Is It Safe To Eat Blue Cheese While Breastfeeding?

Is It Safe To Eat Blue Cheese While Breastfeeding?

Navigating your diet through pregnancy can be a slippery slope. As you try to make the best decisions for you and your baby, it can be challenging to resist the temptation to give in to your food cravings or at least keep them within reasonable limits. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to having a safe delivery and giving your baby the best start in life. Although you have to make many significant changes to your diet as you nurse, you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods—in moderation.

Are you wondering if you can eat blue cheese while breastfeeding? 

The answer depends on where you are in the gestation cycle. For instance, nursing moms can have blue cheese in moderation, as it has a few essential nutrients for your baby’s growth. But, expecting mothers have to hold out on blue cheese for a while.

Here are a few more points on why expecting moms have to put the blue cheese away, why your body craves blue cheese, and how you can continue nursing your baby to a healthy start.

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Why Your Body Wants Blue Cheese

A common misconception about nursing is that many think the cravings stop once the baby arrives. But, a combination of factors can intensify food cravings as you nurse. Sleep deprivation can increase your desire for your favorite foods, no matter how unhealthy they may be.  

Also, stress may be another cause behind your blue cheese cravings. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, a survival hormone that stimulates you to consume more calories. While the chances are high that the demands of motherhood and other concerns have put you under strain, it can lead to a desire to eat more.

Another contributor to your cravings is nutrient deficiency. When your body has a shortage of a necessary nutrient, it naturally has cravings for foods that contain the nutrient it’s looking for. In the case of blue cheese, it is high in calcium. So if you’ve been craving blue cheese and have no idea why it could indicate a calcium deficiency, your body’s cravings are its method of addressing the issue.

Other causes of cravings include hormonal changes, increased energy needs, and depression.

Regardless of the reasons why your body wants blue cheese, you’ll have to add blue cheese to the list of snacks to avoid while you’re nursing.

What Issues Can Blue Cheese Cause Expecting moms?

While blue cheese may seem like a harmless addition to a meal, it can actually wreak havoc during your nursing experience. Blue cheese might be delicious to you, but it contains properties that can make it harmful to your baby. For instance, many forms of blue cheese include unpasteurized milk, which can be detrimental to your little one. Unpasteurized milk has a high risk of carrying a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). Listeria can increase the risk of developing the food-borne illness Listeriosis, which can be extremely dangerous to unborn babies if the contagion crosses the placenta. Listeria can cause many severe complications for mom and baby, including

  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Abnormal child development
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth

Although many experts advise against expecting mothers to eat blue cheese, some argue that cooked forms of blue cheese are safe to eat, as the heat can kill the Listeria pathogen.

You must decide whether or not you want to take the potential risks that come with blue cheese consumption, regardless of its form.

If You’ve Accidentally Eaten Blue Cheese

Sometimes, things happen despite our best efforts, and this goes for eating blue cheese also. In this situation, it’s crucial to notify your doctor as they can provide testing to make a formal diagnosis and begin treatment if necessary. 

Be sure to look out for symptoms of Listeriosis poisoning, which can include fever, chills, nausea, and diarrhea.

Why Blue Cheese is Safe For Nursing Moms

As an expecting mom, it may be best to err on the side of caution when it comes to eating blue cheese during your pregnancy. But nursing moms may not have to bear the same concerns. The Listeria pathogen is a dangerous threat to unborn children, but many studies suggest that the likelihood of the pathogen getting passed through breast milk is extremely rare.

Also, while breast milk is the most nutritious meal your baby can have for the first several months of their life, it can leave you depleted of several vital nutrients, and you will have to find a way to make up for what you’ve lost. Calcium, for instance, is one of the critical nutrients you lose while breastfeeding. You’ll know your calcium levels aren’t where they should be because you may experience cramps, muscle spasms, and tingling in your extremities. 

As you nurse, you can consider adding a bit of blue cheese to your diet, as it is high in calcium and can help replace some of what you’ve lost during feedings.

Can Other Forms of Cheese Hurt The Baby?

Throughout the ages, misconceptions surrounding what foods are safe for nursing mothers to eat have created misinformation. Many nursing moms believe that they can’t have cheese as they nurse their babies. But cheese offers your body and your baby many benefits. Most cheese is an excellent calcium source as a dairy product. Cheese also contains many other vitamins that are crucial for you and your baby. For instance, Feta cheese has properties such as conjugated linoleic acid, which can help you burn fat. Ricotta cheese benefits you and your baby because it contains amino acids essential for helping with milk production. Other cheeses you and your baby can benefit from are

  • Mozzarella
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Gouda
  • Parmesan 

The Final Word on Blue Cheese

Whether you should eat blue cheese or not depends on whether you are pregnant or postpartum. Expecting mothers should avoid blue cheese as unpasteurized versions can put you and your baby in harm’s way. But blue cheese is safe for nursing moms and provides an excellent calcium supply to help replenish what you’ve during nursing.

Concerns about exposing your baby to discomfort are valid, but consulting with your doctor is the best way to ensure you make healthy choices for yourself and your baby.

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