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Cheese, Wine, and Coffee: Are These Good for Pregnancy?

With pregnancy, comes the managing of your health and diet, among many other factors. Certain foods have been known for expecting mothers to avoid, while other foods are encouraged for them to eat. Although cravings are hard to resist, it is important to take into account what foods you put into your body during those nine months. For those expecting mothers who drink coffee religiously, I do too, we’ll be diving into the effects this has on your body while pregnant. Additionally, wine and cheese, the perfect pairing, will also have its effects revealed.

Caffeine, in all of its forms, including soda, tea, energy drinks, and coffee, is recommended to be limited throughout pregnancy. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is about 100 mg of caffeine in one mug of instant coffee and about 140 mg in one mug of filtered coffee. Additionally, the American Pregnancy Organization recommends your caffeine intake to be limited at 200 mg each day. I know that this is good news to me, because that morning cup of coffee can determine my day.

While alcohol is widely known to be avoided in pregnancy, there are some studies that indicate that a little glass of wine is okay. We avoid wine while expecting to eliminate the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome, which might cause low birth weight, cognition and behavioral problems, and vision and hearing problems. While all of this is completely valid, low amounts of wine might have benefits in pregnancy, or at least not have damaging effects. A study conducted by University of Copenhagen researcher Janni Niclasen found that the emotional and behavioral development of 7 year old children with mothers who drank small amounts of alcohol in pregnancy, were improved. Walnut Hill OBGYN provides a good pros and cons list of drinking small glasses of wine throughout pregnancy. Small glasses of wine are even sometimes suggested by midwives during labor, to relax the mother and her muscles, and encourage fetal movement. It’s important to discuss this with your Midwife/Doctor so you can understand the if’s and why’s that wine would be ok.

However, this begs the question: what is wine without cheese? You may not think that cheese is to be avoided during pregnancy, but some types of cheeses, mostly unpasteurized, are not deemed safe for the fetus. Some of these unpasteurized cheeses include feta, brie, and camembert. It is important to stick to cheeses made with pasteurized milk. These include, but are not limited to, american, colby, parmesan, swiss, mozzarella, provolone, and muenster. Consuming unpasteurized cheeses while pregnant puts you at a high risk for Listeria, which has harmful effects for both you and your baby. E. Coli is also a possibility when consuming these cheeses. However, most of the common cheeses are safe to eat.

While intakes of coffee, wine, and cheese are limited in one way or another, it is important to maintain your health throughout pregnancy and keep track of your diet. Talking with your birthcare provider about changes in your diet is helpful in knowing what to take out and what to have more of.






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