55 answers

Pregnant and Ate a Turkey Sandwich Yesterday...

I'm 9 weeks pregnant, and yesterday completely broke down and ate a turkey hoagie while out at a restaurant. I cannot believe I did it....I was with a friend who it 5 months pregnant and she said she's been eating lunch meat her whole pregnancy....I totally avoided eating this my last pregnancy unless I heated it up...I just can't believe I gave in to this craving.....I've had no appetite this time around, everything has been making me so sick, and yesterday that sandwich just sounded so good. But now I'm freaking out....does anyone know if there's a bloodtest I can take to see if everything is ok? I went online and, of course, read about all the horrible things that can happen to a baby in case of listeria (?) contamination....and I just feel sick about it.....I know it was dumb, but does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well....Thanks, everyone.....I've let go of the worry - and hearing about other people's experiences did help. I am surprised that so many women don't know about the lunch meat thing! It's on nearly every list of 'what not to eat' when pregnant.....and even though the mother may never experience symptoms from listeria, the baby actually could be profoundly affected. I probably won't be eating anymore lunch meats......but I do appreciate most of the ladies' support here!

For those who want more info:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/pregnancy_gateway/infections-li...

Featured Answers

Relax..... I honestly thought this was a joke.

Really, get a grip, blame it on hormones. You will be fine.

4 moms found this helpful

I had a craving for Taco Bell my first pregnancy, and I think my first son is made up of 50% Taco Bell. If that didn't make him sick and mentally disabled, nothing will. I think it will be fine.

4 moms found this helpful

I ate lunch meat my entire pregnancies. chill out and eat! it's not like you're eating raw meat or something.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I'm not trying to be mean, but I honestly thought this post was a joke. I mean seriously? It's lunch meat for goodness sake. I ate it every single day with both of my pregnancies. I never once heard of it making people sick. I never once got sick.
I seriously can't believe what people tell pregnant women these days. I mean, are we all expected to survive off of what? Nothing? Someone told me I couldn't even drink tap water. Ridiculous!
Eat the turkey sandwich and enjoy every single bite of it.

10 moms found this helpful

Seriously, you need to calm down! If you're this freaked out about a turkey sandwich, you're going to have a stroke before your baby is 1! I never gave up deli meat, soft cheese or caffeine and have two perfectly healthy boys. Listeria is RARE. You know who else never even considered any of this? All of our mothers! You know who STILL doesn't consider any of this -the rest of the world! Don't worry -it falls under one of those things that CAN happen, but rarely does. If you get sick, call your doctor. Just relax -being stressed over every little thing is far more detrimental to you and your pregnancy. Given all the foods you can get e. coli and salmonella from, you'll paint yourself into eating nothing but Cheerios for the next 7 months if you're not careful!

8 moms found this helpful

Ummmm, what's wrong with turkey?? I know that lunch-meat can go bad, but honestly, how often have you gotten food poisioning from lunch meat? Especially if you were at a restaurant...I would think it would be fine. Here's a tip too, if you can see an irridescent sheen on the meat, it's gone bad.

I'm truly very tired of hearing about expectant mothers that are bombarded by worst case scenarios until they are afraid to breathe!! What is wrong with our culture?

Relax and take a deep breath. There's truly no need to freak out and get a blood test over this. Your body is designed to protect that baby. I'm sure everything is FINE!

BTW, I also ate lunch meat through both of my pregnancies and both of my boys are very smart and very healthy!

Best of luck with you new baby!

6 moms found this helpful

I had a craving for Taco Bell my first pregnancy, and I think my first son is made up of 50% Taco Bell. If that didn't make him sick and mentally disabled, nothing will. I think it will be fine.

4 moms found this helpful

Relax..... I honestly thought this was a joke.

Really, get a grip, blame it on hormones. You will be fine.

4 moms found this helpful

I read this when I was pregnant. And that you shouldn't eat french fries (not for fat or calories but because of cancer causing agents, ect..). The truth is, if you really tried to follow everything you read in a magazine, you'd never eat!!!! There is always something about something! Relax, take a deep breath and enjoy your sandwich!

4 moms found this helpful

What on earth? Did someone tell you that you are forbidden to eat turkey while pregnant? lol Lunch meat from the deli should be avoided to some extent, but it's not forbidden. I think your freaking out is a little silly. Relax.

3 moms found this helpful

Dear L.-

I know I shouldn't laugh, as I know this is a serious concern for you, but if we did everything the doctor's told us not to do when we are pregnant, especially when it comes to food, there would be nothing left for us to eat!!

I am pregnant with number three and I have eaten lunch meats during all three pregnancies without heating them up. There are certain things I avoid - the salamis and bolognas - as I think these are "cured" versus actually being cooked or roasted. But turkeys, chickens, some hams, and roast beefs (not too rare, of course) should all be ok.

I think if the place you ate was reputable, has good turn over and the lunch meats are fresh, I would not worry about it at all.

Just the other night, I had a tuna sandwich from Panera. I love their tuna and I just really wanted/needed that sandwich so I treated myself to it.

So, go ahead, induluge and don't stress so much. You know they say that is bad for baby too ;-)

Best of Luck!
~C.

3 moms found this helpful

LOL!!! I have had 3 kids and I am sure I have eaten lunch meat during my pregnancies a few times! They all have 10 fingers and 10 toes...I think it will be fine! :o)

I have never even heard of this before...what will they come up with next? Pretty soon we will just have to starve while pregnant since is seems there is bad effect of pretty much anything you eat these days!

3 moms found this helpful

Okay......first of all......to everyone who is pooh-poohing your concerns, lunch meat is a huge no-no because of e-coli and listeria. Most Ob-Gyns say to make sure deli/lunch meat is microwaved or heated to a certain degree before consuming, while you are pregnant.
Oh, and it is a very real risk. So, don't be too hard on this mama who asked a valid question.

L., call your doctors office. I am sure that you will be just fine, but they can give you piece of mind. They will certainly be more understanding than some of these ladies.
Most likely you would have already experienced symptoms yourself, if anything were wrong.
I am confident that you and baby are going to okay! Please don't let anyone make you feel dumb for wanting the best for your baby!

3 moms found this helpful

worrying about the little sandwich will do more harm then just waiting it out. Yes, you are not advised to each lunch meat, hot dogs...but really if you look into it your odds of getting sick from just about anything else is about the same. think about the eggs that were bad, etc. I ate hundreds of sadwhiches while pregnant with my three, especially subway (yuck) with my first

2 moms found this helpful

I am not sure what the worry is about??? I have never heard a problem with eating lunch meats while pregnant. I've done it through both of my pregnancies, my midwife never even lifted an eyebrow when I mentioned lunch meat, and both of our children were born very healthy. They are now 2 1/2 and 9 months and doing great!

2 moms found this helpful

First of all, CALM DOWN! You're perfectly fine! I love the long list of stuff that the fearful ones send out and scare poor women that they shouldn't eat or the world will come to the end. Have a turkey sandwich! Have a ham sandwich! Really? You want a test to see if you're ok? Just stop and think for a minute. If you're normally not going to get sick from lunch meat, you're not going to get sick when you're pregnant, and it won't bother the baby. If you take care of your food and have your fridge cold and not cool, it's fine. If you avoided all the "bad" things out there you'd be living on air alone, lol. Chill out. ALL IS WELL! Don't join the new world order of panicking parents.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HarrisburgPAChat
events and chat within 2 hour radius

2 moms found this helpful

What!! Relax. Everything in moderation.

2 moms found this helpful

I ate lots of sandwiches while pregnant, I really would not worry about it.

2 moms found this helpful

I ate Turkey with all 3 of my pregnecies, I don't understand the freaking out, J.

2 moms found this helpful

I had a craving for Taco Bell my first pregnancy, and I think my first son is made up of 50% Taco Bell. If that didn't make him sick and mentally disabled, nothing will. I think it will be fine.

1 mom found this helpful

I ate lunch meat during my pregnancy, not daily but occassionally and my son was born perfectly healthy. Believe it or not the no lunchmeat rule is pretty new so many babies through the years have been born to lunchmeat eating moms and they are just fine. Don't worry!!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm 32 weeks pregnant and have been eating lunch meat throughout my pregnancy. This is my second pregnancy, my OB told me at my first appointment I could eat lunch meat as long as I got it fresh from the deli, I have eaten it in other instances though. My first pregnancy which was 2 years ago my OB told me no lunch meat unless it was heated first so I only ate it a few times and always heated it first. I really wouldn't worry about it, your chances of getting listeria are low, some doctors will say no lunch meat while others say listeria is so rare that you can eat all the lunch meat you want. If you are that freaked out then just don't do it again!

1 mom found this helpful

AWWWW How very sweet!!! You love your baby so much! Sorry off the subject!

I'm sure you're fine. If you are really worried just call your nurse. I'm sure she will set your mind at ease =-)

Big Hugs!

1 mom found this helpful

You get food poisoning from Listeria. If you're not sick, don't worry.

1 mom found this helpful

I read in a magazine that you aren't supposed to have lunch meats or hot dogs.. BUT.. when i asked my mom and my boyfriends mom.. and every other mother i could think to ask.. they said they had never even heard of it. REEELLLLAAAAX.. I ate lunchmeat through my whole pregnancy and so does.. 80% of other women. Unless if your doctor says otherwise.. i wouldnt worry about it. You can always call your doc. and talk to a nurse to give you some peace.

1 mom found this helpful

My 2 kids and 1 baking are just fine and I ate cold turkey sandwhiches all the way through my pregnancies. I understand the concern, but I wouldn't stress about needing to take a blood test.

Congrats and Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I ate lunch meat my entire pregnancies. chill out and eat! it's not like you're eating raw meat or something.

1 mom found this helpful

This is crazy talk to worry so much about a turkey sandwich! Sorry, but your baby will be fine despite the hoagie. Don't stress so much! I imagine the stress would be worse than the turkey. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I guess what goes around comes around.....my mom laughed at me when I was pregnant with my first because I did not go anywhere near caffeine. She said, I drank coffee every day when I was pregnant with you and you're ok. Now it's lunchmeat, huh? My youngest (and last) is almost 3 and I was never told with any of my 3 pregnancies to avoid lunchmeat. I'm not sure but I would imagine I ate it at least 2 or 3 times a week if not more throughout my pregnancies.

As others said, talk to your doctor's office if you are worried but I'm sure you and you're baby will be fine.

Good luck!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

You will be just fine! I ate all that stuff while pregnant with all 5 babies!

Plus normally when you are craving something that is your bodies way of tell you your missing something and that food has what you need ( so I have been told). So look at it in a positive that you were just eating what your suppose to.

1 mom found this helpful

The thrid trimester is supposed to be the worst for the baby to get listeria. Can't remember exactly why it is the 3rd tri, but remember my doc telling me that.

Try not to worry too much. And, I agree with other poster's, there are so many things on the internet now to scare you. Just use common sense and try not to worry about every little thing. You know, stress is bad for the baby too, so relax Mama!

Congrats on the pregnancy!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sitting here thinking HUH?!?!?! I never heard of anything like this nor have I had any problem. Turkey is one of the healthiest meats you can eat as long as it's cooked. Don't give it any more thought--you're going to be FINE and so is your baby!

1 mom found this helpful

It would be extremely rare if any negative things happened from having a turkey sandwich.

There are symptoms if you have listeria infection, and you can even be treated for it with prescribed antibiotics which should prevent any harm to the baby:

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/l...

1 mom found this helpful

I have never ever heard of this. I am so glad I read this. I cannot help you but you have taught me something new. Hope all goes well with you!

1 mom found this helpful

I totally understand how you feel! I was psycho about heating the lunch meat while pregnant. The odds are def with you on this one! Relax and don't worry and resist the temptation next time. And a restaurant would be happy to accommodate your request to heat up the meat too.

While it is rare it can be serious I personally think it's important to stay vigilant while pregnant.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear someone say "oh our parents did x and we turned out just fine". Yes, that may be true but we know better now. Would you ladies be laughing her off or telling her to calm down if she were asking about smoking during pregnancy because she had a craving? Oh heck no! You'd go off on her. She has a very valid concern. Listeria can be extremely serious and she is right to have a concern and ask questions!

1 mom found this helpful

I ate lunch meat throughout both my pregnancies...no problem. Relax. You said you hadn't had an appetite...you did yesterday and you ate it....definately better than not eating.

1 mom found this helpful

I ate Subway sandwiches nearly every day of my first pregnancy because it was the only thing I could gag down. No problems. There are so many things to stress out over as a parent but I don't think this is one of them. Relax, mama, you're going to be fine.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm 24 wks pregnant with my 3rd and gave into my sushi craving last night. I loved every bite of it. As someone else already posted, not all of the "danger foods" are contaminated. Lunch meat may have listeria. Have you every gotten listeria in the past? It's very uncommon and the odds of it striking during pregnancy aren't any higher than usual. Sushi may have some bacteria that can travel to the fetus. Do I eat sushi from shady restaurants, no. You'll be fine. . .just use your head and do things in moderation. Congrats on your pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful

I ate turkey lunch meat my entire pregnancy and never heated it up. It was a craving for me and I did not think it was that big of a deal. Don't worry about it, you and your baby will be fine. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Okay, don't call the doctor's office and stop reading the internet!!!! I get it...I totally avoided lunch meat (unless heated) my entire first pregnancy. My second pregnancy I was not so strict. I ate it mulitple times within the 9 months and everything was just fine! I know that you are at a higher risk while pregnant for listeria, BUT it's seriously so rare that even though they're elevated, the risk is still SUPER low! So, take a deep breath and relax. You will not get listeria. If you do, it will show up within the next 2 weeks (okay, I admit, i was a freak too and read all kinds of crazy stuff...but you have to stop! ;) in the form of loose stools, vomiting, etc. Your doctor will probably think you're nuts if you call and I don't know if there's a blood test. You are fine. My advice though, if you're so freaked out, don't do it again. We all have our triggers during pregnancy and this is yours. If it really sounds super good than just make sure it's heated up. YOu can always buy a pound of it heat it up, cool it off and stick it back in the fridge so that it's cold again, if that's what you like. Hang in there! You and baby will be perfect!

1 mom found this helpful

HI L.. Please give yourself a break and stay off-line!! Seriously the chances of you getting sick from a turkey sandwich??!! It wasn't raw turkey was it? Sure there are a lot of food-borne illnesses out there, but you don't need to stress yourself out about each and every one of them!! The stress is worse for your baby than the food. Your best bet is just using your common sense! Moderation, proper food handling and good handwashing habits are the best way to avoid any kind of illness. Best wishes.

First of all I've never heard about the lunchmeat thing and my baby was fine. Second, I think if you are having a hard time with food you need to eat when something looks and tastes good. Your baby needs to grow. A friend of mine had terrible nausea the whole pregnancy and her dr. told her to eat McDonald's every day, if necessary!

Calm down, Mama! I'm sure you and baby are fine. If it is really bothering you, just call your Dr office and get their advice. And don't get another turkey sandwich! ;)
Congrats on your pregnancy.

isnt lunch meat cooked and then sliced? I dont eat meat, but im pretty sure its cooked before they slice it, you'll be fine. But if you want something to replace the craving theres this brand called "tofurkey", its awesome, i know meat eaters who absolutely love it. You can get it at whole foods, central market, it comes in "peppered", "italian spices", "brown sugar", "smoked" and my personal favorite "cranberry and stuffing" flavored

Most probably you will be just fine. There is a little chance that there was the listeria bacteria in that lunch meat. I would still definitely call the the doctor's office and speak to a nurse and learn more about listeria, what you can do, and what to watch for, just to ease your mind.
Happy pregnancy!

I am like Trilexia, no one ever told me not to eat lunch meat. I had a cold cut sandwhich almost every other day of my pregnancy. I used to tell my doc a list of things I was eating (because I lost too much weight) and he never mentioned I shouldn't have eaten it.
If you're really worried call the advice nurse or the dr's office.

Relax. You are fine. Moderation is the key here. Congrats on the pregnancy.

3 kids and I don't even know how many turkey avocado bacon sandwiches I ate. It was all I could keep down a lot of the time. All of them are fine. I even got food poisoning just before finding out I was pregnant with my first and he's fine.
It is easier to say don't do it at all and have no liability than say you can within certain parameters that someone ends up misinterpreting and now you're liable. This has led to a complete sense of paranoia. Yes, bad things can happen no matter what you do. You could get in a car accident while pregnant but does that stop you from getting in a car and going places? The air you breath has contaminents that can harm your baby, do you stop breathing?

WOW????
During both my pregnancies I ask turkey about once every two weeks, whether it was cold cuts or cooked turkey in a meal. No prob! Never had anyone ever tell me or mention themselves about a concern about eating turkey.

I had a Dr friend who ate lunch meat almost every day while pregnant. When I asked her about it she said it was nearly impossible to get listeriosis (sp?) from lunch meat in the US. She said it was something that really only happened in less developed countries & there was no point stressing about it.
Just make sure you get your lunch meat from a clean store with a quick turn over rate. Like Shop rite or wawa. And choose the more common cuts (so you know that they aren't sitting around for days) like turkey.

I actually ate a turkey sandwich for lunch and am 14 weeks pregnant :) The chance of listeria contamination is very very slim. I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it. If you are overly concerned, have a chat with your nurse or doctor!

K.

your fine. It's just like with fish...you can eat some while your pregnant just not all the time. I am pregnant right now and I crave lunch meat like no other! LOL I could just eat strip after strip of just plan, thin sliced turkey or ham. But I don't. I mean I do eat it sometimes but not everyday. you'll be fine. :)

I'm sure everything will be okay. Some ppl actually thought I was crazy when I told them I couldn't eat lunch meat when I was pregnant the last two times. Evidently not all OBs tell their patients not to eat lunch meat unless it's heated up.

I avoided lunch meat for the most part. If I had a lunch meat sandwich it was a hot sandwich. Don't worry about yesterday, you will be fine!

RELAX!!! You and the baby are fine. They say to avoid lunchmeats because of the nitrates, nitrites, but a craving now and then isn't going to hurt anything. All I seemed to want during my pregnancy was pastrami sandwiches. I didn't make a habit of them, but definitely caved more than a couple times, and my children are just fine.

I would not freak out about one sandwhich. It is good that you ate something and did not feel sick. I ate lunchmeat every so often when i was pregnant and once in a while tuna fish. The one thing I did avoid was cheeses that are not pasturized like feta cheese and blue cheeses. Do everything in moderation and you will be fine. Congratulations

i would avoid lunch meat for the rest of pregnancy but what's done is done and you're probably fine. there's only a small chance something will happen w/ the lunch meat .. but there's still a chance so just avoid it in the future!

infectious disease specialist
I read this at babycenter.com it is from an infectious disease specialist-
It's not safe to eat precooked meats such as deli meats, hot dogs, and pâté when you're pregnant unless they're heated until steaming hot. Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis, and newborns – not moms – suffer the most serious effects of infection during pregnancy.

Listeria can cross the placental barrier or, more commonly, be transmitted in the birth canal, and it can be devastating for the baby. Every year or so, an outbreak occurs in which miscarriage, preterm delivery, or death occurs because pregnant women ate deli meat or hot dogs contaminated with listeria.

Contamination may result from improper handling, or the bacteria may already be present in the meat. But whatever the reason, unlike other bacteria, listeria grows well at refrigerator temperatures. So while we think we're being safe by putting cold cuts in the refrigerator, this germ outsmarts us.

You should avoid getting fluid from packages of hot dogs and other meats on other foods, utensils, or food preparation areas, and be sure to wash your hands after handling hot dogs or deli meats. Listeria is also a problem in unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, and uncooked poultry. While you're pregnant, you should stay away from cheese made from unpasteurized milk.

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