3 Risks of Eating Pork During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is that phase in a female’s life when she has to be very careful about what she eats and what has to be avoided.  Following certain guidelines is important both for the expectant mother as well as the unborn baby.  One thing which must be avoided during pregnancy is eating pork.  Eating pork in inappropriate amounts and in a wrongly cooked manner can pose risks to the health of the baby as well as the mother.

pork during pregnancy


The following are the 3 risks of eating pork during pregnancy:

1. Eating pork or other deli meats such as ham can cause listeriosis due to the presence of a certain bacteria.  The symptoms of this disease are like the symptoms of flu and may sometimes spread to the nervous system, thereby causing many complications for a pregnant woman and her baby.  Listeriosis not only causes headache, confusion and convulsions but may also in some cases result in serious problems like stillbirth, premature birth of the baby, miscarriage among others.  Listeriosis must be treated with antibiotics as soon as it is detected or diagnosed to avoid the spreading of the infection to the baby.

2. Another risk of eating pork is being affected by Toxoplasmosis. Pork contains a parasite which may cause this problem among pregnant women and may further result in several types of health problems for the unborn baby and also for the mother.  Toxoplasmosis often causes brain and eye damage to the baby.

3. Another disease which can be caused due to eating under cooked pork or even other under cooked meats, eggs and dairy products is called Salmonellosis.  In very rare cases, a variety of salmonella bacteria called S. Typhi can get transferred to the unborn baby from the pregnant mother and may lead to either premature delivery or stillbirth.

Thus it is very important to either altogether give up pork during pregnancy or cook it properly.   The cook must always wash his/her hands properly before and after cooking pork.

Preferred Way of Having Pork

Most doctors recommend pregnant women not to have any pork at all to avoid all risks mentioned above but if this is not possible, then there are safer ways to cook and eat pork. The following will throw more light on the same:

  • Whenever you prepare pork for a meal, you must ensure that it is properly cooked. By properly cooked, it means that pork must reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  This helps in killing of all possible bacteria that could affect the pregnant woman or the baby.
  • Raw pate is made using pork or other forms of meat and this must be completely avoided as it is raw and not cooked. Raw pate may contain bacteria or parasite which might result in the above mentioned complications for the pregnant woman or her baby.
  • Rather than having raw pate, you can opt for canned pate as when pate is canned, the process of canning heats the meat properly and to sufficient levels.

Photo Credit By: en.wikipedia.org


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