When you become pregnant, many changes happen in your life. One of those changes is your diet. Foods that you had thought to be healthy before are off-limits now, such as goat cheese or sushi. Or maybe you are eating more leafy greens and whole grains than ever before in an effort to give your child the best possible start. But what about yogurt during pregnancy? Is it safe to eat? Here’s what you need to know about eating yogurt during pregnancy.

Yogurt During Pregnancy - Is It Safe ?

Remember that if the yogurt is pasteurized, it is likely safe to eat. This applies to all other dairy products as well—as long as you can verify it is pasteurized, go for it! The problem comes in with dairy products that are not pasteurized, as they can contain bacteria which are very harmful to you or your baby.

Fortunately, most brands of yogurt have been pasteurized. Even so, it is important to read the labels and know what you are getting before you buy or taste. Some stores stock local foods, including homemade yogurts from local farms. Though they might be tempting, they might not be pasteurized. If you aren’t sure, don’t buy them.

Benefits of Yogurt During Pregnancy

There are plenty of reasons to indulge in yogurt during pregnancy. Not only is it a healthy, low-fat way to satisfying your sweet tooth, it also provides important nutrients.

  • Calcium. Since yogurt is made from dairy, it is loaded with calcium. Calcium is essential not just for your healthy bones, but for the proper growth and development of your baby.
  • Probiotics. The awesome bacteria present in yogurt can help your baby grow, and they can do all sorts of good things in your body, too. These bacteria keep your digestion regular, which can make you feel much better throughout your pregnancy.

Concerns on Yogurt During Pregnancy

Are you still concerned about yogurt during pregnancy? Remember that you should always avoid unpasteurized yogurt, but there are a few other types you should avoid: full-fat yogurt and other full-fat dairy foods. That’s because the excess amounts of saturated fat aren’t good for anyone, especially for pregnant women. Eating these types of yogurt can contribute to heart problems, digestive problems, and excessive weight gain. Always look for low-fat or fat-free yogurt and dairy products.

Recommended Intake of Yogurt During Pregnancy

It is important to find good yogurt at your grocery, because you will need a lot of it during pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women are encouraged to eat three small yogurt containers a day, about 200 grams each, to meet daily calcium requirements. You can also get a good serving of fruit with some varieties of yogurt, so take your time sampling all of them and choose your favorites.

What About Other Dairy Foods During Pregnancy?

Any dairy products that have not been pasteurized should be avoided, no matter what. This helps ensure that you and your baby will avoid Listeriosis, a deadly condition that could serious hurt both of you. Here’s what you should avoid in the dairy products.

Dairy Food That Is Unsafe to Eat

  • Unpasteurized diary food. As mentioned above, there is a general rule that applies to yogurt and other dairy products during pregnancy. As long as it is pasteurized, it is safe for you to eat. Dairy products which have not been pasteurized can contain bacteria which may lead to Listeriosis, a rare condition which can be potentially harmful to your unborn baby.
  • Soft cheeses with white rinds. These cheeses are ripened with certain molds, and these molds can be harmful. Besides that, they are often made with goat’s milk, which is often unpasteurized. If you want to eat these cheeses, make sure they have been cooked.
  • Soft blue cheeses. Blue cheeses should be avoided for the same reasons as white-rind cheeses. These might include Danish blue, Roquefort, and gorgonzola.

Dairy Food That Is Safe to Eat

  • Hard cheeses. Here’s an exception to the rule: Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, stilton and parmesan, can be eaten even if they are made with unpasteurized milk. That’s because the moisture content is very low, and that means the chances of bacteria growing there is very slim. However, most versions of these cheeses are pasteurized for safety.
  • Specific soft cheeses. There are a few soft cheeses that are okay to eat when you are pregnant. Remember, as always, make sure they are made from pasteurized milk. These include cottage cheese, ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, feta, paneer, goat cheese, halloumi, and cheese spreads.
  • Cooked soft cheeses. Remember that when you cook the cheese, you are getting it to a temperature that will kill the bacteria. Make sure the cheese is melted and steamy throughout before you eat it to ensure that you really do have a cheese ensured to be safe.

Finally, remember that yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are very good for your body and your baby. Don’t avoid them because of misinformation or fear! Simply make sure the items are pasteurized or cooked as they should be, and you should have no problems at all with dairy, cheeses and yogurt during pregnancy.