Can You Eat Ricotta Cheese When Pregnant?

Knowing which cheeses are safe to eat for you and your baby when pregnant is as important as remembering to take your pre-natal vitamin, especially if you are a pregnant cheese lover.  The right cheeses provide an excellent source of protein and calcium for pregnant women, but the wrong cheeses may contain bacteria that can harm the life of your unborn child. You cannot eat ricotta cheese when pregnant, along with other soft or semi-soft cheeses.

The FDA as well as specialists at the Mayo Clinic indicate that the consumption of soft cheeses that are unpasteurized, can lead to listeria contamination and problems with development and growth of an unborn child.  The FDA recommends that pregnant women avoid eating uncooked cheeses such as ricotta, feta, brie, camembert, Mexican cheeses, and blue-veined cheeses such as blue cheese or Stilton.

Pregnant women can get hit hard with a listeria infection caused from unpasteurized cheeses that puts them in bed for days.  It is similar to the flu and should not be taken lightly.  The infection can actually be fatal to your fetus or developing infant.  Pregnant women are more susceptible because their immune system is not up to par and not working as well as when they were not pregnant.  Avoiding ricotta cheese in pasta dishes or by itself is crucial to avoid exposure to listeria.

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