Feature Archive

Myths, Dos, and Don'ts of Pregnancy

What's safe to eat during pregnancy? Can hair dye hurt the fetus? And what's this about not changing the litterbox?

By Star Lawrence
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte E. Grayson, MD

The national nannies and the old wives have formed an alliance to pepper the pregnant woman with directives on everything from alfalfa sprouts to Zithromycin. So what's the skinny (remember, however, what your doctor says goes)?

Food and Drink

Cheeses
The CDC says listeriosis, a food-borne illness with mild flu-like symptoms that can be overlooked, can result in premature delivery, miscarriage, severe illness, or death of the baby. Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting, concurs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cautions that you not eat unpasteurized soft cheeses (and other unpasteurized dairy products), hotdogs, or lunch meat unless cooked.

Cheeses made in the U.S. must be made from pasteurized milk (this process kills the listeria organism), so they are fairly safe. Imported soft cheeses are potentially problematic. These may include Brie, Camembert, feta, goat, Montrachet, Neufchatel, and queso fresco. Listeria may also be found in unpasteurized semi-soft cheeses (slightly more solid cheeses that do not grate easily and are often coated with wax to preserve moisture and extend shelf life). Semi-soft cheeses include Asiago, blue, brick, Gorgonzola, Havarti, Muenster, and Roquefort.

© 2005-2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Source article on WebMD