Listeria is in the news again following a recall on frozen vegetables at Trader Joe's, Kroger, and Costco. When you eat foods contaminated with listeria you're at risk for listeriosis, a bacterial infection, which, if not treated, can be fatal for you and your unborn baby. And, unfortunately, pregnant women are more at risk. Although eating contaminated food is scary, the possibility of death and losing a pregnancy is even scarier, and I don't blame you for wanting to a concrete answer to the question can the fetus survive listeria?
Unfortunately, how listeria can affect your pregnancy is really hard to answer (sorry). Only your physician can advise you on what to do, which is why you should see your doctor if you even think you might be at risk: a blood test will let you know STAT, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although a study published in The National Institute of Public Health suggested that listeriosis is 18 times more common in pregnant women, what's not so well-researched is how listeria can affect the fetus. According to the CDC, listeria infection occurs in 14 percent of pregnancies, and infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns. That being said, there are no statistics available on the website of the CDC to explain how common these risks are. In my humble opinion, I think that's good news. I'm not particularly good at calculating risks given to me by statistics. Just as anything having to do with your pregnancy, when you're concerned, enlist the help of your physician, don't troll the internet. However, there are a couple of facts about listeria when you're pregnant that you should be aware of to bring up to your doctor.