Food Poisoning When Pregnant | How Long Does It Last

Food Poisoning When PregnantFood poisoning when pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and the journey includes a lot of changes in the body as well as in taste. The whole diet changes with changes in the physical appearance. Sometimes your favorite food becomes the worst or vice versa.

With a lot of new taste, mother to need to take care about the choices of food because it will also affect the growth of the baby. During pregnancy, body aims to grow the child who is inside the womb and in such a situation intake of proper diet is important.

There is no doubt that pregnancy is an amazing period for every woman, but carrying a child in the womb is not an easy task.  Carrying a life inside the body is wonderful yet tough. There may be some risks associated with health and one of them is FOOD POISONING.

Food safety is an important issue for pregnant women.  Food poisoning when pregnant can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery also but this happens in the worst cases only. If you witness food poisoning symptoms then you should let your doctor know right away.

Food poisoning as the term itself says is poisoning (health sickness) due to food (contaminated food). When you eat contaminated food which makes you feel sick or makes you sick that is food poisoning. When you eat something that contains bacteria or virus or toxin which can make you sick is what food poisoning when pregnant is.

It is a little difficult to figure out that sickness is due to food poisoning or is there any other cause or is it morning sickness. Food poisoning when pregnant is little more harmful than it is in the usual days.

There are some signs of food poisoning such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fever or weakness is also experienced in food poisoning.

Causes Of Food Poisoning

During pregnancy, the main aim of the body is to grow the child and most of the energy goes in that task only. Pregnant women need to be careful about the diet as well as the cleanliness and healthy food.

Following are the causes of food poisoning:


As far as food poisoning is concerned, bacteria is the most prevalent cause of food poisoning. There are some dangerous bacteria such as Listeria, E.coli, and Salmonella. Salmonella is the biggest culprit of serious food poisoning according to the observations.


Food poisoning when pregnant is due by parasites is not as common as food poisoning caused by bacteria, but parasites spread through food are very dangerous.

There is a parasite called Toxoplasma which is seen most often and typically found in cat litter boxes. Parasites can live undetected in your digestive tract for years.

However, people having weak immune systems and also pregnant women may experience the risk of serious side effects if parasites start living in their intestines.


Another cause of food poisoning is virus. A virus called norovirus causes over 19 million cases of food poisoning each year. Hepatitis A virus (a serious condition) can be transmitted through food.

Can Food Poisoning Cause Birth Defects

Food poisoning when pregnant most of the time does not affect the child. Food poisoning is dangerous but not all the time. In some cases, food poisoning can cause birth defects because sometimes it is dangerous to baby’s health too.

There are a few types of food poisoning one of them is Listeria. Listeria is a bacteria which is mainly found in uncooked food, unpasteurized cheeses and can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, infection or death to the newborn baby.

How Long Does Food Poisoning Last?

Mostly, food poisoning when pregnant lasts about 1 to 2 days and their symptoms resolve on its own. How long does food poisoning last or how long will it take is very important so that doctor can be called if it does not come under control.

But if symptoms do not resolve within time then the affected person should contact their healthcare professional.

Listeria In Pregnancy Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, there are various types of food poisoning when pregnant and one of them is Listeriosis which is caused by Listeria bacteria. This bacteria can be passed to your baby while pregnant.

If the bacteria pass to the baby then it causes major problems like:

  • Miscarriage is it happened when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Stillbirth happens when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Low birth weight is when a baby is underweight which means the baby’s weight is less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
  • Life-threatening infections can be occurred such as bacteria in the blood or infection in body or brain. Swelling in the spinal cord and other health problems related to the baby.

Symptoms of listeriosis usually start a few days after eating contaminated food by Listeria. Listeria lasts for a short period, not for up to 2 months. They are usually flu-like.

To detect listeria in pregnancy symptoms-

  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache 
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or diarrhea 
  • Seizures

Norovirus While Pregnant

Norovirus in simple language is known as stomach flu. Norovirus while pregnant feels like an unpleasant disease in which the pregnant woman can contract but it is not very dangerous either to the baby or the mother to be.

The infection caused by norovirus is mistaken as food poisoning but with proper treatment done timely can help the infection to get corrected.

Mother to be usually get affected by norovirus in public places such as hospitals, schools, railway stations, day care centers, restaurants, etc. swimming pools, ice machines, lakes and uncooked food are also a source of infection.

Pregnant women with low immunity power get infected at the earliest, leading to the food poisoning when pregnant.

Warning Signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased urine
  • listlessness

Food Poisoning While Pregnant When To Call Doctor

Food safety is an important issue for pregnant women.  Food poisoning when pregnant can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery also but this happens in the worst cases only.

If you witness food poisoning symptoms then you should let your doctor know right away. When you have too much mercury in your body, you should get your body checked.

Food poisoning while pregnant when to call the doctor is the question which is very important because now everything is related to the body as well as the baby. The correct time to call a doctor or inform a doctor is important.

By testing urine, mercury content can be known by a proper test. If your mercury level is high then your doctor will recommend you do some changes in dietary intake and will recommend you to make some changes in seafood consumption.

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