How to Get through Food Poisoning While Pregnant
It’s no accident pregnancy is called “a blessed state”. You feel amazing and any discomfort you experience disappears when you feel your little one kicking. It is the time when a woman can create new life and love.
But, there has also the most sensitive a woman will ever be. While pregnant, a woman develops food cravings because of hormonal surges. This means eating unusual, unsavory or unhealthy food. It’s one thing when the result is bloating and heartburn, but when you get food poisoning while pregnant, it’s a serious deal.
Food poisoning while pregnant causes a lot of trouble for the mommy and her little one in the womb. Mommy loses liquids, gets stressed out and spends her time on the toilet or in the ER. To help you in your most sensitive times, here’s how to avoid food poisoning while pregnant or deal with it when it happens.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
There can be plenty of reasons for food poisoning while pregnant. Research tells us that each woman is different in pregnancy. The hormones she has will change her body and her immune system. Some of the causes are:
- Hormonal surges. Hormones change the woman’s body and digestive system. As a result, the food she used to eat all the time now causes her trouble. Or, if the food has slightly changed, she no longer enjoys it.
- Dangerous bacteria. There are bacteria all around us. We constantly destroy them but they are keeping coming back. Normally, this isn’t a huge deal, except with some extremely toxic bacteria. If they end up in food, there’s bound to be trouble.
- Eating raw food. This ties into the previous point. Eating sushi during pregnancy is a major no-no. Thoroughly cook everything before eating it, and your digestion won’t be as burdened.
- Animal contact. Some animals have bacteria on themselves all the time. For example, cats and dogs tend to thrash about in the dirt and then lick themselves constantly. And they then lick you...wow, can imagine there’s your main source of bacteria.
- Spoiled food. If the food starts smelling, changes color or becomes sticky, get rid of it immediately. Don’t take any chances, it’s not worth it.
How Do I Know If I Have Food Poisoning?
Symptoms of food poisoning are very specific. Once you realize what to look for, you’ll be able to spot them right away. Symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
One or two of these isn’t a critical issue, but having more than that is. Consult the doctor and start the treatment right away. Don’t wait for the problem to become aggravated.
Can Food Poisoning While Pregnant Harm The Baby?
If you’ve already got food poisoning, you’re probably worried sick that the baby will get sick too. Actually, the problems for your child will depend on what your symptoms are.
Slight symptoms such as itches and rashes won’t hurt the little one in your womb. Just keep taking fluids and stay hydrated to help the body pass it all out.
However, getting food poisoning from bacteria such as Listeria means there can be some heavy consequences on your little one:
- Congenital defects
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
Thus, take great care to eat only healthful food while pregnant to avoid serious problems. The paramount priority is the safety of the baby. So be vigilant and always stay on the lookout for problems.
What Do I Do With Food Poisoning While Pregnant?
Generally, food poisoning isn’t a chronic problem. If you eat something dirty or spoiled, the problems will appear for a few days and then go away. However, if they last for more than two days, that’s when you should get worried.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible but in the meantime, try some of these home remedies:
- Keep drinking liquids. Your body will be expelling a lot of water. This is to flush the rot out of the body. Stay hydrated and keep sipping on water throughout the day. If there’s a single tip to follow during food poisoning, this is it.
- Replenish electrolytes. That word sounds so fancy, but it’s just salt. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt in a jug of water and drink that instead of plain water. Salt helps you retain water in the system.
- Probiotics help with upset stomach. Probiotics are stomach’s little helpers. They are good bacteria, such as the kind that makes yogurt out of milk. You can buy probiotics over the counter as capsules that are swallowed whole.
- Drink sports drinks. They will give your body all it needs to keep working. You might pee a bit more than usual, but that’s par for the course.
- Drop caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic. It forces the body to flush out excess water. Drinking coffee or caffeine will not help you at all. Instead, drink decaf or switch over to chamomile tea.
- Try with heartburn medicine. You might have a chance with using Pepto and similar drugs. They lower the amount of acid caused by the stomach and help you live through food poisoning while pregnant.
Home Remedies For Food Poisoning
Can a home remedy help if you get food poisoning while pregnant? Of course! There are ways to calm your stomach that doesn’t require a prescription.
The biggest problem when you have food poisoning is diarrhea and vomiting since it causes dehydration. The majority of home remedies for food poisoning focus on getting you hydrated. Here’s what you can do:
- Wait for your stomach to calm down before eating anything. Instead, drink plenty of water.
- Lie down and relax. This absolutely is the right way to reduce the stress and help you recover.
- Drink Gatorade and healthy juices instead of sodas.
- Check your pee. If it’s dark, you’re not drinking enough water.
- Eat small meals. Don’t overburden your digestion.
- Eat food with neutral taste, such as crackers, bananas, oatmeal and vegetables in order to calm the stomach.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, alcohol, dairy and caffeine until you recover.
Preventing Is Better Than Curing
Food poisoning while pregnant can be avoided if you’re careful while preparing food. Here’s what you’re meant to do with your food:
- Cook your food completely. It might seem painstaking, but it’s the safest way to make food. Meat, eggs and poultry can have plenty of bacteria that you can’t notice. Thorough cooking destroys them all. If in doubt, use a meat thermometer.
- If there are leftovers, refrigerate them immediately after you’re finished.
- Eat only clean vegetables and fruits, never forget to wash them properly!
- Wash your hands regularly. This doesn’t just apply to when you go to bathroom. Our hands can have plenty of bacteria, and when we touch our face, they get in our mouth, nose and eyes.
- Clean the kitchen and food preparation area on a regular basis. This also includes knives, pots and other kitchen utensils. Don’t reuse plates and pots!
- Soft cheeses are a hidden danger for pregnant women with a history of sickness. If you had cancer, chemo, heartburn or chest pains, avoid soft cheeses.
- Raw foods should always be kept separate from cooked foods to avoid bacterial contamination. So, shellfish, poultry, fish and meat should be in their section in the fridge.
- Never try your luck with expired food. If it smells funny, changed its color and had become sticky, throw it away. It’s never worth it to eat turned food, so just stay safe.
If you’ve got a food poisoning while pregnant, it’s not the end of the world. Simply keep calm, hydrate and keep the hygiene in your kitchen high. You will be back on your feet in no time!