Cheese Please!

Cheese can be an important source of protein and calcium, but when you are pregnant there are some types of cheese that Health Canada says you should avoid. It need not be scary! And it isn’t difficult, just remember these two rules:

1. Stay away from soft, mould-ripened cheeses such as brie and camembert.
2. Do not eat cheese made from unpasteurized milk – most often blue cheese, feta and goats cheese though you can find versions of these cheeses made from pasteurized milk.

Don’t despair if you love these cheeses! As long as they are cooked and piping hot all the way through, they will be safe to eat.

It might be easy to avoid these types of cheeses but why do you need to? Well – when you are pregnant your chances of getting sick from bacteria such as Listeria, are higher. In fact, pregnant women are more than 20 times more likely to get a Listeria infection. While a Listeria infection can cause flu-like symptoms for healthy adults, pregnant women can be hit harder because during pregnancy your immune system isn’t functioning as it normally would, and the infection can harm your baby.  

So take precautions and ensure the cheese you are eating has either been pasteurized, or cooked thoroughly – both of which kill bacteria.

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