Can Pregnant Women Drink Apple Cider?

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During pregnancy, you should exclude several types of foods from your diet to avoid suffering from food-borne illness. Hot apple cider may be one of your favorite beverages on a cold winter day. Being pregnant doesn't require you to give up your favorite drink. You can continue to enjoy apple cider throughout your pregnancy, but you need to make sure the cider you drink is pasteurized and store it at proper temperatures at home.

Food Poisoning

Concerns over apple cider during pregnancy relate to food-borne illnesses. Unpasteurized apple cider can be contaminated with Escherichia coli, or E. coli for short, if it isn't handled properly during processing. Suffering from nausea, uncontrollable diarrhea, abdominal cramps or a fever may be a sign of a food-borne illness. If you have any of these symptoms, notify your health care provider immediately to avoid complications. Ensuring that your apple cider is pasteurized helps prevent health issues associated with food-borne illness.

Pasteurization

Some types of harmful bacteria are destroyed easily at high temperatures. In addition to E. coli, apple cider can be contaminated with salmonella, both of which break down under extreme heat. During pasteurization, apple cider reaches temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the University of Georgia. If you are making apple cider at home, you can pasteurize it on the stove, but make sure it doesn't reach more than 185 degrees. Getting apple cider too hot by boiling it can create an unpleasant flavor.

Storage Information

While your apple cider may be properly pasteurized, holding it at the wrong temperatures for an extended period of time increases the risk of bacterial growth. Avoid contamination by storing apple cider at refrigerated temperatures below 40 degrees. If you are keeping it hot on the stove, ensure it stays above 140 degrees in order for it to remain safe for you to drink during pregnancy.

Treating Food Poisoning

Drinking contaminated apple cider puts you at risk for severe gastrointestinal upset. Foreign bacteria are dangerous while you are pregnant because they not only harm you, but they can also harm your unborn child. If you experience diarrhea or vomiting, replacing lost fluids is imperative. Specifically, you need to ingest electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium and calcium, which help maintain fluid in your body. Drinking a sports beverage is one of the most common ways to replace fluids during illness. In severe cases, you may need to go to a hospital to connect to intravenous fluid. Treating the infection early with antibiotics may prevent harmful organisms from getting to the baby. Let your physician know if you suspect food poisoning from apple cider; it may help him make a proper diagnosis.

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