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Pineapple Express.

I could eat this by the POUND.

Hi there.  I'm addicted to pineapple.

This week, I'll be five months pregnant, and it seems like the vitamin C cravings I had early on in my pregnancy are back with a vengeance.  Orange juice (yes, with pulp), kiwi fruit, apples, raisins (even though they're low in it, I still want them), and pineapple.  To the point where Chris and I bought a pineapple at the grocery store last week and I ate half of it in two days time.  What's good is that, for whatever reason, my blood sugars aren't rebelling against this fruit overload.  (Different from cute overload, where hamsters play the trumpet.)  Before the BSparl invasion, I had things like oatmeal timed out with precision, so that I could eat something with 30 grams of carbs in it without a spike, but just one apple could cause my numbers to go berserk.  Now?  Oatmeal is hard to predict, but I can nosh on a whole bowl of fruit salad, estimate the carbs, and coast in the low 100's for NO REASON. 

Pregnancy and type 1 diabetes is a very peculiar combination.  /digression

But then I Googled "pineapple and pregnancy" and received a pile of search results that made me feel like I was going to have the baby that night.  One site said that "Bromelain [found in pineapple] can soften the cervix and bring on labor."  Another said that it could cause uterine contractions. 

So, of course, I freaked out slightly.  And talked to fruit.

"What am I supposed to know?  I mean, there's so many do's and don'ts when it comes to this baby gestation adventure - how can I figure out what I'm supposed to be doing?  And how come I keep finding out about suspect foods AFTER I've already eaten them?"  I asked the pineapple on my plate.  It did not offer a useful answer.

I have heard that I should avoid shellfish.  (Not that big of a problem, as my new food cravings seem to be for shrimp only).  I've heard to keep the caffeine tapered to a minimum, which I managed to get under control before we left for Spain in August, so that's cool.  And I have also been told, many, many times, that I can't eat cold deli meat anymore, so anything involving cold cuts needs to be "piping hot." 

But after those few bits, I get a little foggy.  Should I not be eating pineapple?  Someone else told me to avoid things with gluten in them because it can affect the baby.  Then I was told to avoid eggs unless they were whites-only.  And not to eat any sugar substitute except for Splenda.  And to steer clear of soft cheeses (which to me is everything except the cheese that you forget to wrap in saran wrap and ends up all nasty hard).  And to only eat while hanging upside down in my closet, like a bat.  While wearing galoshes.  

What the heck am I supposed to eat???   Or supposed to avoid?  And will eating pineapple really make my body flake out?  Because while Google is a great place to find information, I don't trust it nearly as much as I trust real people.  For now, I'll be chugging orange juice and bolusing accordingly.  :)

Comments

With pulp. See...that's your problem right there ;)

As expected, I don't have any advice on this subject, but you're doing the right thing in asking Google (or pineapple) then confirming with real people.

This sort of, ahem, advice has been around forever -- and for the most part, babies are still born healthy, still grow up healthy, and never know the difference whether Mom ate tainted tuna and salmon five days a week, fruits and veggies, or a diet consisting only of nacho-cheese Doritos deep fried in sugar batter.

As long as your food is overall-healthy for a normal healthy diet, with the general levels of calories and nutrients needed for you and baby, you should be fine.

And even if not, you should be fine. (Mom says she had morning sickness 24/7 for all nine months when she was pregnant, and getting near food, even to cook for Dad, would make her break out in hives. I really can't see where that's affected either me or my sister.)

Everyone gave me suggestions, ideas, and dos and dont's similar to what you're receiving. I liked this advice--eat what your baby wants. I obviously limited my caffeine consumption, didn't drink, watched my shellfish consumption and my calorie intake. But other than that, I didn't worry at all about what I ate. I would crave protein foods at times, other times fruits and vegetables, and okay, sometimes chocolate dipped ice cream cones. (But that can be counted as dairy, right?) But seriously, just enjoy the pregnancy and eat what your baby needs. You're doing great!

Eat whatever you want and don't stress the small things. Your baby will be just fine :)

Yikes - it's bad enough that what "society in general" is supposed to eat and not eat changes all the time - low-carb is good, red meat is bad, caffeine is the devil, insert next food fad here. But it sounds a million times harder when you're building a baby!!!

I know nothing when it comes to:

a. pregnancy
b. diabetes

But I can't help but think that you should eat what sounds good to your body. I don't think it will steer you wrong. :) If Vitamin C is what it wants, there must be a good-for-the-baby reason!

Kerri - love your blog, my DD was DX June 1 (10 yrs old) and your blog gives me so much info, but more importantly hope for a really bright future for her - but I digress. When I was PG with both my kids - pineapple was recomended by my DR. for the insane heartburn I was having durning most of the PG. It actually worked - I ate it every morning for breakfast- no pre-mature labor.

I'm T1, 11w with TWINS and am an RD myself. I just know you have a RD/CDE at your disposal. The question "What the heck am I supposed to eat?" is what we do for a living. Get thee to her and ask!

To be honest I have made a huge effort to curb my google habit while I’m pregnant....I'm going to do what most normal, non-internet addicted people do...listen to my doc. :)

Doc said not so much caffeine, no problem, I only drink one coffee per day and then water, fruit juice or my new fav Diet Pomegranate 7-Up.

I do occasionally eat lunchmeat bc, well, my docs office wasn’t concerned about it and oddly, I hated lunchmeat before but last week NEEDED a roast beef hoagie, go figure right?

I did switch to Splenda but that’s about the extent of my changes, or lack there of…Well, and as I said, I’m trying to stay away from the internet which keeps me from freaking out so much.

And pineapple, I also have had a particular addiction to that fruit lately. You can find me in the kitchen, fork in hand, grabbing bits right out of the container. Yum. I’ve had a bunch of internal exams done lately bc of some small issues I’m having and everything looks fine…perfectly closed, not flimsy, etc. So, from my experience with the million internals, is that pineapple is not adversely affecting my pregnancy :)


i craved captain crunch, cherry slurpees and marinated mushrooms. Holly turned out just fine. now admittedly at the time they didn't know i had gestational diabetes (numbers are different now than they were 20 years ago), but you're doing just fine little missy.

Eat healthy. Eat a variety of foods. Eat in moderation. Stop eating when you are full. Bolus when needed. There ya go. My advice. Women in countries where there is no Google (where would that be?) eat and make beautiful babies. Yours will be too. Stop Googling. Enjoy eating and the pregnancy. Have some more pineapple :0)

I agree with what those before me have said: Eat healthily and in moderation, and don't worry too much.

"Soft" cheese, by the way, is any cheese you can spread with a spoon when it's at room temperature or slightly cool. Neufchatel, goat cheese, brie, etc. Anything else, even mozarella, is considered either hard or semi-soft and is "safe."

I think all the hoopla about pregnancy and eating is in place to avoid over load of toxins (mercury in fish) and food poisoning. Soft cheese, egg yokes(not fully cooked), cold cuts, these could cause food poisoning but most likely won't. I would worry about pineapple, in a few short months you will be wishing your cervix was more soft and you were having more contractions.

i know nothing about a diabetic pregnancy, and am new to the big d myself (my son has it) but pregnancy, i know some. never heard about the cold cut thing, but was told to avoid raw fish (sushi) by my dr and keep the coffee to one cup a day. the second time around, i was put on mega-doses of vitamin c along with the prenatal vitamins. my first one was a month early due to my water breaking, and the dr had read that high doses of vitamin c may help to prevent that. the second was born on her due date. so, my advice...believe what your doctor tells you, ignore the interwebs advice, and take all others with a polite head nod ;)

I'm also struggling with this laundry list of what's ok to eat and what's not. It's like learning the diabetic diet all over again. As I'm reading your comments, I'm realizing I've broken most of the rules already: lunch meat (Jersey Mike's. couldn't resist), soft cheese (does cream cheese count?), shellfish (Thanksgiving week in Hilton Head; at least it was all cooked).

Sigh. I hope I get the hang of this sooner rather than later.

Nici
A sweet journey to motherhood
http://typeoneandttc.wordpress.com/

I also heard pineapple could bring on contractions. I ate a ton of it trying to avoid being induced. Didn't work. I WAS having contractions but nothing substantial enough to do anything. I think a Vitamin C craving is a good thing! I craved Cheetos and Spaghetti O's for 4 months. Ewwww!

Pineapple won't send you into premature labor. (But moderation is usually a good rule to follow.) I'm pretty laid back with all those supposed dietary rules of pregnancy. It just sounds ridiculous to say you can't eat a sandwich! But the one thing I would strongly advise you steer clear of is aspartame. It's a neurotoxin and can affect baby's brain development. My rule would be "try not to eat anything that's not food."

The soft cheese and cold cut meat is a real honest to goodness no, no that we learn in our microbiology class in med school. It carries Listeria, which is something that only causes problems in pregnant woman, old people, immunocomprimised etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org./wiki/Listeria. This includes Brea, Blue Cheese,...

I've never heard anything about pineapple being bad for pregnant woman, I think you'd have to eat a heck of a lot of pineapple to get enough, Bromelin to cause harm. Additionally, Bromelin is an enzyme... aka a protein, and proteins don't really survive the stomach...if they did we'd all be taking our insulin in the pill form and not injecting ourselves with needles.

When in doubt, I would send an email to your doctor...

My advice is DO NOT GOOGLE. So many different views float around the internet and it will make you insanely afraid. Pineapple is not going to throw you into labor. You can eat it confidently. I chose to eat soft cheeses during all my pregnancies. Soft cheeses are ones like Bleu cheese, gorgonzola and feta. I limited it though and also ate limited cold cuts. Most things are safe to eat in moderation when you're pregnant. Eggs shouldn't be a problem at all (as long as they are cooked. ;)) And I agree with those that say to avoid aspartame but I would try to avoid that at any given time not just pregnancy. Oh and Saccarhin too. Stick with Splenda.

Meghan (above) is mostly right, except that soft cheeses MAY be contaminated with listeria. It's not on every piece of soft cheese and deli meat going, which is why most ppl above have written that they ate deli meats and were fine. With the soft cheese, it's the unpasterized milk that can carry the monocytogenes and if you can find the soft cheese made with pasteurized milk, you'll probably be fine to eat it...at least that's what my OB recommended. For what it's worth, he said most of the food "rules" for the pregnant were crap (risk of harm blown way out of proportion, iffy science etc). On the other hand, my girlfriend's Dr. gave her a sheet with all kinds of things she wasn't "allowed" to eat (all deli meats including hot dogs, all cheese that is soft, no more than 1 serving of fish/shellfish per week and so on). All of this is to say: if you trust your own medical team, quit asking the internet and ask them! ;)

Happy gestating!

I craved pineapple during my pregnancy too and probably ate 1/2 a pineapple every week for at LEAST one full trimester. Apples were also on that list, as were eggs and salmon (of the wild pacific variety).

There are so many opinions out there of what to eat and what not to eat. It does get scary. I stayed away from cold cuts (unless piping hot, but then what's the point?), soft cheese (I still ate cheddar, mozza, and parm), and raw fish. I also ate soy and artificial sweeteners in moderation. (The soy one is a bit controversial.) It's funny because even things like peppermint and ginger tea aren't "certainties" anymore in terms of being safe. My attitude was that things that could make me or baby sick were no-nos, and things that were questionable in terms of potential effect on the baby were "in moderation". Good luck getting it all figured out!

I ate pineapple like it was going out of style the week before I was scheduled to be induced in the hopes that I would go into labor naturally and avoid all the monitoring and lame stuff that accompanies an induction. I ate the fresh stuff since I heard that the canning process destroyed the bromelain.

They started the induction on July 20th and I never dilated past 1 cm. Had My little girl at 10:30 PM on July 22nd via C section. Stupid pineapple failed me! I wouldn’t stress over it. Enjoy the cravings that aren’t screwing with you blood sugar while you can!

I agree with whoever said "don't eat anything that isn't food."

They say that you shouldn't have cold cuts because they could be infected with listeria (eeew). I took that to mean that spoiled cold cuts were bad, but I didn't worry about it if I had just opened the package. I guess you can nuke it to kill the listeria, but who wants to eat a hot cold cut sandwich?

They say to limit fish, particularly tuna, because of mercury. I don't really like fish anyway (byproduct of living in the midwest my whole life - we don't have good seafood here), so that was easy for me.

Don't eat sushi, though. It can give you worms. Again, midwest, so this was easy for me and I didn't give it any thought because I don't eat sushi when I'm not pregnant. I'm not sure if I would've listened if I had been a pregnant sushi lover. I guess I'd make sure that I was getting the best sushi I could find - to minimize the risk of parasites and food poisoning.

When they say "soft" cheese they're talking about brie and stuff. Just make sure it's pasteurized, and don't eat it if it's been sitting out on a buffet all night.

I avoided buffets in general when I was pregnant, because I didn't want to get food poisoning. Not because of any particular risk to the baby, it just sounded like it would really suck to have food poisoning while pregnant (and it did - I had rotavirus when I was pregnant with #2. It was hideous. Rotavirus doesn't have anything to do with food, but it has all the same delightful symptoms as food poisoning).

Don't eat at disreputable restaurants (duh). Think carefully about potlucks (potlucks gross me out - who knows what goes on in other peoples' kitchens?).

Beware of undercooked meat and eggs. Worms, salmonella, etc.

You probably should limit yourself to one or two caffeine-containing products per day, just because you don't want to have the baby in there bouncing off the walls (literally).

It all changes if you breastfeed. You have to avoid gassy foods (beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.) to prevent gas in the baby. It seems like the new "in" thing is to diagnose babies with lactose intolerance and make nursing mothers give up dairy. I think "lactose intolerant" is the new code word for "colicky," personally, but I've never had a baby who was either - only friends who have had babies who were diagnosed with it (knock on wood). I couldn't go near caffeine when I was nursing #1, but it didn't bother #2. I guess #1 was just particularly sensitive to it.

Above all, let common sense rule. Pineapple may contain some compound or another that can induce labor, but you'd probably have to eat a whole truckload of it to cause any trouble.

Amy

I, too, LOVED pineapple during my pregnancy (and before). My dietician never said anything about it except to wash the juice off before eating it (yeah, right!) I still cheated and ate pancakes with syrup occasionally! I had highs, I had lows... I had my son at 36 weeks and he was considered a preemie (5 ls 5 ozs). Well, you should see him now! He's almost 9 months old and is SO happy & healthy and a whopping 23 pounds!

I agree with Lisa -- keep the pineapple and soft cheeses in your diet, and drop Google from it. Especially since a search for "bromelain" turns up three hits from emedicine, two half-usable ones from Wikipedia, two articles that are more easily found in PubMed, and a million hits from kooks and cranks: homeopaths, naturopaths, and all the other quacks out there.

I am glad the Sparlings, including Miss BSparl, are doing well --

Felix.

Hi - my suggestion is that you refrain from google during and after pregnancy. The internet is filled with extreme horror stories and serve no purpose for you. Stay in touch with your docs. I know how you feel with regards to pregnancy with T1 Diabetes. I went through it twice. Here is a link to my blog:
http://www.jdrftalk.org/2009/10/19/sugar-mommy-encouragement-for-expectant-mothers-with-type-1-diabetes/
Take care, Shelly

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