Listeriosis and Toxoplasmosis are foodborne illnesses that are more likely to affect pregnant women.
Keep food safe to eat by following these general guidelines to avoid food borne illness.
||Wash hands and surfaces often.
||Don’t cross-contaminate. For example, after cutting meat, wash the knife before using it to cut vegetables.
||Cook to proper temperature using a food thermometer.
· Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant should not drink Alcohol. Alcohol can cross the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream. It causes damage to an unborn baby at all stages of pregnancy. Risks involves
• the way your baby develops in the womb – in particular, the way your baby’s brain develops
• the way your baby grows in the womb, by causing the placenta not to work as well as it should – this is known as foetal growth restriction
• increased risk of a stillbirth
• increased risk of premature labor
• your baby being more prone to illness in infancy, childhood and as an adult
• learning and behavioral disorders
SMOKING AND DRUGS
· These are potentially just as dangerous as Alcohol, if not more. SO avoid.
· You should limit caffeine during pregnancy – avoid having more than 200mg of caffeine a day. High levels of caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight. Too much caffeine can also cause a miscarriage. Caffeine is found naturally in some foods and is added to some soft drinks. So avoid Sodas.
HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS
· Virtually no medicinal herb has been established as safe in pregnancy or breast-feeding, and even herbs that might seem safe because of their wide use in cooking could cause problems when they are taken in the form of highly concentrated extracts.
· Some herbs are definitely known to be toxic in pregnancy, such as blue cohosh and pennyroyal .
· Other herbs that are traditionally regarded with caution during pregnancy include andrographis , boldo , catnip , essential oils , feverfew , juniper , licorice , nettle , red clover , rosemary , shepherd’s purse, and yarrow , along with many others.
· the herb chasteberry has shown a theoretical potential for inhibiting milk supply.
· Some supplements like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) appears to reduce the fat content of breast milk, with potentially harmful effects on the nursing infant.
· herbs with estrogen-like properties make scientists worry about possible effects on the fetus; these include soy , isoflavones , red clover , flaxseed , lignans , and hops .
· Some un-regulated Chinese herbal medicines and Aryurvedic herbal remedies have been found on occasion to contain toxic heavy metals, poisonous herbs, or unlabelled prescription drugs.
· Wash your hands with soap and water after touching soil, sand, raw meat, or unwashed vegetables.
· Cats can spread parasite causing Toxoplasmosis. Have someone else change the litter box if possible. If you have to change it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.
· Wear gloves when gardening or handling sand from a sandbox. Cats may use gardens or sandboxes as litter boxes. Wash hands afterward.
· Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly when traveling in less developed countries.
Sources: EBSCO, NHS, Choosemyplate.org