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What Type of Cheese is Safe during Pregnancy?

Updated on February 14, 2017

Safe cheeses to eat during pregnancy

All hard cheeses are safe to eat during pregnancy. Some examples of these safe cheeses include cheddar, stilton and parmesan. The reason why doctors say it is safe for a pregnant woman to eat hard cheeses is simply because they don't contain much water, thereby making it difficult for bacteria to grow and thrive in them.

When bacteria can’t grow or thrive in cheese, then the likelihood of the bacteria Listeria existing in the cheese is drastically reduced. This is the reason why health experts say that if a pregnant woman should eat cheese at all, she should make sure she eats a hard cheese.

Is eating cheese safe for pregnancy?

Pregnant woman eating cheese
Pregnant woman eating cheese

Cheese and pregnancy

“I am a mother of two. I am currently five months pregnant with my first child. I am having this insatiable appetite for cheese and I want to know if it is safe for me to eat cheese in my present condition.”

“I once read somewhere that eating cheese while pregnant is a bad idea. I really want to know if there are some cheeses that pregnant women can safely eat or whether all cheeses are bad for a pregnant woman. “

“The bottom line is I would like to know which cheeses I should avoid and which ones I should consume. Or should I just totally stay away from consuming cheese?”

The above statement is from an anxious pregnant woman. Just like so many pregnant women out there, she wants to seek understanding as to the type of cheese that is safe for her consumption.

What type of cheese is safe during pregnancy?

Health experts often list cheese as one of the foods that pregnant women should stay away since it can be unhealthy for their unborn babies. The thing with cheese and pregnancy is that it can be safe and unsafe at the same time depending on the type of cheese you eat. There are some cheeses that are safe for pregnant women and there are others which can be really dangerous for the unborn child.

What makes some cheeses bad for pregnancy?

The main reason why some cheeses are not safe to be eaten when a woman is pregnant is because of the fact that they can contain the bacteria Listeria. These bacteria can cause an infection called Listeriosis.

In many adults, the infection isn’t that dangerous. However, when a woman is pregnant and she suffers from this infection, it can be extremely dangerous. A woman that suffers from Listeriosis during pregnancy can end up having a miscarriage. It can also lead to the unborn baby becoming severely sick or worst still it can lead to the death of the unborn child.

But of course, like was said above, not all cheeses are dangerous.

Unsafe cheeses to eat during pregnancy

Soft cheeses, on the other hand, are mainly considered unsafe for pregnant women. This is simply because the likelihood of these cheeses containing the bacteria Listeria can be very high.

Instances where soft cheese is safe for pregnant women to eat

Despite the above statement, you should know that a soft cheese can also be safe for pregnancy if pasteurized milk was used in preparing it. This is the only instance that soft cheeses can be safe for a pregnant woman.

If the cheese is soft and isn’t made from pasteurized milk, then I strongly advise you to stay away from eating it. If you are pregnant consuming soft and unpasteurized milk cheese can be extremely dangerous for your unborn child!

Summary

Despite all that has been said above, if you still can't resist eating soft cheese during your pregnancy, then I strongly recommend you look carefully at the label of the cheese to see whether it was made from pasteurized milk or not.

Never eat soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk. A good example of an unpasteurized cheese to stay away from is feta cheese.

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    • Enoch Kane profile image
      Author

      Enoch Kane 9 months ago from Ghana

      Thank you Luke

    • Luke Holm profile image

      JourneyHolm 9 months ago

      Interesting. I was just talking with my wife about eating cheese during pregnancy, last night. She said it's because the cheese is unpasteurized that it is unsafe for pregnant women to eat. I wondered what women ate before pasteurization was a thing and she said they were safer because food wasn't imported from around the world. Good article. I never really thought about this until last night :) Keep up the good work!