These days the first question most GPs get asked, after confirming a wanted first pregnancy is what does the woman need to take or eat, and, importantly what should she avoid.
It gets tricky doesn’t it? If you avoided everything that is said to potentially cause harm (according to the world wide web and social media) the pregnant woman will run a serious risk of malnutrition! Much of the fear stems from the risk of contracting listeria – that surreptitious bacteria that can cause – very occasionally, severe infection in affected adults – but more importantly for the pregnant women can cause miscarriage, premature birth or stillbirth. You need some authoritative, credible information sources to fall back on when giving these vulnerable patients advice.
Enter the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand website. On their website they have this fantastic resource: an information page entitled Listeria and food.
Quite simply, it’s a precis of what women should and should not eat to keep them safe from this infection. To be fair this resource doesn’t help women keep the problem in perspective, as it doesn’t mention how rarely this condition affects pregnant women. But it gives very definitive advice – eat this – don’t eat that. The reality is, this could save the GP at least 15 minutes discussion time, and provide a ready reckoner for the woman negotiating the local café menu or shopping centre food halls.
There is no debate, the pregnant woman, especially the first-time pregnant woman represents a very vulnerable, information-hungry demographic. Keep this site bookmarked and you won’t be sorry.
>> Access the resource here