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Pre-pregnancy feast

Has anyone done this before or have suggestions?

I'm trying to put together a menu, not too daunting, to comprise as best possible foods one can't eat once pregnant. Foie gras is a definite. Soft cheeses will need to make an appearance, particularly brie. Smoked salmon too. Hmmm...anything with uncooked egg. Obviously copious wine to wash it all done!! Might save sushi for a separate meal.

Anyway, this is the weirdest menu I have ever contemplated so thought I'd throw it out there and see what bites. Thanks.

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  1. I'd say tartare for those who are into it (not I!).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Normandie

      that was the first thing I thought of when I saw this topic, or even better Ethiopian Kitfo (spicy as well as raw)

    2. I'm pregnant right now... so I will live vicariously through this post!

      I'll add: pate, any type of cold cuts/lunch meats (like prosciutto). Perhaps cocktails to start? Enjoy!

      19 Replies
      1. re: mangosteens

        Oooo - prosciutto. Can you not have prosciutto? Definitely have to add that too then.

        1. re: cookie44

          I miss sushi. I miss wine. I miss soft cheeses. I miss paoched eggs. However, oddly, what I miss the most are sandwiches. Roast beef and swiss. Turkey and fresh mozzerella. Ham and swiss on a bagel.

          1. re: Justpaula

            Wait, you can't have a meat and cheese sandwich? It's been a long time since I've needed to know these things but I had no idea!

            1. re: fern

              No cold cuts because of listeria. I was tempted to make a roast beef today, but I realized it would not be the same.

              1. re: Justpaula

                Everyone has to do what makes them feel comfortable, but I have 2 very healthy kids (almost 5 and almost 3) and I ate cold cuts when I was pregnant. Not roast beef, because I don't like it, but I definitely ate virginia ham and turkey. And I also ate smoked salmon. Because I love it, and I craved it. And we are all fine.

                1. re: valerie

                  Cold cuts have no impact on how your children are now. The fear is listeria, which when contracted by most people brings a list of ailments that healthy people can generally fight off. However, though there are just a few thousand cases of serious illness from it in the U.S. each year (i.e. it is relatively rare), pregnant women make up 27% of deaths from it. If you are pregnant, you are more likely than a non-pregnant person to contract it, and you are also more likely to die from it. Moreover, even if the mother survives, there is a relatively high chance she'll miscarry. Again, it doesn't happen a lot, but the disease is just so much worse for pregnant women and fetuses that it should be avoided at all costs.

                  I'm not saying this to be hysterical, only to convey the data as it stands.

                  That being said, no reason why a person craving these things can't roast their own beef and turkey at home and make a yummy homemade version!

                  1. re: Cachetes

                    When I was pregnant, I would heat my lunchmeat in the microwave and then let it cool for a minute or two. Not quite as tasty, but helped me to satisfy the sandwich cravings. Also, try an italian stromboli with no sauce- it saved me on the many occasions where I craved an Italian Hoagie.

                    1. re: jessicheese

                      You made me think of a fried ham sandwich.

                      Fried ham, fried ham
                      Cheese and bologna
                      And after the macaroni
                      we'll have onions,
                      pickles, and pretzels.
                      And after that we'll have some more fried ham
                      FRIED HAM! FRIED HAM!

                      Anyone else remember this song?

                      1. re: fern

                        Takes me right back to Girl Scout camp! I remember it well.

                      2. re: jessicheese

                        Jessi, you must be in Philly right? I haven't heard stromboli in probably 20 yrs...

                        1. re: hankstramm

                          LOL- yes I am! I didn't know stromboli was a regional thing. You can't get it?

                          1. re: jessicheese

                            I've seen it in Hawaii. And we have it in Alaska. I also was not aware that it was a regional thing...

                        2. re: jessicheese

                          You can heat your store-bought cold cuts for a few minutes in a microwave to kill and possible listeria, then refrigerate it again. One way listeria is spread is by poor sanitation on meat cutters, so it won't come back. So don't write cold cuts off!

                          I was also warned that it can be present in hotdogs (via the processing plant) and a horror story from a woman in one of my pregancy groups whose small dog died from uncooked contaminated hotdogs made me extra careful to avoid hot dogs while dining out, and make sure mine at home were very well heated.

                          As Cachetes says, it's nothing to mess around with, but you also don't have to swear those foods off as lnog as you treat them properly.

                        3. re: Cachetes

                          "Cold cuts have no impact on how your children are now."

                          I never said eating or not eating cold cuts has anything to do with how my children are now. But I had 2 easy, very uneventful pregnancies, healthy children, and I ate cold cuts on occasion and smoked salmon.

                          It's not scientific data, it's my story. Again, everyone's got to do what they feel comfortable doing.

                          1. re: Cachetes

                            Thing is, though, my doc. told me you're as likely to get listeria from several other sources, like a frozen yogurt dispenser for example. I am careful about lunch meat too (second pregnancy), but every time I stick my sandwich in the microwave I think it's a little silly given that I probably unknowingly eat other things just as if not more risky. And I wonder how many of those listeria cases are positively traced back to lunch meat?

                            Also, I'd skip the soft cheese for the OP's menu and go for raw milk cheese. As far as I know, soft cheese is absolutely a-ok during pregnancy as long as it's made with pasteurized milk.

                            1. re: Cachetes

                              Homemade roasted turkey, pork, and beef is SO much tastier than what is generally available in the deli, and miles better than any of that pre-sliced stuff in packages. It also saves a lot of $. Just be sure to brine well before roasting!

                          2. re: Justpaula

                            If you give the meat a good zap u can eat 1 serving a day.

                            1. re: DishDelish

                              The only listeria link is with PACKAGED cold cuts. There is no reason to deny yourself. Bake a ham and slice it. Roast beef and slice it. Cook a chicken or turkey or whatever and slice it. Put the slices in your freezer to thaw as needed. This is easier, cheaper and more delicious, too!

                            2. re: Justpaula

                              Listeria is destroyed by heat. You can put the ham into the microwave and it will kill off any potential contamination... this isn't just my say-so, it was in the 'preparing for pregnancy' books I read! You could nuke your ham until it steams and then make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and eat it in perfect safety.

                    2. Are you allowed coffee these days? I vote for coffee desserts of any kind.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: JEN10

                        1-2 cups a day. And I mean cups ... not 2 grande or vente coffees, lol. Many pregnant women get nauseaus and can't stomach it though. I couldn't stomach coffee during my first pregnancy.

                        1. re: DishDelish

                          I always made 1/2 & 1/2s, half regular, and half decaf. Limited it to 2 cups.

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            I had many people recommend this to me, and I actually did a couple cups of decafe during my 1st, but for some reason I usually get really bad head aches from decafe coffee. I'm not sure why?

                            1. re: DishDelish

                              The headaches may be because of the chemicals used in the decaffeination process. Try coffee that has gone through a water process instead.

                              1. re: DishDelish

                                Maybe the headaches were as a result of the lack of your usual caffeine fix? I am a one cup a day coffee person, but get a ferocious headache if I miss that one cup.

                                So glad my pregancies were long enough ago that cold cuts, coffee, cheese, foie gras (liver paste/pate were actually recommended as a source of iron that did not constipate) and even wine in moderation were all okay.

                                1. re: LJS

                                  I don't think so because every time I have decaf I get a headache, I've noticed a pattern. I don't drink coffee enough anymore to have a reaction when I skip it but I know what you mean because I had a horrible addiction to it back in College.

                        2. Make sure that you don't have any lasting effects from this feast, like parasites or tapeworms or Hepatitis. Good Lord, now I have heard everything.

                          Well, let me suggest carpaccio, while we are at it. Nice appetizer. And wine. Lots of it.

                          1. If you are into spicy-hot food (I'm not) go for it.

                            Don't forget the Champagne. It is after all a celebration !

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: souschef

                              Yes, another vote for champagne, or whatever alcoholic beverage is your favorite. I had a craving for a beer during the first trimester of my last pregnancy.

                            2. Ceviche and a sttrong margarita, then raw bar - oysters & clams! With lots of champagne!!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                thats what I missed the most...the raw bar!

                                1. you can have soft cheeses as long as they are pasteurized: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/200311...

                                  Foie gras is OK in moderation: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/preg...

                                  Tartare, sushi, carpaccio, raw milk cheese were the only thing I missed since you shouldn't eat high mercury fish too much around child bearing years anyway according to FDA. Oh #1 for me - seared scallops and ceviche!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                    Thanks for mentioning the soft cheeses. 90% of what you get here is pastuerized anyway..They have to mark it raw if it is. Anyway, you won't be getting raw cheese in the US (perhaps in SF) it's not common

                                    1. re: jsaimd

                                      I think ceviche is cooked seafood, not considered raw. I believe it cooks in the citrus acid.

                                      1. re: lexpatti

                                        It certainly is NOT cooked. Its proteins are transformed by the acidic bath, but it is raw seafood.

                                    2. I had no idea you couldn't eat these things... these are my go-to's. No prosciutto? No unpasteurized cheeses? A pre-pregnancy feast sounds like a wonderful idea!

                                      1. No foie gras?? Why?

                                        And real brie that is unpastuerized is not available in the US.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jaykayen

                                          Actually, it is available, but it has to be aged more than 60 days before it's imported--some BS like that. I get raw Camembert, but it is aged past its best date for some FDA reason...

                                          It can be raw, no prob, just make sure it's past.....

                                          1. re: hankstramm

                                            *Real* Brie older than 60 days old isn't fit to eat any more.

                                        2. oysters on the half shell.

                                          1. Eggo Cinnamon Toast waffles, apparently. Sheesh, I'd never even heard of listeria before this conversation, now twice in 24 hrs.

                                            Somehow I think you'll manage without these, however. :)

                                            1. and for your guy? raw beef, spinach, oysters...and no alcohol.

                                              1. It never occurred to me when I was pregnant twenty-some years ago to avoid any food, just alcohol.

                                                1. Sushi and tuna salad were the cravings I couldnt' do anything about when I was pregnant.

                                                  I had booked myself a solo hiking tour of Brittany and Normandy right before I found out I was pregnant. I planned on hiking all morning, then eating oysters and other fun seafood, stinky cheeses and drinking lots of wine. Uh ... didn't happen that way. But the whole time I thought to myself, I'm sure a French woman wouldn't stop herself from eating any of this stuff.

                                                  1. Raw or nearly raw tuna is the most important to me. I think I should have some now that I'm not pregnant...

                                                    Raw cookie dough is not exactly gourmet but is a good idea.

                                                    Cocktails to start. I really miss cocktails when pregnant.

                                                    This sounds fun!

                                                    1. I have to say that I in no way imagined I would get anywhere near this many responses to what seemed to me to be such an odd and unusual idea. I knew I might be in for a discourse on the current recommendations to pregnant women in this day and age. To that I might add - I realize children have been born without such so-called "scientific advances" but at the same time acknowledge that many people today could not stop blaming themselves if they did not heed such recommendations regarding diet, and ended up with a less than healthy child.

                                                      That being said, I'm HUGELY grateful to all the ideas presented. I think I have either one EPIC dinner ( I think the idea of an EPIC dinner is so fun) or many dinners here and am definitely thinking now, which I hadn't thought before, that cookie dough deserves serious consideration as a dessert!

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: cookie44

                                                        Speaking of dessert, in a massive oversight everyone forgot the fifth food group - CHOCOLATE !

                                                        Or it is okay during pregnancy ?

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          I think we'd be extinct if folks had to choose between pregnancy and chocolate.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            I would say in small amounts since they now say u can have the 1-2 cups of coffee a day.

                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                              I know a few people who think chocolate is bad for pregnant women, but really that's an extreme point of view.

                                                              1. re: milklady

                                                                I agree based on my own research. The amount of caffeine is so minimal it would take a huge amount to have anyr eal impact.

                                                                Had the big sushi-fest tonight...washed down with some lovely champagne. Looking forward to starting the real feasting tomorrow with even better champagne. Thanks again for all the tips & ideas!

                                                            2. re: cookie44

                                                              Cookie44 - It was indeed an unusual question - but I'm lovin' the fact that so many people are chiming in! Too cool! Isn't CH the best??

                                                              So, my suggestion(s) is big time margaritas and hot and heavy spicy (I'm thinkin' Mexican w/ hot chilis) food. Neither of which could pass my gullet when I was pg . . Oh! And yeah - coffee - you could do a coffee ice cream cake kinda thing.

                                                              Oh - one more side note - I totally had to go vegetarian when pg - the smell grossed me out, so maybe heavy on meat menu??

                                                              Either way - ENJOY!!

                                                              1. re: JerryMe

                                                                I had that meat thing too. I was a vegetarian for years, but had stopped a few years before getting pregnant, but man, I really had to force the meat down to get protein.

                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                  i couldn't even walk by the meat counter at whole foods in my first trimester. i would take isles around it to avoid even looking at it, especially chicken. blah! i could only eat light sponge cake and juice. no wonder i ended up with gestational diabetes!

                                                            3. I just gave birth 4 weeks ago, and I can tell you I missed beer, wine, and sushi and raw oysters the most at first. Then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and I missed bread the most. I did eat cold cuts, but only from trusted, fresh sources. Once I had the diabetes diagnosis, my food choices were so limited (I had a lot of food issues, especially with meats/foul) that most "no no" foods were moved to the top of my "yes yes" list, because there wasnt' a lot of choice for me.

                                                              1. A salad with real Caesar dressing and either soft serve (listeria) or homemade ice cream (if you do yours with raw eggs) for dessert. Don't forget either a really hot bath or soak in the hot tub after dinner. And have some eggs benedict (with hollandaise) for breakfast the next day. By the way, I love this thread. I'm 5 1/2 weeks away from my due date and I'm plotting my home-from-the-hospital extravaganza as I read the responses! Kahlua, limoncello, and proscuitto are at the top of my list.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: silvergirl

                                                                  Poached eggs were the one thing I really craved my whole pregnancy. Well, besides wine, but that's a given. How about a smoked trout eggs benedict? That was one of the first formerly no-no meals I ate after having my daughter.

                                                                2. how do you know when to have this meal if it's PRE-pregnancy? well I guess you can just keep eating everything on the list until you get preggers.

                                                                  I have a newborn and I missed eating sushi while pregnant and now that he is here, we have no time to go out to a nice sushi dinner, so I recommend getting your fill of raw fish now. eat some for me too!

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jpmcd

                                                                    <how do you know when to have this meal if it's PRE-pregnancy? well I guess you can just keep eating everything on the list until you get preggers.>

                                                                    That's what I was thinking...
                                                                    As someone who is, a year later, trying to get pregnant I wouldn't think about having a 'forbidden foods' meal. Live it up while you aren't pregnant and cut back when you are.

                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                      Yes, I am currently pregnant too. I miss cocktails, feta cheese, muffalettas, beer, coffee! strong black and lots of it, and umm feta. I really miss feta...

                                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                        Don't they make pasteurized feta?
                                                                        Beer was my thing too, and I was talking about it when I was in labor.

                                                                        1. re: DishDelish

                                                                          I abstained from the no-no's during pregnancy, but within an hour after giving birth, I asked my husband to bring me an ice-cold-beer, and he did, and I drank it, and all was well.

                                                                        2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                          I'm 5 months pregnant and I've read and read and read about all the various foods that should or should not be eaten while pregnant. I have read in several places that feta cheese is absolutely acceptable (as long as it's pasteurized, which most cheese is in the US). Goat cheese, brie and blue-veined cheeses are out, but feta is okay. As for what I miss the most, sashimi is at the top of my list, along with rare steak (I have never been able to stomach steak that's cooked beyond medium, and that's more true now than ever, which unfortunately means I'm just not eating steak these days) as well as smoked salmon, raw oysters and prosciutto. My birthday is tomorrow and my dad wants to take me to a fabulous new restaurant in town, but the menu there is laden with raw oysters, foie gras, chevre and lots of other things I would love to eat but can't, so I'm apprehensive about even trying to go there because I'll be so limited in what I can order. Frankly there are so few items that I want to eat these days that all I can think about are the things I'm not allowed to eat. My go-to pregnancy foods thus far have been Campbell's Beef Consomme, all kinds of olives, cherry tomatoes, sweet tea (preferably from McDonald's -- I swear that stuff is liquid crack) and pineapple.

                                                                          1. re: freelancer77

                                                                            Sounds like maybe it is a french place you're going to? Try getting them to put gruyere on your salad or whatever instead of the chevre, and hope they have duck confit. Both delicious and safe. Have a wonderful birthday and 4 months!

                                                                            1. re: freelancer77

                                                                              My husband, a physician and my doc had no issue with me eating soft American cheeses that were pasteurized and imported pasteurized cheese (which most is due to laws on importing). Chevre, feta, blue cheese - it was all fine.

                                                                              1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                Yeah, I always wonder how women in France or Japan get through pregnancy if they have to obey the rules we do.

                                                                            2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                              i found that most feta is made from pasteurized milk. there are a few from raw milk but those are pretty pricey.

                                                                          2. Tuna, wine and some caffeine. Remember if you are planning to nurse, most of these are off of the list while nursing too. Good luck!

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: tgold

                                                                              All within limitations are fine while nursing.

                                                                              1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                I have heard tell of pasteurized feta, but they do not have it where I live. Canned tuna is fine as long as you only eat 1-2 cans week.

                                                                                I nurse. I agree that everything in moderation is fine while nursing. It is best to drink an alcoholic drink or coffee right after a nursing session. It is a good thing too, I know I couldn't go 2+ more years without all my faves.

                                                                                1. re: Becca Porter


                                                                                  I would be very suprised if all the feta where you live is pasteurized. Most of the national brands are pasteurized. In the US most soft cheese is pasteurized unless artisan or otherwise labeled. My OBs and the national association for OBs (ACOG) both say US soft cheeses are fine unless they are unpasteurized.

                                                                                  There are few things that are not OK while nursing. Don't drink so don't really follow that, and you should avoid high mercury fish. However, the latter is recommended for all women of child bearing age - moderation is key.

                                                                                  1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                    It was recommended that I drink a beer (specifically a Guiness!) *while* nursing by both my doctor and some relatives.

                                                                                    PS - I did not follow this advice.

                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                      Beer increases milk production, and also relaxes you so you produce more. I noticed a significant difference in milk output after half a beer when I was pumping.

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          Oatmeal increases milk production too but it's not half as much fun ;-)

                                                                                  2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                    lol, definitely add a + on the nursing years for me. I got pregnant with my son when my daughter was still 1 and she nursed (didn't get much though) through much of the pregnancy. If I continue with this pattern, I would never get to drink again. So yes, I agree alcolol is fine after nursing.
                                                                                    Did you know that coffee actually increases your milk production? The only problem with it is that many women get irritable babies after caffein so I wouldn't recommend using it to increase the milk. My children have never seemed to mind my morning coffee however.

                                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                      I remember eating a black bean salad when my daughter was maybe 2 months old. Oh that poor little thing ... the noises coming out of her crib! At one point my husband turned to me and said (aghast) "Was that you??" I gave up my beloved beans for a while.

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                        LOL!!!!! I'm about to roll out of my chair. Oh the things we put them through! I am guilty too, and I was always so tired that sometimes I didn't realize why they got so gassy. I also love spicy foods and once was attending a class at my church in which we all took turns bringing dinners, and one week a woman made chili and she told me that she made it extra mild for me. This was just after the birth of one of my children and I was completely confused. I asked her what she meant because I thought she assumed that I disliked spice, and she pointed out to me that it might ruin my milk. I thought it was hilarious that she was more thoughtful about my foods than I was. I started thinking more about what I put into my body before nursing after that.

                                                                              2. for those who are saying soft cheeses are ok if pasteurized, my dr still said they were a no go. unless melted. needless to say, my dr was very very strict. i cheated quite a bit toward the end, though. thankfully i have a very healthy 2 month old right now.

                                                                                i'd add a medium rare piece of meat....sure missed a juicy burger and steak. you may also want to get your hair dyed, a massage, and a facial.

                                                                                also, anything with raw-ish eggs. hollendaise, ice cream, aioli.....

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: eLizard

                                                                                  Dr.s vary on their advice of course, but from ACOG which is the principal national organization for OBs...

                                                                                  "To prevent listeriosis, wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before using them. While you are pregnant, do not eat:

                                                                                  * Unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses
                                                                                  * Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, shellfish
                                                                                  * Prepared meats, such as hot dogs or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot "

                                                                                2. I gave up goat cheese (which i LOVE) for my first two kids because it was a soft cheese and unpasturized. after the second baby i bothered to read the package of the brand we usually buy, and wow, it is pasturized! as was the feta and everything else we get from the supermarket. probably you can buy unpasturized cheese at a specialty store, but most of them are totally fine.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ddelicious

                                                                                    This surprised me too. My favorite feta cheese which we buy from Costco is pasteurized as well. =)

                                                                                    1. re: DishDelish

                                                                                      The pasteurization isn't the only issue with feta. It carries listeria. You can heat it to steaming, but it seems most of my uses, use it cold.

                                                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                        The pasteurization kills the listeria...this entry explains why pasteurized foods are OK while deli meats and hot dogs, though pre-cooked, are still a risk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listeria

                                                                                        So enjoy your feta! I'm pregnant and eating all kinds of pasteurized cheese.

                                                                                        1. re: Procrastibaker

                                                                                          I realize this is just internet research, but I read enough excerpts like this to just want to avoid a slim risk: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_it_safe_...

                                                                                          I mean I feel super guilty just taking a tylenol...

                                                                                  2. What cigars are you having?

                                                                                    1. This is a fantastic idea. I'm due to have my first child in 11 days (but hopefully she'll come early!) My first meal after she's born will be sushi.

                                                                                      One thing I miss is swordfish. During the summer I love grilled swordfish but cannot eat it now because of the mercury. Same with grilled tuna.

                                                                                      And hot dogs. They contain a lot of sulfites so the occasional hot dog is ok (or the sulfite free ones from whole foods/trader joes) but most hot dogs are on hte no-no list.

                                                                                      Good tiramisu. or other desserts made with raw eggs. I'm not big on runny eggs so that hasn't been an issue.

                                                                                      And rare meat. Well-meaning family members have taken to serving me overcooked, dry pieces of meat while I watch them enjoy juicy steaks...

                                                                                      But really, it's all worth it. or will be in a few days :)


                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ladyberd

                                                                                        Seriously? No steak cooked Medium?? The list of "no" seems to get longer and longer every time I read one of these threads...I may never get pregnant!

                                                                                        1. re: Jen76

                                                                                          it is so worth it for the wonderful little person who will never be in your life if you don't. :)

                                                                                          1. re: Jen76

                                                                                            As I replied above, most of the "nos" went out the window during half of my pregnancy, because I was very limited as to what I could eat because of diabetes (gestational), and pregnancy induced aversions. I ate hotdogs probably 5 days a week, deli meat every day, medium rare steak, etc. My kid only has 5 eyes, so it's all good. ;-) No, seriously, she's just fine, and so was I.

                                                                                            1. re: irishnyc


                                                                                              Sounds sort of like a very good friend of mine who had a terrible problem with food while she was pregnant. She was losing weight and had to be put on powerful antinausea meds. Couldn't even drink water some days. Then she had problems with water retention and severe high blood pressure (she always had very low blood pressure before pregnancy) which resulted in a no-salt-diet. Egads. We are so much alike physically that it scares the bejeebers out of me that I'll end up the same way!

                                                                                              1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                That's what's going on with me, but the meds really help so far.

                                                                                                I can usually get some broth down, or a plain baked potato, but if one more person tells me to eat saltines before I get out of bed...

                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                  i was sick for nine solid months. you wouldn't believe the people who suggested "saltines and ginger ale" thoughout the entire ordeal..... i was like "oh, thanks, i hadn't tried that."

                                                                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                      Hope you feel better soon. I really felt bad for my friend. She used to love to eat, and her pregnancy really took away some of that enjoyment for her (she used to love spicy food. Now she can barely tolerate a bit of black pepper). She does seem to be broadening her tastes though again, finally, 2 years later.

                                                                                        2. Not to be a party-pooper, but is it really a good idea to load up on things that might contain contaminants (mercury, bacteria, pesticides, alcohol, etc.) while you're trying to get pregnant? Don't some of those things---at least residues---remain in your system after you consume them?

                                                                                          I wouldn't want to risk it.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            The "forbidden" foods for pregnant ladies are not neccessarily full of contaminants and pesticides. At one point, well-meaning colleagues told me I should not eat ANYTHING raw for fear of germs.

                                                                                            On the side of reason, though, some of the foods on my doctor's no-go list were seemingly normal foods, like blue cheese, suitable for most normal adults, that *could* pose a higher risk of illness for unborn babies. Not because the foods were unhealthy or bad, but because babies cannot always process what we can. High amounts of Vitamin A (in calf's liver) & C, for example. Or exposure to certain kinds of food-borne bacteria that most adults could handle, without serious trouble.

                                                                                            That said, my fantasy pregnancy meal would be a champagne brunch, with:

                                                                                            unpasteurized fresh squeezed orange juice mimosa
                                                                                            oysters on the half shell with fresh shallot vinegrette
                                                                                            smoked salmon with mould-ripened goat cheese
                                                                                            homemade pickled herring with lovely raw frisee greens
                                                                                            cold pate and deli pickles from the barrel, not a jar
                                                                                            tuna tartare
                                                                                            runny eggs benedict with pools of raw egg hollandaise and barely cooked ham
                                                                                            proscuitto crudo and melon
                                                                                            fully caffeinated coffee
                                                                                            tiramisu with real dark cocoa and plenty of liqueur

                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                              If I avoided "forbidden" foods while trying to get pregnant, it would have been an even more miserable 5+ years for me than it already was. There is NO reason to avoid anything until you get that positive pregnancy test.

                                                                                              1. re: irishnyc

                                                                                                but there are many reasons to add things to your diet. folic acid for one.

                                                                                            2. I'm a forever-dieter - I guess for that reason, I always have post-pregnancy feasts (cookies and ice cream, typically!)

                                                                                              1. Reading through these posts made me realize how much things have changed over the years...When I was pregnant the first time 28 years ago, the only thing the doctor told me was that I needed to drink low fat milk & eat liver both of which I hated. All those other things like raw cheeses, lunch meats, etc were of no concern. A few years later with the last two kids, no mention of anything to be aware of so I ate everything I liked...didn't change a thing. All three of my kids were born healthy. I think the doctors like to go overboard with the cautions. Women in other countries don't have as stringent warnings and yet, they seem to manage to have healthy kids anyway....

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                  After two pregnancies in the last ten years, and varying cautions in the less than four years between them, my opinion is that doctors in the US as a whole -- not individually -- dispense advice with the idea that you are going to go to the extreme and have no judgment. Pregnancy -- and parenthood -- are a risk and plunging into this abyss contains no guarantees. You weigh your odds, with informed advice, and move on from there.

                                                                                                  My go-to post-pregnancy cravings were sushi and a great dirty martini. I ate pasteurized soft cheese and good-quality cold cuts throughout, however. With my daughter, she seemed to respond favorably to thai chicken pizza -- but perhaps I misinterpreted indigestion as happiness.

                                                                                                  BTW, FWIW, I envy those who ate their crazy stuff during nursing -- I couldn't nurse (did every crazy thing up until unapproved medicine from Canada meant for something else) -- and still wonder if my kids would be better eaters if I had been able to.

                                                                                                  Bottom line -- a beautiful, healthy baby is a great baby -- rejoice! And get used to a lot more germ-friendliness -- for me at least!

                                                                                                  1. re: mebby

                                                                                                    Wonderfully sensible first paragraph there mebby!

                                                                                                    And yes, I do think the fact that I ate lots of spicy food while pregnant and nursing is one of the reasons my kid is such a brave eater.

                                                                                                    And man, you're SO right about those germs. The first year of school is just ... ugh.

                                                                                                    1. re: mebby

                                                                                                      I agree, perfect first paragraph! Exactly why I went with a midwife for my last pregnancy. I was scarred by my previous doctors who really didn't care about me.

                                                                                                  2. As the original poster, it amazes me this thread is still getting comments!

                                                                                                    I have to say, I think mebby makes a good and valid point as far as doctors in the US as a whole dispensing advice as if everyone goes overboard and has not judgement. As far as how things have changes over the years on this topic though, I can't help but also think that perhaps some of the shift is also due to changes in commercialization/safety of our food. It is particularly easy to think that when looking at the latest lists of food recalls. Personally I've relied more on common sense than absolute bans of foods that might possibly be problematic, but I can certainly see how there is also a valid argument that it is too difficult to evaluate the safety of most mass-produced groceries in this day and age.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: cookie44

                                                                                                      I'm a 9 week pregnant chowhound living off of pretzels, canned peaches, progresso minestrone, and dr-prescribed anti-nausea pills. This thread makes me happy. The thought of a non-gaggy meal of runny eggs and muffalettas is getting me through this. That and the little baby who will arrive free of listeria and mercury poisoning.

                                                                                                      1. re: ShakeNBake

                                                                                                        there are anti-nausea lollipops too:)

                                                                                                        1. re: ShakeNBake

                                                                                                          i was very sick my entire pregnancy. the smell aversions were horrible. hang in there. it's worth it.

                                                                                                          i lived on fruit. oddly enough, my son loves fruit more than anything.

                                                                                                          1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                            Yeah, I was huge on fruit, and my daughter loves it very very much (almost 4.5 years later). I think you definitely are helping make those little taste buds respond to certain things during your pregnancy.

                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                              I craved spicy food and ate tons of Korean, Indian and spicy Chinese while pregnant and nursing my oldest and he is the pickiest toddler now! Will hardly eat anything that isn't white. I am hoping he will someday be a better eater but wish his in utero/ infant exposure to lots of different flavors were manifesting more now!

                                                                                                      2. OMG. "Best possible foods one [CAN'T] eat once pregnant."? I'm sure you should stick with Ensure. Good God! We're doomed...