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Is It Safe to Eat Cottage Cheese in Pregnancy?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2018
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While many types of soft cheese are considered potentially unsafe during that time, it is typically considered safe to eat cottage cheese in pregnancy. This is because most cottage cheese is pasteurized, a process which kills the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which is what makes other soft cheeses a potential health hazard. Low-fat cottage cheese can be a healthy addition to the pregnancy diet, in fact, since it provides a good source of calcium and protein. It is important to verify that the cheese has been pasteurized, however, as it is possible to find varieties that are not.

In the majority of cases, eating cottage cheese during pregnancy is safe because it is typically made from pasteurized milk. The pasteurization process heats milk, killing any listeria it may contain. Eating food that contains the listeria bacterium can cause listeriosis, a disease that can lead to miscarriage, infection, or fetal death. This is why many other soft cheeses like brie, feta, and blue cheese, which are often made with unpasteurized milk, are usually not recommended during pregnancy.

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Not only is eating cottage cheese during pregnancy normally considered safe, it can also be a nutritious addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. It is rich in protein, which is critical for healthy fetal development. Cottage cheese also provides a fair amount of calcium, a nutrient important for both mother and baby, particularly during the third trimester when it is critical for fetal tissue growth. Unless one has a particular need for extra fat in her diet, though, it is probably best to look for varieties made with reduced-fat or fat-free milk to avoid extra saturated fat. Women looking for an extra healthy snack may want to try adding some fruit or nuts to the cottage cheese, which can bring additional flavor and texture while also adding extra nutrients.

While most of the time having cottage cheese in pregnancy is safe and healthy, it is still important to remember that an unpasteurized brand could be dangerous. The majority of cottage cheeses are made with pasteurized milk, but this does not mean they all are. Be sure to carefully read the label on any cottage cheese to ensure it has gone through the process. If it is not clearly stated on the label, or if the label notes that the cheese is not pasteurized, then that brand should probably be avoided.

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SarahGen
Post 3

I was in France when I was pregnant with my daughter and I didn't eat any cheese during my entire pregnancy. I couldn't find cottage cheese because we were in a small town in France. And most of the French cheeses that were available to me were made with raw milk.

bluedolphin
Post 2

@donasmrs-- I think that the best person to ask is your doctor.

I personally think that it will be fine, mainly because there are strict regulations in the US for cheese. Fresh cheeses have to be made with pasteurized milk as far as I know. And those that are made with unpasteurized milk have to be aged for at least two months because the aging process kills the harmful bacteria.

There is a chance of unpasteurized milk getting into the milk that their cottage cheese is made of. So if you're not sure of their methods, you might want to skip it. If you don't like the taste of store-bought cottage cheese, you can make it at home as well, with pasteurized milk.

I'm not a doctor though, so please ask your doctor before eating something you're not sure of.

donasmrs
Post 1

There is a dairy farm near where I live that sells farmer's cheeses, including cottage cheese. My husband tried it and he said that it's very good. Moreover, I'm craving cottage cheese.

The farmer said that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk, but I'm still not sure if it's safe for me because I'm three months pregnant. Should I try it or should I stick to mass-produced cottage cheese from the store?

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