Food guilt

It started with a goats cheese salad

A lovingly prepared goats cheese, beetroot and pumpkin seed salad, which I was meant to be eating for my lunch. Instead, I have a crappy supermarket sandwich and a bag of crisps. And why?, I hear you cry… well, its that pregnancy thing again, isn’t it!

Quite early on in my pregnancy, I read a book called ‘Expecting Better’, which was basically about how the government-defined guidelines on what you can and can’t consume in pregnancy are somewhat over-cautious, plus a summing up of the research, so you could make an informed decision on what you think is worth the risk of eating. So for the last 22-odd weeks, I’ve been basically flagrantly disregarding the  NHS list as and when I fancied it, as long as I had an awesome statistic or two to back myself up.

Up until now, my absolute veto list started and finished with the following:
-Liver and liver-related products (too much Vit A is bad for babies, so I’m told)
-Excessive amounts of tuna (Too much mercury is equally as bad)

And from the list of doom, I think I’ve had…

-a small piece of brie somewhere around week 6 and a brilliant Marks and Spencer goats cheese salad
Reasoning- Listeriosis= bad for babies- it causes miscarriage and all kinds of bad stuff. So I look at the figures. In 2011, there were 147 cases of listeriosis in England and Wales, 27 of which were in pregnant women. There were 724,000 births in 2011, which in very vague terms, which a statistician would probably tell me aren’t statistically viable, means the vague chances of getting listeriosis are only about 0.004% – pretty teeny weeny really

-Runny eggs
I’m not going to feel guilty about this one- salmonella apparently only affects you, not your baby, and the number of cases of salmonella from eggs in this country was pretty small

-Alcohol
After an immense amount of reading around this, I decided a self-imposed limit of a unit a week, and always with food was a risk I was more than comfortable with

-Caffeine
Lovely lovely tea. I drink a fair amount of tea and the occasional coffee. Guidelines say three cups a day should be your limit- I might have had four on the odd day I guess- I’ve not kept a strict count

So basically nothing really to write home about, and as you can see, a couple of instances of cheeses from the ‘risky list’- Nothing I felt particularly guilty about at the time, all items were a calculated risk that I decided was worth taking

So why am I feeling unable to eat my goats cheese now, I ask you? I can only assume the maternal part brain that I genuinely never really thought I possessed may have finally wandered in to join the party and is giving the rational side of my brain a massive seeing to- it’s the only reason I can come up with! Come back rational brain!! I miss you!

Post-post note:
And would you believe it, after all that, I found another reference to goats cheese on the NHS website that says soft goats cheese is fine, it’s a very specific type of goats cheese, called Chevre, which you need to avoid. So I could have just eaten the bloody salad all along!

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