DSC_0058There are certain suggestions made about foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, and those suggestions may vary from one healthcare provider tot he next. So, how do you really make decisions about the types of food that shoud be eaten? You may have heard that during pregnancy certain types of soft cheeses should be avoided, especially if they are unpasteurized. Why do you need to avoid them? The suggestion was made originally because of listeria, which is a disease that is quite rare and could be potentially dangerous especially for women who are pregnant.

The theory in our culture is that bacteria (such as lysteria) make unpasteurized milk products unsafe for consumption by humans. A healthy person’s immune system might be able to handle soft cheese in small amounts, but pregnant women – who need even higher levels of Vitamin A and calcium which can be gained from dairy – shouldn’t allow herself to be subject to contamination.

Over the years, the food regulation companies and medical community has done vast amounts of work to show that unpasteurized dairy products are unsafe and harfum for human consumption, and it is interesting to see how hard this agenda has been pushed since the invention of pasteurization. But, if you look for the real truth, you will see that these are actually unfounded assumptions! During pregnancy, you need to consume raw dairy products more than ever, and at the same time it is good to know that there are a few things to look for when buying these products. This article will outline the truth behind raw dairy products and how to safely use them, especially for women during pregnancy.

Raw Dairy is Safe if it Comes From Proper Sources

There are several problems with the “research studies” that claim that raw dairy contains foodborne illness and bacteria. First of all, the studies that are conducted look at milk that is produced to be pasteurized. Conventional milk comes from dairy farms that use unhealthy practices, such as giving the cattle a diet of grains which is unnatural for their species, fill the animals with antibiotics and hormones, and the animals are kept in poor living conditions that are cramped and dirty, allowing disease to easily pass from one cow to the next.

Another problem is that when milk is produced for pasteurization it is stored in large tanks, and these tanks do not abide by safety precautions since the milk is in pre-pasteurization stage. Testing conventional milk at this point shows that there are plenty of harmful organisms and bacteria present!

In comparison, certified raw dairy farmers treat their animals in a humane way. The cows are fed a natural diet of hay and grass, and antibiotics and hormones are avoided. Additionally, allowing the cattle to roam through the pastures helps them to get exericse. The space to roam doesn’t fester disease like cramped quarters does.

When farmers are certified raw dairy producers, they have specific safety precautions that are followed… and these precautions are not required by conventional farmers. The certified farmers take many more precautions to be sure that the milk comes from the cow uncontaminated and healthy, and it stays that way. Because of these precautions, if those same safey tests were run on dairy products that were produced to be consumed raw, often there are very little, if any, contaminants or potential problems for foodborne illness!

The Best Source is Raw, Grassfed Dairy

Raw dairy that comes from grassfed animals is not only unharmful if it comes from a good production source, but it’s actually more beneficial than dairy that has been pasteurized. The pasteurization process subjects the milk to a specific certain heat temperature for a length of time, which is supposed to kill any bacteria if it is present in the milk. But, the problem with pasteurization is that this heating process actually removes much of it’s nutrition, healthy bacteria, and essential enzymes. Because of the loss of these essential food elements, when you drink milk that has been pasteurized it actually isn’t much different drinking water… except it may actually be worse than water, because about 4.7 of 100,000 cases of foodborne illness is caused by pasteurized milk!

Drinking milk that hasn’t been stripped of those nutrients and vital enzymes means that you are providing your body with higher levels of Vitamin A, calcium and essential digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes in milk are beneficial for promoting good digestion and they can also promote good health by improving the nutritional absorption from the foods that you are eating.

If you aren’t use to using raw dairy, you may begin to experience symptoms that seem like a small case of food poisoning in the beginning. But, you actually aren’t sick, it is the result of your intestinal system being cleaned out so that in the future it can function normally. Give it a little time, and you will become acclimated to the raw dairy, and you won’t want to go back because your body will begin feeling much healthier are you will functioning with more energy and vitality!

Where to Find the Best Raw Dairy for Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your body is in need of the nutrition and enzymes that are in raw dairy products, but it may be difficult to find a source of high quality, raw dairy products. In fact, some states have made it illegal for unpasteurized butter and milk to be sold by farmers! However, sales of raw dairy are legal in some areas, and you may be able to track down a farmer that is willing to sell it to you. For more inormation, visit www.realmilk.com which lists locations where you may be able to buy such milk.

Don’t fret if you live in an area where it is illegal to sell raw milk to a consumer, because a loophole has been found by some dairy farmers. These farmers offer options for a person to buy part of an actual cow… the consumer owns a “share” of the animal. Since you are a part-owner of the cow, the responsibilities are to help fund for the keeping and care of the animal, and in turn you will receive a certain percentage of the milk that is produced. Because you technically own the cow, you can not be legally prevented from using raw dairy products that are produced!

Even though certified, raw, grassfed dairy products are the best, if they are hard to come by you may consider using a substitute such as fermented dairy products like kefir or high quality yogurt. When the fermenation process occurs, the healthy bacteria is added back into the product, which increases the nutrition level when compared with conventional, pasteurized, non-fermented dairy products.

For more details about consuming raw dairy during pregnancy, inlcuding additional information about pregnancy nutrition, read the book Healing Our Children. This book contains lots of information about most natural and healthiest way to promote a healthy pregnancy by making good food choices in your life.

Photo Credit: zeev72 from Flickr