Help! Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
A panic-free guide to a healthy pregnancy diet
But even once your secret is out, things don't get easier. "I was paranoid about everything that I ate, chewed, or drank," confesses Tara Robison of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. "Eating out was near impossible -- I was convinced the chef would see my pregnant belly and try to poison me. Yes, I was weird!"
Not so weird. Bec Mullaney of Poughkeepsie, New York, was similarly tormented. "I gave up all deli meat because I know you're not supposed to eat it. But, of course, my most intense cravings were for -- that's right, you guessed it -- sandwiches! I wanted turkey, ham, salami, and roast beef in the worst way. It got so dire that my husband would only eat sandwiches in secret."
(Too bad nobody told Bec she could eat her favorite cold cuts if she heated them until steaming. Her hubby could have eaten his sandwiches in public!)
Still, the point is that just knowing they can't have something makes some women want it all the more. Ginny Gallo-Dowdakin, the mom-to-be who dreamed about sushi, wasn't even a big fan of the fish dish before she was expecting. But then, she says, "I craved it like never before."
Oops, I ate it again! Even more upsetting is discovering you've already ingested something that's taboo. "I ate deli-meat sandwiches for lunch every day," says Kassandra Stalbaum from Austin, Texas. "I was horrified when I learned they could cause listeriosis, and switched to PB&Js. Then I found out that peanuts and peanut butter are also a no-no. Ugh! I give up!" (There's no need to freak out, Kassandra. Peanuts are okay as long as you don't have a family history of allergies to them.)
Andrea Siy from Byfield, Massachussetts, feels the same way. "I would be reading my pregnancy books, get to chapter six, and find out I shouldn't be eating something that I already had been! Like...no feta!?!? I'd been eating Greek salads for weeks! Why isn't that information in chapter one?!"
But Amy Bannister of Valparaiso, Indiana, takes the cake...er, the crab. "I went to a crab-leg dinner and ate everyone under the table, polishing off ten leg clusters on my own. My sister-in-law showed up late and upon hearing of my triumph, told me pregnant women should never eat shellfish. I freaked and made us stop at my ob's home to see if I needed to go to the ER. She laughed, asked if anyone in our family has shellfish allergies, and congratulated me on breaking an eating record!"