That is the question. There are so many conflicting opinions on what pregnant women can and can't eat. I have several books at home, two of which are very specific as to your baby's growth and development week by week as well as monitoring your own health and food intake. The one is "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" which my girlfriend gave me and the other is "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" which my Insurance Company sent me. I'd been reading right along in the What to Expect one up until this week and then I received the Week by Week one so I decided to play catch up in that one, just to see if there were any glaring differences.
Well, in What to Expect the usual food items you are directed to avoid are lunch meats, certain fish, raw/undercooked meat, hot dogs, unpasteurized dairy items, soft cheeses (i.e. blue cheese, feta, etc), alcohol, and your told to limit your caffeine intake. Sounds pretty simple. I'm not a huge fan of cold-cuts to begin with, I don't eat a ton of fish (I already take an Omega-3 supplement), I will miss Sushi and a glass of wine but it's not the end of the world, and it's not summer so I'm not too bummed about the hot dog restriction either. I'm also not a huge caffeine drinker. The occasional coffee, hot cocoa, or tea will make an appearance but its nothing I have to have. When I talked to my doctor she actually said I could have three 8oz servings of caffeinated beverages a day (spread out), if I had a craving for an Italian BMT sub to go for it (just don't make a habit of it), and that I could have 6oz of fish a week if I wanted. Hot dogs she wasn't worried about because you heat them thoroughly before eating. I told her I didn't want to do the whole "eat for two" and become as big as a house, so I've maintained my normal portion sizes but found I was hungry all-the-time. Not just any type of hungry. I was Pregnant Hungry which easily equates to starvation. She laughed and suggested I spread my portions out amongst six small meals a day and to consume items that would stick with me (i.e. oatmeal, peanut butter, etc). So I have and up until now this has worked for me.
However, now that I've read the Week By Week it seems a whole lot more restrictive on what I can and can't have. Strictly no caffeine, no fish, and no peanut butter what-so-ever because it contributes to peanut allergies and asthma. WTF. My kid is doomed. I love peanut butter and during the work week I prefer PB&J sandwiches for lunch when there aren't left overs to be taken. I'm trying to push this book's no-nonsense strictness out of my head, but I must admit I'm a little concerned. My husband and I don't necessarily eat unhealthy and I was originally ecstatic that based on the What to Expect book that I didn't have to change my diet a ton to have a healthy pregnancy. I think I'm just going to stick with what my doctor says is okay and to hell with all the other stuff. Heck, if people could drink and smoke back in the day while pregnant I can only imagine my kid is already way ahead of the game. Not to mention that I only buy natural peanut butter. Yeah, I think that makes it okay. LOL.
What's your thoughts on food and beverage restrictions during pregnancy? Anyone else consume peanut butter during their pregnancy and have kids that turned out okay?