Mother of 4 (all 30+) and grandmother of 8, I thought I would write about some of the differences between my generation and the new generation concepts around pregnancy and parenting.
I have decided, in my first blog I would like to comment on the new theory of what you can eat whilst pregnant — at least a new theory for me. The ‘foods to avoid while pregnant’ issue, is a very curious idea to me and I was wondering if it was to anybody else as well.
Back in the day we ate whatever we wanted and how much we wanted whilst expecting.
The following was found on the (Kidspot .com.au) website:
I think the following should apply even if you are not pregnant.
Avoid changing the cat litter and any foods or drinks that contain raw egg. When gardening, ensure you wear gloves to protect yourself from coming into contact with cat pooh.
I am not so clear on why we are not able to eat the following foods. Shouldn’t we eat most foods that we normally eat so our children can already be prepared for the world that they are being born into?
All types of sprouts, such as alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mungbeans and soybeans (raw or cooked) are also best avoided.
Other foods to avoid include:
I would suggestthat if the following foods are harmful for babies, then why do we eat them ourselves.
- Cold, smoked and raw seafood, especially oysters
- Pre-cooked diced chicken, the type you buy at delicatessens and sandwich shops
- PateHam and other manufactured meats
- Self-service salad bars or packages salads, such as coleslaw and pasta salad
- Soft cheese, such as brie, camembert, fetta, cottage and ricotta
- Soft-serve ice-cream and thick-shakes
Personally I would not eat liver any way but if it goes through our body first would this not prepare the child for life after birth? Why is it harmful to a developing baby?
- Liver. Although liver is a rich source of iron, it also contains high levels of vitamin A –
something which, in excess, can be harmful to a developing baby. Liver should only be consumed in small amounts during pregnancy (a maximum of 50g per week).
Mercury in fish
Okay, this is understandable. Mercury in fish can be dangerous for adults so I see why this needs to be avoided, by why some fish and not others? Which fish would be considered safe? I do not think it is healthy for pregnant women not to eat any fish at all. Some may opt to not eat any, because they are not sure what is safe. I would say I had occasional fish and chips while pregnant and it was probably shark because at the time I was not told not to eat fish. If anything I was told I could eat anything I liked. I wonder why is salmon not included in this list.
Fish is a great food for pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers but be careful which fish you choose. While some fish contain Omega 3 fatty acid – important for the development of the central nervous system in babies, before and after they are born – other fish may contain mercury levels that can affect the development of your baby’s nervous system, leading to delayed speech and movement.
Studies have shown that the foetus is most at risk from mercury levels in fish during the third and fourth months of gestation.
Women who are already pregnant, or planning to become pregnant within the next six months, should avoid fish with high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, orange rough gemfish, ling, southern bluefin tuna and barramundi.
Statistics show we have more children with allergies now, the we had in the past (and on the rise) and I wonder if it could be because we do not prepare the foetus for life in 21st century in the same way as we did 20 years ago. A lot of these allergies and intoleranies did not exist when I was growing up.
I have been to seminars on allergies and food and one of the things I found most interesting was the fact that we have so many varied cultures in Australia and therefore more food varieties in our world today, that we did not have when I was pregnant. The seminar was partly focused on this as a reason for some of the allergies that occur, During my pregnancies I would not have eaten a great deal of Indian food or Chinese food but since then I have of course eaten and enjoyed more varieties of food ( the Australian Culture has changed greatly since I was a child).. There is also a lot to be said on how we grow and prepare our food today as opposed to the past etc GMOs but that is another discussion in itself.
I have four children and they all eat differently. One a vegetarian, one will try everything (but,doesn’t like curry much). One who is very picky and eats small meals all day (hard to please but never gets fat). One who eats large amounts of food of many different varieties. They are all grown up now, two have had medical problems such as eczma because I am asthmatic. Only two have had this problem. My mother was asthmatic from the age of 21 and I have been from the age of 18, my brother was born with asthma and my sister is prone to bronchitis, so I;m keen to know if Asthma is genetic or did my mother eat the wrong foods or could high stress levels during that time of her life have been a contributing factor? ( I know for a fact her stress levels were very high most of her life because of family life, and especially when she became a single mother).
I have a grandson who is allergic to peanuts. Could it be because we are advised not to eat so many different varieties of food while pregnant today?. Though I did have an aunt that would not eat peanuts she always said they made her feel ill. I find it interesting that the small amount of research I have done does not seem to have any clear cut reasons for all the allergies we have to-day, at least for me. I have 8 grandchildren and only one has allergies, 5. eat generally anything they want, 1. is lactose intolerant and 1, eats mostly sweet food, and one brave child would eat more but must sustain a certain diet.
Only one of my daughters took notice of the recommended pregnancy food list and I wonder if this may in some way, be a link to her sons peanut allergies. Are we giving mothers to be “blanket diet rules” which need to be adjusted to incorporate other factors, such as, medical history, genetic history and culture etc. ?
I still believe that we should eat what we would normally eat (in moderation – I wouldn’t be advising running off and eating a truck load of mouldy cheese), whilst pregnant, and pay more attention to food freshness and hygiene standards rather than food type, as bacteria and food poisoning seem to be the only real issue with eating certain foods whilst expecting.
Oh, and it’s a given that you should not smoke, drink or take drugs!!! As far as I am concerned anyway.
Bye Bye from
Grandma to the world (or at least it seems that way),
Diane Moffatt X