During the course of your pregnancy, you and your stomach have endured all kinds of trials. Starting with morning sickness to flatulence, heartburn, and constipation towards the end of your pregnancy, you are tired of it. So, if your stomach is feeling uneasy, how can you tell if this is a pregnancy related symptom or a case of food poisoning?
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning is a stomach-related ailment caused by eating contaminated or spoilt food. You might experience:
- Mild fever
- Headache and muscle ache
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
How did I get food poisoning?
A person normally gets food poisoning by eating something that contained some bacteria, virus or a toxin. Listeria and toxins found in food are the most likely causes in most cases.
What do I do if I have food poisoning?
First, make sure you are well hydrated. Drink a lot of electrolytes. Coconut water, fresh fruit juices, decaffeinated mild teas like tulsi tea, mint tea or chamomile tea can also help.
Jeera (cumin) seeds and methi seeds can be ground together and eaten with a small bowl of curds or drunk with a glass of water. This mixture can bring quick relief from vomiting and stomach aches.
Go to a doctor as soon as you can, if you find you cannot keep any liquids in if your baby is not moving as much and if you are extremely weak.
How do I prevent food poisoning?
- Check all expiry dates when you are purchasing or consuming canned or bottled goods.
- Keep your kitchen and all utensils clean.
- Wash your hands and make sure your cook washes her hands well before handling any food.
- Make sure the temperature in your fridge is set correctly and is not too warm.
- Try and eat freshly prepared food as often as possible. Hot food that has not been lying out for too long is safest and healthiest.
- If you are a gourmet foodie, you might want to avoid sushi or any raw meat. Make sure all your meat is well cooked and prepared in a clean place.
- No matter how much you crave it, avoid street food. Your local chaat walla might attract hordes of people for his outstanding panipuri, but you might want to stay away from all his food till your baby is safely out in the world.
- Avoid eating salads and raw vegetables at restaurants. At home, soak your salad vegetables before rinsing and cutting. Avoid raw sprouts because there is a risk of e-coli. Wash them well and quickly sauté them before adding to salads to avoid any risk of infection.
- Always cover your food when storing.
Even after all your precautions, if you do happen to contract food poisoning, drink plenty of fluids and call your doctor if you are very concerned.