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Red Wine and Sushi: Pregnancy Diet Myths Debunked

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 65 Comments

foods to avoid during pregnancy

So There You Are . . .

Dressed to the nines, full belly caressed by the silky feel of an empire dress, reveling in the crisp delight that is lambs lettuce. An eight course dinner in Monet’s favorite garden is not where you imagined you’d be at 35 weeks pregnant, but you’re not complaining. Except there is this one thing:

The staring.

So. much. staring. You try to catch your reflection in the polished marble . . . could the light be playing a dirty trick with the fabric of your dress? Tricks that make it see-through, or turn it the exact shade of chartreuse your mother told you never to wear?

Put down the plate and walk away, honey. They’re staring at your salad.

You see, in France eating raw vegetables while pregnant is a big no-no, while an occasional glass of red bordeaux is considered beneficial. Head across the pond to the good ole U.S. though, and you’ll see a ton of this:

foods to avoid during pregnancy

And none of this!

foods to avoid during pregnancy

So who’s right? In her new book, Beautiful Babies, Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade separates fact from fiction. Before we get to that, though, I have to tell you about something that is too good to pass up.

If you preorder Kristen’s book, you get her $199 online fertility, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and baby food course for FREE. All you have to do is email her your Amazon receipt for immediate access. You can check out the class here.

I took the class last year – it was ahMAZing. Totally worth the $199, but for the price of a paperback book it’s a steal (plus you get the book!!). If you want to give a gift that’s hundreds of times more valuable than a package of diapers at the next baby shower, now’s your chance. If you’re thinking about having a baby or you are a mom of grown children who wants the best for your future grandbabies, this book is an invaluable resource.

Who should not get this book? Two groups: Those who do not have a uterus and those who do not know anyone who has a uterus. Everybody else should have a copy. :)

Okay, back to the post . . .

Eat This, Not That: Pregnancy Edition

Red Wine and Sushi: Pregnancy Diet Myths Debunked

The average pregnant woman is inundated with rules. Don’t eat soft cheese. If you eat lunchmeat, reheat it to kill the listeria. Don’t change your cat’s litter. You absolutely must not drink any alcohol at all. Don’t eat fish; you risk exposure to toxic levels of mercury. Avoid raw milk and raw cheeses. Don’t drink more than a cup of coffee per day. Don’t lie on your back. Don’t eat more than 30% of your calories as fat. And, the list goes on.

Beautiful Babies, p. 115

Indeed it does. Let’s see what Kristen has to say about a few of these taboo foods, shall we?

Will I Really Get Listeria from That Sushi or Raw Cheese?

Did you know that pregnant women regularly eat sushi in Japan? According to Kristen, “If they had a sweeping epidemic of listeria because of this habit, surely eating sushi would be taboo there, too?”

Indeed. While Kristen does not at all try to downplay the seriousness of Listeria poisoning, she points out that aside from raw meats and cheeses, deli meats, hot dogs, and even raw vegetables and fruits can be sources of listeria. From there she makes several other good points:

  • Raw seafood is one of the most nutrient-dense animal foods on the planet, not to mention a sacred food for fertility and pregnancy in almost all traditional cultures.
  • Women regularly eat sushi in Japan (I know I already mentioned that, but I think it’s very important!)

From there she describes the criteria she used for sushi consumption during her pregnancy.

I decided to set my limits. Since I didn’t really know what went into the safe handling of raw, sushi-grade fish, I decided not to eat sushi I prepared at home. I’d only eat fresh sushi from a source I trusted, a source with an impeccable kitchen that would answer my questions.

After taking such reasonable precautions, I indulged.

It felt amazing. My body was craving it, and I gave it what it wanted with a clean conscience.

Beautiful Babies, p. 120-121

Kristen goes on to talk about how vital knowing your source is. Regarding another taboo food, raw egg yolks, here’s what she had to say:

When asked about the relative safety of pastured-poultry operations in the wake of a nationwide egg recall for salmonella, Joel Salatin said,

“So far, not one case of foodborne pathogens has been reported among the thousands of pastured poultry producers, many of whom have voluntarily had their birds analyzed. Routinely, these home- dressed birds, which have not been treated with chlorine to disinfect them, show numbers far below industry comparisons. At Polyface, we even tested our manure and found that it contained no salmonella.

Pastured poultry farms exhibit trademark lush pastures and healthy chickens with deep-colored egg yolks and fat. As with any movement, some practitioners are excellent and others are charlatans. Knowing your product by putting as much attention on food sourc- ing as you do on planning your next vacation is the way to insure accountability.”9

Once you know your farmer, weigh the risks. I ate raw egg yolks from pastured hens routinely during all three of my pregnancies with no fear of salmonella. Even among conventional battery hen eggs, the risk of contract ing salmonella is one in 10,000. From pastured hens? The risk is almost non- existent.

Unfortunately for you brie lovers, Kristen gave soft raw cheeses the axe, saying “Soft cheeses run one of the largest listeria risks even among the cleanest of cheese making facilities. The risk greatly diminishes as the cheese ages, so I heartily pampered myself with aged raw hard cheeses like Gruyere or cheddar from grass fed cows instead.” (p. 121-122)

Will a Glass of Red Wine Really Harm My Baby?

Until recently, there has never been a study measuring the effects of light or even moderate drinking during pregnancy. The studies only addressed heavy drinking—defined as “five drinks or more per day”—or no drinking at all.

. . . Then, in 2010, a large study on light drinking during pregnancy was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. It studied 11,513 children whose mothers reported on their drinking habits while pregnant. The study followed the mothers through their pregnancy, birth, and the first five years of the child’s life. For the purpose of the study, “light drinking” was defined as two units of alcohol no more than once or twice per week, when a standard unit is 7.9 grams—approximately one small glass of wine. The British research found no negative effects—at all—of such light drinking on five year olds. In fact, the children were slightly less likely to have behavioral problems and performed somewhat better on cognitive tests than children whose mothers had abstained. ¹

In 2012, a series of five Danish studies were published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They also monitored alcohol consumption in pregnant mothers and studied the children of those mothers again at age five. These studies defined low consumption as one to four drinks per week and moderate consumption as five to eight drinks per week. Heavy consumption was nine or more per week, and binge drinking was defined as having more than five drinks in a single sitting on any single occasion. A drink is defined as 12 grams of alcohol.

Not only did this series of studies find no negative cognitive, emotional, or neurological effects in the children of light to moderate drinkers, but it also found no harm to children from binge drinking!² Heavy drinking, of course, resulted in the typical and well known alcohol side effects—behavioral problems, lower attention spans, learning disabilities, etc.’

Beautiful Babies, p. 122-123

Y’all, I am so thrilled about this. Though the studies do carry some weight with me, what really puts me at ease is that the taboo against wine is not universal. This little quote from the book really resonated with me:

The ancients knew of both the benefits of light consumption, as well as the risks of excess. Some of the oldest Ayurvedic texts we have called it a ‘medicine’ if drunk in moderation and a ‘poison’ if abused.

This is true with just about everything we consume – even water in excess is risky to a pregnant woman! I always crave red wine when I’m pregnant and I have never indulged. Obviously, I won’t go overboard, but I think I’ll take my hints from the French and Japanese and not restrict myself entirely.

Kristen explores raw eggs, iron supplements, saturated fat and other hot topics in her myth-busting chapter. I highly recommend you check it out along with the other chapters on increasing your odds for conception, preventing morning sickness, having a gloriously healthy pregnancy, and starting your baby of right with nutrient-dense foods.

Article sources:
¹ Kelly, Yvonne. “Light Drinking during Pregnancy: Still No Increased Risk for Socioemotional Difficulties or Cognitive Deficits at 5 years of Age.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 66.1 (2012): 41-48. Print.
² “Danish Studies Suggest Low and Moderate Drinking in Early Pregnancy Has No Adverse Effects on Children Aged Five.” British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. BJOG, 20 June 2012. Web. 26 June 2012..

Would You Indulge In Sushi Or Wine While Pregnant? Why Or Why Not?

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65 Responses to Red Wine and Sushi: Pregnancy Diet Myths Debunked

  1. Candance says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s all really interesting info. I ate sushi while I was pregnant and I loved it. My only concern was mercury so I only ate sushi from a source that I knew and trusted!

  2. Kristi Niclas says:

    I craved sushi and ate a bit of it through my pregnancy, i felt sooo good when i did! I also did raw dairy, raw pastured egg yolks in my shakes, and did not eat much fresh veggies. I really lost my taste for raw veggies while pregnant which was very odd to me since i am such a fan of them. But i craved fats fats and more fats. Our little girl was born easily with no complications and she is very nutrient dense and healthy!! love this article! thanks!

  3. Kristi Niclas says:

    does any one have info on wine and breastfeeding?? I would love to enjoy 3-4 oz once in a while but wasn’t sure how that would effect my little one when she needs to feed. any info is much appreciated!

  4. Bree Petty says:

    I ate sushi my whole pregnancy. When people commented I had a similar response as quoted in the book, “Do you see the Japanese concerned? Nope. In fact their known to be highly intelligent people!” I craved fish so much while I was pregnant! I couldn’t walk by the seafood counter without my mouth watering!
    I’m so excited to take this e-course and get my book! I pre-ordered weeks ago!

  5. Zandra Brown says:

    I absolutely LOVE sushi, but just wanted to point out that the term “sushi grade” is a standard set forth by the industry and has no specific guidelines to adhere to and no agency that enforces the quality of the seafood. “Sushi grade” is more of a marketing term than a grade really. No authority gives this ephemeral “grade” out. More important is the actual freshness and if it has been properly kept on ice.

  6. Emily @ Holistic Squid says:

    I LOVE this post. Great job. :)

  7. Emily says:

    Thank you SO MUCH! I had a negative pregnancy test at 15 DPO and ended up drinking a margarita and multiple beers (two different occasions within a week) and also going out for sushi, only to find out a week later that I’m pregnant after all. I’m so incredibly relieved to know that it probably didn’t do any harm after all!

  8. pamela says:

    I believe that your body knows what it needs. With my first I craved a low alcohol beer with my dinner most nights and it tasted like ambrosia. With my second the smell of alochol was offensive to me and the taste…urgghhh. With my first I wanted to eat indian curries in coconut milk (and I’m usually a thai curry girl), with my second it was sushi and dark chocolate. Knowing more about nutrition now, I realise that my body probably had deficiencies it was trying to correct, but even then I ate what I felt like and did not feel a bit guilty about the beer as my doctor even said that one or two wouldn’t hurt!!

  9. Lani says:

    My children are 22 and19years old. For both of my exceptionally healthy pregnancies we ate weekly what we call ‘picky dinners’ which was a platter of pate, soft cheese, seafood, cured meats accompanied by a bottle of French champagne. Both my children throughout their schooling were in gifted & talented classes. To date there appears no deficit that could be attributed to my very ‘unhealthy’ pregnancy diet. Today I am a naturopathic practitioner (I was a nurse at the time) specialising in traditional nutrition. I have a particular interest in preconception care. All my pregnant Mums eat the way I did and we haven’t had any cases of food poisoning in nearly 10 years…..

  10. Lindsey says:

    If you order on Amazon using the “one-click”, it will not email you a receipt, just for reference.

  11. Georgia says:

    Everyone has to determine how much risk they want to assume while pregnant. The alcohol – one or two small drinks probably isn’t the end of the world. But pity the mother who gets listeria, it is truly devastating. I do not eat raw vegetables at all during pregnancy, despite craving them. The risk is just too high. And if you must eat raw eggs, get the pasteurized ones. Sushi? Sorry, I wouldn’t be caught eating raw seafood. Get the cooked kind! I hate all the pregnancy restrictions too, but better to be safe than sorry. Check out the FDA recalls list and see how contaminated our food supply can be. And listeria isn’t from unsafe handling of food. It’s in the environment and certain foods are just better vectors than others. Unlike e. coli, it THRIVES at refrigerator temperatures.

  12. Schmoopy says:

    Re: sushi consumption

    I’ve read that pregnant Japanese women consume their sushi with a lot more wasabi then we typically do in the U.S. The wasabi kills bacteria.

  13. Beth says:

    Thank you for posting about this. I have often wondered what the “evidence” was for some of the things that are “taboo” when pregnant.
    I just pre-ordered Kristen’s book, and can’t wait to read it and share it with you sister in law.

    FYI: I saved my Amazon order as a PDF and emailed it in that way, which will work if you use the 1-click checkout.

  14. Hannah says:

    Love this article! I just pre-ordered the book and registered for the free e-course without a problem :) I’m 28 weeks pregnant with #2 and have raw milk and raw free range eggs in my daily diet, along with as much grass fed beef we can afford, and red raspberry leaf tea. I usually have a glass of red wine for special occasions but lately I’ve been joking with my husband that I have been craving it (thinking I do only because it’s “off limits”) but maybe there is more to it! Excited to read this book and use the e-course! Thanks, Heather!

  15. Things I Loved In February | Homemade Mommy says:

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  16. Lea says:

    Pregnant with my second and I basically eat all the taboo foods I’m not supposed to: Raw milk and soft cheeses, raw fish (sushi), I don’t cook red meat well done (still eat it medium rare) and I have a glass of wine at least once a week (I especially look forward to it on Friday). I could care less what anyone has to say about it. I ate the same when pregnant with my first and he’s the picture of health.

  17. Kerrin says:

    I asked me OB specifically about sushi since I am a big sushi fain. I know OB’s in general are frowned upon in this blog but she did her residency in Japan and had some very interesting information. She said that in general people in Japan treat and handle their fish very differently than we do in the US. Usually in Japan they flash freeze their fish immediately after being caught and this is a regular practice. Fish is always flash frozen in the US and sits for much longer periods of time allowing bacteria to grow. So that is why she said she had no problem with the women in Japan eating sushi but she recommends caution to her US patients.

  18. My Pregnancy Food Staples » Paleo Infused Nutrition says:

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  19. Kristi Niclas says:

    i craved red wine when i was pregnant. This is such a great article!

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  21. Kirsty says:

    Hi Heather – loved this post – I’m 20 weeks preg with my second baby. I craved sushi & wine with number 1 but haven’t this time round so I’ve abstained so far.

    Question: does the e course offer apply to those of us in the UK? BB isn’t available here yet but I could pre-order it…

    Thanks xx

  22. Rebecca says:

    What about goat cheese? I have organic goat cheese in my eggs for dinner…should I stop eating the cheese?

  23. Jen Martinez says:

    There is NO safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy! This is horrible that you are telling people it is ok to lightly consume alcohol during pregnancy! Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are VERY serious and life long. Please do your research and don’t believe this. I am a special education teacher with vast experience with youth and adults with FAS. You are undoing decades of work trying to help children to not be born with an FASD!! Please, you are harming children for the rest of their lives!!

    • puste says:

      Did you even bother to read the studies she linked to?
      Yes, FAS/D is awful. However, longitudinal studies have shown that not all alcohol consumption leads to FAS/D.

      Women in France are encouraged to drink an occasional glass of red wine, and I’m not seeing higher number of FAS/D in France

      • France says:

        You are right! I am a Canadian who grew up with the “alcohol is evil during pregnancy” bit (being French Canadian, it seems better accepted than in english Canada – must be the french influence) but now that I live in France (and pregnant) I was told to avoid alcohol in HIGH quantities… although the doc never specifying what that was…. she said use common sense; a glass of wine is OK (refilling your glass of wine three times is NOT). I love that a doctor was able to use the term common sense (difference between Europe and North America – you can say that in Europe), I guess I look like a sensible person! p.s. I don’t drink pregnant or not, but if I wanted to, she would’t discourage me to do so once in a while.

        The raw vegetable thing mentioned in the article is so true… doctor and friends are horrified at the though of eating raw vegetables. When my husband makes a salad he spends a good seven minute rinsing the salad (he probably washes it in boiling water too!)… raw vegetables during pregnancy in France are definitely what alcohol is to Canada/USA.

        Also, Jen I am not advocating smoking and drinking during pregnancy, but I the generation of my grandparents and many early boomers smoked and drank (not all of course) and somehow they managed to give birth to healthy children despite the smoking/drinking… how is that possible? Ironically my cousins (20s and 30s) who have kids, don’t smoke/drink, they eat healthy and organic, the kids live in sanitary conditions etc… yet the kids are always sick, its like they haven’t developed an immune system despite having parents doing “all the right things”

        Like I said I am not advocating for people to do unhealthy things, but one has to wonder how previous generations survived without all the modern day “self-help” books; and I am talking about the 20th century not the pre 19th century generations…I also wonder if there were mommy wars back then too

  24. domino thunderball says:

    Just out of curiousity…what do the Japanese do about the mercury levels in the fish? I always thought mercury was the reason to avoid fish during pregnancy…not so much the potential for food poisoning. Perhaps they stay away from certain fish and don’t over-indulge in fish?

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  26. Melissa N says:

    I have loved reading this blog, but I am truly disappointed in this post regarding alcohol consumption. My son’s birth mom binged while pregnant and now he is paying the price. So this statement “but it also found no harm to children from binge drinking” is completely misleading. Maybe in that particular study there were not children affected, but that isn’t true all over. My son will be eight years old this month. He struggles tremendously with learning (he can’t add 3+2, he can barely read and remember the difference between morning and night), forgetting what things are (like not remembering what kiwi is even though it is one of his favorite fruits), trouble with speech, fine motor and gross motor, control issues, doesn’t understand consequences, anger, etc. He has brain damage from prenatal alcohol exposure. It breaks my heart when he says he wishes he had a different body or that he wasn’t himself. We have multiple therapies weekly between psychologist, psychiatrist, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. When he is angry he is out of control screaming everything from wanting to kill me, burn the house down, etc. Then after the rage ends, his heart is broken and cries because that is the brain damage that he can’t control. So yes, binging can affect the baby. And why would you even risk a drink? Our family and particularly our son has suffered a lot from a 100% preventable birth defect. There is no known safe limit of alcohol exposure. You can google FAS and read story after story of how FAS can devastate a person and their family. There may be children that have not been affected, but are many that have and I can tell you as a mom to a child with FAS, do NOT drink, you can wait 9 months, because the consequences could last a lifetime, it isn’t worth it.

    • Heather says:

      Melissa, it’s absolutely heartbreaking to read what your son and your whole family have gone through. I in no way want to minimize your experience, because it is clearly the result of heavy drinking. However, the way I understood Kristen’s phrasing regarding the study was that isolated binge drinking did not appear to have an effect. Repeated incidences, though, would fall under the category of heavy drinking, which she mentions does have a negative effect. For me, the takeaway from her book was to realize that in France and other parts women regularly consume light amounts of wine/beer during pregnancy and their children seem to fare very well. This was reassuring to me, given that my midwives recommended red wine to me during labor and I refused out of fear that I would harm my child. I also craved red wine during pregnancy and refused to listen to my body out of fear, even though all of my other cravings were for healthy foods (salmon roe, seafood, raw cheese, steak, etc) rather than gummy bears. Thank you for joining the conversation. <3

  27. Claire J says:

    I pre-ordered the Beautiful Babies book and emailed my receipt to get the Free E-course, does anyone know how soon I will receive the link? Thank you.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Claire! It should come pretty soon. Kristen is traveling right now, though, so there may be a teeny delay.

  28. Erin says:

    I’ve admired and learned from your blog for quite some time. I also read nourished baby and loved it! Thank you.
    I had both red wine and sushi a few times during pregnancy. Listening to my body has yet to fail me:) Thanks for the posting this. It is always so nice to read information that backs up your own body’s intuition!

  29. Erin says:

    AND, I just want to add that you are a brave Mama for posting what you do:) Going against the grain and speaking truth, in a culture that is ruled by fear can probably be tough sometimes. I admire your courage and desire to share your experience with others. Women need to hear what you have to say. Keep it up!

  30. Sandrine Love says:

    More and more I have the sense that we pick and choose which studies we give credence to in our community. We dismiss many studies that aren’t aligned with our message, yet site others that are … so I find that I am increasingly weary of such studies and often feel confused as to what advice to follow as a result. Personally, I would advise that pregnant women err on the side of caution when it comes to alcohol consumption because there is so much at stake.

    I read these related articles as well and envisioned that the comments would be of value to this discussion here:

  31. Lani says:

    If you’re pregnant, your best resource for up-to-date info is always your doctor. Please don’t suggest replacing your doctor’s knowledge and insight with a book… and one reason they generally suggest no alcohol consumption during pregnancy is because it’s easy to go overboard. Do you really want to risk it?

  32. June says:

    I’m interested in the behaviors that occur in the children of moderate wine drinking mothers (1-2 glasses per week). You’ll want results from school age as it’s hard to tell if a child has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) at a younger age because they don’t usually have the facial characteristics. They do develop behaviors that can be cross-referenced along the organic and mental diagnosis’ lists. These include: Bipolar Disorder, ODD, ADHD, Autism (anywhere on the spectrum), Sensory Integration Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

    I adopted a beautiful baby. She had no facial characteristics. She seemed ‘normal’. She did have what we thought was colic and we did everything we could for her. As she grew, she continued to be bright, beautiful, and funny. When she started school, differences were noted. We got some new info from the birth family that indicated that the birth mother drank on weekends after her first trimester. So when this child was 6, she was diagnosed with FASD. She struggles with retaining information she learned during the day, doing daily tasks (getting dressed, brushing teeth, taking care of her things, etc.), following rules, and social skills. She’s nice and makes friends quickly but loses them just as fast when the other kids notice her behavior and struggles.

    So, even on the advice of a doctor or a book, don’t drink a drop during pregnancy. That glass can wait.

  33. Holly J. says:

    I know this is an older post, but (as a former Japanese major) I wanted to point something out:

    Sushi translates to “vinegared rice,” whereas sashimi is the raw fish you are talking about. You want sashimi grade fish, not sushi grade fish. I’m just concerned that if you get “sushi grade” fish you may be consuming something different than what you are looking for.

    Also glad to hear the sashimi is safe because I love it! :)

  34. gagner argent via internet says:

    Coucou tout le monde,

  35. Anna says:

    I felt so guilty for eating eggs from my free range chooks but I so needed soft boiled eggs…. I figured my hens were extremely healthy and I took the risks … I have 3 physically healthy (one with autism but it wasn’t the eggs) children and I felt better for it. I hope other do the same thing and relax a little, as long you you are careful, know the source and eat in moderation.

    Hugs for writing it down for all those other mums who beta in from what they need

  36. Natalie Bias says:

    I am currently raising 7 children with alcohol effects. These mothers claim to have only drank alcohol “socially” or on weekends. Our children’s effects range from very severe to mild. We watch them as they struggle with learning difficulties, memory deficits, anger issues, hyperactivity, eating and sleeping disorders, and much more. We had EEG testing done on them and their brains show the damage from the alcohol.
    My children would have had very different lives if their mothers could have waited for that drink until after they were born. Alcohol stays in amniotic fluid for days after the alcohol is consummed. A baby in utero is literally swimming in alcohol water until the mother’s body filters it all out of the amniotic fluid. An unborn baby’s liver does not function well enough to filter out the alcohol from its own blood stream, not to count what is in the amniotic fluid. This damages the baby’s brain and causes cell death. This damage can not be undone once it has occured.
    If anyone tells you it is okay to drink any alcohol during pregnancy, they are wrong, very wrong. Please, do not drink any alcohol when you are pregnant. Fetal Alcohol Effects is one birth defect that can be totally prevented.

    • Ella says:

      I’m very sorry to hear about the irresponsible behavior that has so negatively impacted your children’s lives. However, one must ask if there isn’t just the tiniest possibility that these women LIED about the extent of their alcohol consumption? I just don’t know how you explain multiple studies showing no ill effects from light drinking, as well as all the healthy children born in countries where an occasional drink is very much a part of pregnancy…

  37. Karen says:

    With sushi, it is the rice that is the concern. Nothing to do with the rest of it.
    It’s not uncommon for it to contain Bacillus cereus, the spores of which are not necessarily killed by cooking, leading to bacteria growth which produce toxins if it’s not handled and stored correctly. Worse still if prepared in bulk and not sold immediately. Japanese sushi stores have a very high turnover of product and this would be fine, so it depends on how long ago your sushi rice was made, ultimately.

    It’s just not a risk I ever took, after working in microbiology and living in Japan and seeing the difference in food prep, much as it’s my favourite food I wouldn’t eat it in pregnancy.

  38. Allison says:

    I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one with red wine pregnancy cravings! I thought it was so strange! I have been dying to have a glass!!

  39. Em says:

    Thank you for posting ! there are so many do’s and dont’s!

  40. Jessica says:

    I’m definitely going to purchase Kristen’s book… is the deal for receiving the class for free over? I realize I’m commenting like a year after your original post, but I’m 6 months pregnant with my first child and loving this information!

  41. Lauren S says:

    Hi Heather! Sorry I didn’t wanna ask this on Facebook, because I’m only 8 weeks pregnant. I have read Kristen’s book and have been following what she’s said and you’ve said about eating well for a healthy baby for months before I was pregnant. But now that I am pregnant I keep craving and then eating terrible things like ice cream sandwiches and processed tortellini. I still eat really healthy 90% of the time but I can’t stop beating myself up thinking I’m hurting my baby. Any advice about the guilt or the cravings? I already feel like a bad mommy. :-(

  42. Kathryn G. says:

    I am really looking forward to reading this book. I am now pregnant with baby # 2, and am so tired of all the paranoia that surrounds the occasional glass of wine, and foods that many of us were raised on, such as sushi (permitting it is of the right kind and grade). I have scanned and read article upon article regarding this issue, and have come to the conclusion that if other cultures, such as French, and Asian, have listened to their bodies, but used moderation, that Americans can too. Jeez, look at our country 20-30 years ago! There was none of this hype going on. It’s just because doctors in this country have been sued, or tried to be, from any angle possible. It is still scientifically impossible to rule out exactly what causes some mental and/or physical ailments in children. It is really simple to blame it on alcohol, and/or foods like sushi, because that seems like the only reasonable explaination! What about chromosome disorders? Most of them are still not even recognized specifically by science, but yet they happened during conception, and there was nothing that could have been done to prevent them. So, please, before you go off the handle, do your research extensively. Kristen seems to have invested the time and effort, so I encourage reading her material.

  43. Andrea says:

    Thank you for this article. I am currently 32 weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of alcohol in my first trimester (interestingly enough, the time to be most careful about it, as the neurological system is being formed!). After that, the occasional drink sounded good. One drink, no more, no less. My doctor said it was fine, and after reading Expecting Better I felt just fine with the decision. The baby is perfectly on track and doing great, and I’m having a tremendously healthy pregnancy.

    But, the backlash from people has been interesting. Granted, I don’t drink in front of a lot of folks. But even my heavily-imbibing mother-in-law gave me a huge dose of crap for drinking at all. Funny enough, I think younger generations are less weird about it. Many of my friends who haven’t even been pregnant or had to make this choice have said “Oh, it’s ok to have a glass of wine now and then, isn’t it?” So the viewpoints are changing. But, the old school biddies still believe in no wine.

    I believe every woman has the right to make these choices during her pregnancy, so I’d never judge if someone else doesn’t want to have a glass of wine or a piece of sushi. But, I sure as heck hate being judged! The more info that is out there about this, I think the less judgmental people will become. That is my hope anyway :).

  44. Rebekah says:

    I know sashimi is similar to sushi – but is sashimi ok to eat during pregnancy? And what about rice in sushi during pregnancy? Great article by the way, and so progressive and traditional at the same time!!

  45. Kristina says:

    Hi Rebekah,

    Sashimi is still consider as raw food so I’d suggest you to avoid them.


  46. Sachi says:

    Hi again. Minstry of Health, Labour and Welfare also says we should avoid raw fish, sashimi and sushi while pregnant.

  47. Craig Wilson says:

    If you care at all for your baby, and there’s a chance that drinking any amount of alcohol may damage it forever, how can you even consider being so self centered as to risk your child’s entire future by giving it a birth defect that is both deforming and brain growth retarding. One that will never go away. If you know there is a very real risk, and the foster system is full of kids with it) never risk your unborn child. How will you explain to your child when they say why did you do it? How will you feel, knowing you chose a future that leaves them unable to ever to live normally? Honestly If this makes you re-think and look into it yourself, good on you!

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