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Pregnant at Thanksgiving? Avoid these Foods

The holidays are a time of fun, family, and plenty of yummy food and drinks. When you are pregnant, however, you must be extra careful of what you are eating and drinking because of the effect food can have on your baby.

These common holiday offerings should be avoided while pregnant:

- Alcohol - Most experts agree that you should completely avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Drink non-alcoholic apple cider or sparkling juice instead for a festive treat.                    

- Soft cheeses - Panela, Cotija, Queso Fresco, Blue-Veined Cheeses, Brie, Feta, and Camembert are all soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk and must be avoided during pregnancy. They can contain the bacteria listeria monocytogenes that can cause a miscarriage or stillbirth.  Choose cheeses marked "made with pasteurized milk," such as Cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, Romano, Swiss, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack instead

- Stuffing Cooked in a Turkey - This year skip the stuffing of the turkey and make your stuffing or dressing outside in a pot or pan. Stuffing that is cooked inside the bird runs the risk of being contaminated by undercooked meat as well as not getting hot enough on the inside to destroy those germs

- Undercooked turkey - Food poisoning can be dangerous to pregnant women. Make sure the turkey you are eating is cooked all the way through.

- Raw Batter - If you enjoy baking for the holidays, be watchful that you don't sample the batter. Remember that raw eggs put you at risk for salmonella. Try snacking on some sliced fruit or nuts as you bake, and wait until your baking is done before sampling.

- Smoked seafood - The bacteria listeria monocytogenes is also in smoked seafood. You may see theseafood labeled as nova-style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky. As long as the smoked seafood is cooked, such as in a casserole, you can eat it.

Read more online about what you should and shouldn't eat while pregnant at: http://www.pregnancy.org/article/things-you-can-and-cant-or-shouldnt-do-during-pregnancy

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from Dr. Strebel and Dr. Grolle!