Is This Safe to Eat? Dietary Guidelines for New Mothers

Expecting mothers are one of the at risk populations for developing a foodborne illness. Bacterial infection, like Listeria, can be life threatening for both mom and baby. In an attempt to thwart these dangerous infections expecting mothers are counseled extensively about what foods to avoid while pregnant.

But what happens after the baby is born? What is safe to eat again and what remains on the do not touch list?

Designed with this question in mind we created a quick guide for new mom’s to hang on her fridge. Share this infographic with new moms you know, or print and hang on the fridge to easily refer back to.

Foodborne Illness Risks Post Pregnancy

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Starting with seafood, shellfish, despite being a common allergen, is safe to eat. During pregnancy women are cautioned against sushi because it contains raw fish, but after birth sushi is given a green light. The only type of seafood that remains off limits is high mercury fish like shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel.

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can have devastating consequences for the child. There has been evidence that excessive caffeine consumption can also be detrimental so expecting moms are told to when possible avoid coffee. Once the baby is born both coffee and alcohol are safe to consume, in small amounts.

Spices and herbs can be contaminated with foodborne illness causing bacteria. In fact, researchers at the FDA found nearly 7 percent of spices were contaminated with Salmonella. However, potential contamination is not the reason nursing mothers are advised to avoid sage, parsley, and peppermint. Rather there is evidence these particular herbs may decrease the mother’s milk supply and thus should be used judiciously.

Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed then are safe for consumption. Chicken, beef, and pork, can all be eaten as well, after each meat has been cooked to its proper internal temperature.

Of all the food groups in the pyramid, dairy is the one new moms should be the most wary of.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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