During pregnancy, it's essential to take many precautions to care for the health of both the expectant mother and the baby. There are certain habits and foods that it's advisable to avoid during pregnancy.
Examples include alcohol consumption, raw fish, and seafood. However, these are not the only ones. Another recommendation is to refrain from consuming ham, despite it being healthy.
But what happens afterward? Can you eat ham after giving birth? At Enrique Tomás, we'll tell you everything.
Why is it not recommended to eat ham during pregnancy?
First and foremost, not all pregnant women need to follow this recommendation; it depends on the results of toxoplasmosis tests.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite found in raw, undercooked, or smoked meats, such as ham. While it's not necessarily dangerous, it's not advisable to contract it during pregnancy, as it can affect both the mother and the baby, potentially causing symptoms ranging from fever to hearing impairment.
If a pregnant woman lives with a cat and regularly handles its litter, it's likely that her body has already encountered toxoplasmosis, and therefore, she has developed antibodies. However, if this is not the case, tests will reveal exposure to the parasite, and she will need to abstain from consuming Iberian ham and other cured meats for a while.
But what about after giving birth?
After nine long months and finally meeting their little one, mothers gradually try to return to their daily lives and habits. However, they are concerned about the potential diseases they might transmit while breastfeeding.
Firstly, it's crucial to understand that toxoplasmosis cannot be transmitted through contact or breast milk. Therefore, after giving birth, mothers can safely enjoy Iberian acorn-fed ham or Iberian grain-fed ham without any concerns. Colds or tonsillitis are also not contagious through breast milk, so there's nothing to worry about.
When a mother experiences the initial symptoms of any of these infections, her baby has already been exposed to the contagion. However, because the mother has developed antibodies, she passes them on to her baby through breast milk, providing additional protection. Nevertheless, if the mother is taking any medication to recover from these discomforts, she should check if it's compatible with breastfeeding, as not all medications are.
So, can you eat ham after giving birth? Yes.
The only cases where it's recommended to avoid eating ham pertain to the pregnancy period. This recommendation should be followed by women whose tests reveal that they lack antibodies against toxoplasmosis. In addition to refraining from consuming cured meats, including ham, and other raw, undercooked, or smoked meats, these women should also avoid water of unknown potability and handling cat feces.
With that said, you can now raid the fridge and indulge in that little treat you've been waiting for!