Food safety

Food safety

What she shouldn’t eat

I'm certain that most women worry more about what they shouldn't eat than what they should. Yes some foods are considered to be not ideal for the baby but if you listened to what everyone had to say you'd be living on a diet of glacial water flown in from the Antartic in penguin bladders and the livers of mountain goats from the Chilean town of Los Stupidos.

Testing positive for the following items will get your partner sent home from the pregnancy world cup, Shane Warne style. You don't want her blaming you that you gave these to her.....you will be despised by the nation.

Cigarettes
Imagine being down at the local Westfield shopping center, sipping on your decaf soy frappacino and seeing a mum stick a lit cigarette in a new borns mouth. Now imagine that same new born baby smoking it, sucking all that crap into its tiny lungs and flicking the cigarette butt onto the ground and butting it out with his home knitted, woollen booty. Shocking. Well that's exactly what is happening if your partner smokes during pregnancy.

That being said, I'm not a smoker and have no experience at going cold turkey on the cancer sticks. From all reports its no picnic so if your partner is/was a smoker and you are too then do everyone a favour and quit when she does.

Booze
there are two schools of thought on this one. 

  • Complete abstinence and 
  • An occasional glass of wine is ok

There is no doubt that serious alcohol intake harms a baby and you only need to see an image of a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome to be sworn off the VB for life. Speak to your doctor and discuss your position on it with your partner. 

Just because she's pregnant doesn't mean she won't be longing for a beverage. Comb the community forums of any big pregnancy website and you can see first hand women discussing how they are tonguing for a cocktail and how much they despise us for getting on the beers at every opportunity because we have a designated driver. 

If you were the best bloke in the world you'd give up drinking during pregnancy as well. Chances are that you are not the best bloke in the world and won't give up drinking so at least try and be sympathetic on this one.

Caffeine
The fun police seem to believe coffee should also be on the banned list, other sources say the occasional cup is ok. I remember being 18 and stepping off an overnight train from Paris to Florence and ordering an Italian Espresso. It was my first ever coffee and despite the fact it was served in a thimble it's effect was not unlike that of amphetamines......it sent me straight to the toilet and then the dance floor. If even a small amount of caffeine crosses the placenta and into the baby I can't help thinking it's got to have a similar effect. I'm not a card carrying member of the fun police however so you make up your own mind.

Mercury loving fish
Fish naturally accumulate mercury if some species do so more than other.  Fish are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamin B12, iodine, and are low in saturated fat so including them in your diet is recommended. Stick to the following species - mackerel, salmon, whiting & garfish and eat no more than 2 or 3 serves a week. Four of the tastiest fish in the ocean so why go elsewhere! If she doesn’t like fish look for a good Omega 3 supplement (one that uses mercury free fish!)

Soft cheese and uncooked meats
These bad boys can harbor listeria which sounds more like a mouth freshener than a baby killer. So it's no brie and prosciutto toasted sandwiches while drunk for the next nine months. 

The simple truth is think fresh, natural foods and you can't go wrong. If you are preparing meat and fish make sure you give it an extra few minutes on the BBQ and cook it through. No doubt she'll be aware of what she can and can't eat but there's no harm in you knowing about this as well.

Eating for 1.2

By now you'll be familiar with old pregnancy chestnuts like "don't do that, you're just making a rod for your own back" and "no wonder she's hungry, she's eating for two now! ". I still don't know what making a rod for your own back is or why anyone, other than invertebrates, would do it but I have learned that eating for 2 is complete bollocks. In reality your partner is eating for 1.2 at the most and she only requires and extra 300 odd calories a day, which is bugger all.

What she does have a need for is an increase in nutrients and the extra 300 calories need to be nutrient rich, not in the form of a Mars Bar. Now is the time to take stock of what you are both eating and what you are going to eat for the next eight months. Organic food is the way to go but it can be difficult to find in many places and can also be quite expensive. Where possible eat organic, always try and eat fresh produce and think about how to get as many natural nutrients into mum and baby as possible. The Shane Warne diet is certainly not recommended by the Surgeon General.

We cover off cravings and weight gain in the next chapter.

Who ate all the pies?

If you are anything like most guys you are quite likely to 'go out in sympathy' in the weight department. In the next chapter we will have a look at the couvades syndrome which explains the phenomenon of men experiencing pregnancy symptoms when their partner is up the duff but the reality is that in the coming months you are at serious risk of entering a kilo addition program. Why? Here's a few possible reasons:

  1. Her appetite may wane and you might eat your pork chops and hers for a few months.....and her Sarah Lee apple turnover with double lashings of cream
  2. She may have cravings for sugary or fatty foods......why should you deny yourself the late night pleasure of a deep fried Mars bar too?
  3. She's tired and not feeling like exercise.....it's a great excuse to stay on the couch and watch the footy
  4. She's massive and can't see her feet let alone fit through the turnstyle at the gym....see point 3
  5. She's driving you nuts and to drink.....better stock up on the low carb beers.

The first few months of parenthood can be bedlam and chances are you won't feel like working out. Eating well and exercise are vital in keeping fit and healthy and to help you through less sleep and more stress.  Getting yourselves into good shape now and maintaining that through early parenthood will deliver many benefits.

Despite all that was going on and all that had happened, amazingly our baby started breastfeeding, everyone settled in and it became time to pass the news to the family and friends who had congregated outside. And there’s not anything much more fun than that."

 

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