Health Benefits and Risks Of Eating Steak During Pregnancy

steak during pregnancy

Image : Shutterstock

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Now that you have a small life developing inside you, you need to be extra careful about what you eat. Anything that is difficult to digest can potentially affect your baby.

Steak, when cooked well, can be consumed safely during pregnancy. Raw or undercooked meat contains parasites and bacteria that can sicken your baby. You need to make sure the meat is cooked well to reap the benefits in pregnancy.

Benefits Of Steak In Pregnancy:

A research study carried out on Dutch women has confirmed that chances of babies getting colicky reduce when women boosted their intake of steak during pregnancy. Here is a relation between pregnancy and steak:

  • Steak is rich in vitamin B12 that helps the development of nerve cells in the brain of your baby.
  • It also helped in reducing irritability in the digestive track.
  • Proper doses of vitamin B12 also improved sleep cycles.

[ Read: Lamb During Pregnancy ]

Infections From Steak:

Steak when not cooked well can make you potentially ill during pregnancy. Here is what you should know:

  • Meat when not cooked well contains bacteria that cause salmonella. Toxoplasma gondii or Listeria is a kind of parasite that results in toxoplamosis.
  • Your immune system gets weak during pregnancy to protect the fetus from being rejected as a foreign body.
  • You are more exposed to infections during this time.
  • Listeria monocytogenes is more common among pregnant women than the general public. According to American Pregnancy Association pregnant woman are 20 times more vulnerable to infections than women who are not pregnant.

[ Read: Shrimp During Pregnancy ]

Risks From Steak During Pregnancy:

You can experience different types of infections from undercooked steak that can give rise to different risk factors in pregnancy. Here are some of the potential risk factors you should be careful of:

  • Salmonella makes you feel sick, though, it does not affect the fetus generally.
  • A very rare type of Salmonella in U.S, known as Salmonella Typhi; increases the chances of miscarriage, stillbirth or preterm labor.
  • Listeria is known to cause preterm delivery, miscarriage or infection in the new born child. According to the APA reports, around 22% of neonatal deaths and stillbirth are the results of Listeria.
  • Toxoplasmosis can infect the unborn child, if you contract the disease in later phase of pregnancy. According to reports around 60% of the unborn babies, who are exposed have congenital toxoplasmosis in the 3rd trimester, as compared to 30% in 2nd trimester and 15% in the 1st trimester.

[ Read: Seafood During Pregnancy ]

Long Term Effects:

If you continue eating undercooked or raw steak for long, you may experience long term effects that can risk your pregnancy and cause significant damages to the developing baby inside you. Here is what you should know:

  • Long term effects of toxoplasmosis can lead to the development of infections in your child.
  • Neurological defects like mental deficiencies, hearing or visual problems, mental deficiencies and developmental delays are some of the problems your unborn child may develop.
  • If your baby is infected with congenital toxoplasmosis, he or she might develop lung infections, enlarged spleen or liver problems.

[ Read: Eating Liver During Pregnancy ]

Preventing The Infections:

Here are some of the simple measures you can take to ensure before eating steak during pregnancy.

  • Thorough cooking can kill most of the bacteria and parasites causing infections.
  • Make sure the juices look clearer, rather than red or pink while cooking steak.
  • You can use a meat thermometer to see if the internal temperature is 160 degree F.
  • Wash the uncooked meat thoroughly to make sure there are no contaminated juices.

Steak is a good source of iron and protein that you require during pregnancy. However, to clear your mind from all doubts and to ensure your baby is completely safe, have a word with your doctor before incorporating steak daily in your diet. Since it is always better to be safe than sorry, you must always make an informed choice.

Mothers, do share the foods you ate and avoided during pregnancy in the comment section below.

Recommended Articles:

The following two tabs change content below.
Featured Image