't spread to the baby.
  • Plus, since you had a milder case, it seems even less likely to spread to the baby.

I hope you feel better soon!

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#3 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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Also, since you're only 10 weeks, your own immune system will deal with it long before the baby is born.  I don't think salmonella (or anything, for that matter) can "hide out" in a fetus for 7 months and then sproing up at birth to cause all kinds of issues.  You'd know if something was wrong long before then.


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#4 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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Adding to that - since you're only 10 weeks, your immune system is not as suppressed as it is later in pregnancy, when there is more crossover between fetal and maternal circulation. You have a pretty good chance of fighting this off if it is food poisoning.

 

hope you're feeling better!


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#5 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. I guess I worry that any kind of insult during pregnancy could hurt the baby's development. I feel like things are developing so quickly. I'm not really worried the baby will be born with diarrhea, just that it will affect the baby in some way. I guess I probably seem paranoid.....

 

I guess I was just a little mad at myself for eating sprouts. You read those lists of what not to eat, and then you are so sure you'll never screw up and eat something that will give you something. And you think if you do eat something that is a "no," what are the odds you will actually get something? It's just not a good feeling, knowing I screwed up. For some reason, foodborne stuff seems more scary to me than "catching" something via human-to-human contact. It just seems like I shouldn't be eating spoiled food. Freaks me out. :(

 

And yeah, I am sure it was from the food. Something wasn't right with it.

 

I don't mean to dismiss everyone's comments....just expressing how I'm feeling. I feel 90% okay about it, but it is hard to dismiss the 10% feeling of "Oh my God, why did I eat those damn sprouts???" :( :(  Can anyone relate to that kind of worry? I know I am a worryer, so being pregnant is hard.

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#6 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Can anyone relate to that kind of worry?

I totally can! I almost never drink at all, but at the beginning of last month I had three drinks one night (really unusual for me) Well, as it turned out, I had conceived only four days before and when I got the bfp I was really worried about it. Actually I had been joking that after ttc for over a year the one month I have that much to drink will be the one I get pregnant:) And even though I know logically that it most likely did not affect the baby, I still have a nagging worry in the back of my head. Especially since it's something that you can't know 100 percent for sure is fine.


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#7 of 11 Old 10-31-2012, 06:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bobcat View Post

 

I guess I was just a little mad at myself for eating sprouts. You read those lists of what not to eat, and then you are so sure you'll never screw up and eat something that will give you something. And you think if you do eat something that is a "no," what are the odds you will actually get something?

 

I can relate ... the day I looked up those "no-no" food lists and printed them off for DH, who does most of our grocery shopping and cooking, I came home to find he had made a salad made with sprouts, raw blue cheese, and soybeans (which I was personally paranoid about in the first few weeks for fear of hormone imbalance). I caught it before the cheese went in, and decided the sprouts were a managable risk since we know the farm they were grown on. But ther was a good 15 minutes of freaking out and thinking seriously about having pizza instead.


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#8 of 11 Old 11-01-2012, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. :)

 

And I guess what freaks me out the most, is that now that I ate the sprouts and actually got gastro symptoms from them (or something else I ate), and possible salmonella if you ask me (and I believe I've had salmonella before), they (doctors offices) are like, "oh, it isn't a big deal, it won't hurt the baby." And so then I'm like, "well why is it on the damn list then?!?!?"  So why warn me about it, but then once &$%* goes down (literally and figuratively), you are going to tell me it's okay? Because now ya got me worried, damn lists.

 

I guess the difference is moreso what trimester you are in and thus how your immunity is doing.

 

And don't get me started on these tests. Supposedly they wanna poke a needle into the sac, when asked "why?", it's "for my peace of mind?" Um, sorry, that description does not help any with peace of mind. Putting a needle past the cervix and near the baby=peace of mind? And if something comes back abnormal, that messes with my "peace of mind." So who is benefitting?

 

GRRRR grumpy pregnant rant over.....out! (drops microphone)

 

ps--yes, I'm trying to avoid soy too. Logically it just doesn't seem to be a good idea to me, at this phase.

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#9 of 11 Old 11-01-2012, 09:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bobcat View Post


And don't get me started on these tests. Supposedly they wanna poke a needle into the sac, when asked "why?", it's "for my peace of mind?" Um, sorry, that description does not help any with peace of mind. Putting a needle past the cervix and near the baby=peace of mind? And if something comes back abnormal, that messes with my "peace of mind." So who is benefitting?

 

 

Uhhhh... WHAT test is that????  Do you mean amnio?  That doesn't usually happen unless blood tests come back with a bunch of markers for chromosomal abnormalities, and is optional pretty much everywhere I think...

 

I think the no-no lists of food are a crock of you-know-what.  You should be able to eat everything that you were eating before you got pregnant.  I never eat sprouts because I just don't like them (except sometimes in stir-fries, when they're cooked) but I drink raw milk regularly and eat raw fish sushi and poke and stuff like that.  I'm pretty bacteria-resistant - there is a LOT that people can do to help their internal flora manage threats like salmonella, listeria etc.  I eat a lot of probioticky stuff like raw-milk kefir, fermented vegetables etc. and buy veggies and eggs direct from farms and unwashed.  I rub dirt off carrots but don't wash them thoroughly and I just avoid stuff from big places that spray manure from dirty CAFOs around. It takes a LOT to make me sick.  I once went out on a wine-and-cheese night with 2 friends - we ate a lot of stinky cheeses - all of us ate the same ones - and they both came down with classic listeriosis symptoms but I didn't even have a hiccup.  Of course genetics and regular antibiotic use play a role - but even so, everyone can make themselves better-protected against food-borne illness.

 

I'm annoyed that more doctors don't promote gut-health as a means of avoiding food-borne illness, even though THEY know darned well that not everyone who consumes a contaminated food will become ill and that the difference is due mainly to gut-based immunity factors AND that these can be and are influenced by diet.  Even 20 years ago, I remember talking to my next-door neighbour, a GP, who was freqently called on to investigate potential food-borne illnesses when restaurants were suspect... he said it was virtually impossible to say definitively where an outbreak came from because SO many people who ate the food(s) in question just didn't get sick.

 

Now, obviously pregnancy ISN'T the time to be challenging & enhancing your gut flora - but that should be right up there on the "if you're planning to get pregnant" list of to-do's along with taking extra folate and exercising.   And - OP - I'm *definitely* not saying that it's your fault you got sick from sprouts.  I'm just saying there's a lot more to the issue than "just avoid stuff when you're pregnant" because really, so, so much food can be contaminated with today's industrial farming methods that by avoiding all of it you would end up restricting your diet too much.  And that public health has totally dropped the ball on this given the evidence.

 

OK - that's MY grumpy pregnant lady rant for the day :-)  Sorry to hijack your thread, OP.

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#10 of 11 Old 12-30-2013, 07:16 AM
 
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So just googled this because I recently had salmonella. Now I am 16 weeks but I was 12-13 w. My husband had really bad salmonella and it was in his blood stream and then a few days later I got it. Not near as severe but I did get tested for it via stool sample. My dr when we saw her for my husband said to me be careful but when I saw her a week later and she told me my results she was singing a different tune and was not worried saying baby will be fine. I like you googled and was terrified. Can you tell me how your baby is? No developmental problems?
Thank you
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#11 of 11 Old 12-30-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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From what I understand, Listeria monocytogenes and listeriosis are MUCH more of a concern than salmonella.  Listeriosis causes premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth and health problems for newborns.  That's why they ask you to either cook or limit exposure to ready-to-eat meats (lunch meat) and soft cheeses.  

http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/infections-listeria.html

 

I work in the produce industry and avoid cantaloupe and sprouts while pregnant, too.  The past few outbreaks of listeria in cantaloupe have been devastating. Cantaloupe is particularly prone to listeria because it grows on the ground and has ridgy, pitted skin that doesn't wash easily.  Most people don't wash their cantaloupes before cutting, either. 

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