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Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

There’s no doubt that pregnancy can take a toll on your body, and complications such as food poisoning add a second layer of difficulty to an already challenging task. While nobody is immune to food-borne illnesses, pregnant women face an increased risk for food poisoning compared to others.

Additionally, severe cases of food poisoning could potentially harm their developing baby if left untreated. It’s essential to understand the dangers of food poisoning while pregnant and the steps you should take to treat it.

Why Are Pregnant Women More Vulnerable to Food Poisoning?

Pregnant women experience several changes in their bodies that go far beyond what the eye can see. In addition to the steadily growing bump on their stomach, women experience an increase in hormones, depleted energy, and a weaker immune system, among other symptoms.

Lower immune levels during pregnancy are perfectly normal to ensure the body does not reject the growing fetus. While this flux in immunity protects a woman’s developing baby, it makes them more vulnerable to germs that could cause food poisoning. That’s why pregnant women must utilize food safety techniques and avoid risky foods like sushi to lower their chances of developing food-borne illnesses.

Types of Food Poisoning & Their Impact on Pregnant Women

Each type of food poisoning has its own risks, and certain food-borne illnesses are more dangerous than others. You might be suffering from the following types of food poisoning:

E. coli

This bacterium is naturally present in food and animal and human intestines. While some E. coli strains are often harmless, others could cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. You could be infected by E. coli by consuming contaminated food products, water, or personal contact with people who have poor hygiene.


This bacterium causes Salmonellosis, which can contaminate certain foods, such as meat, poultry, and seafood. You could experience symptoms from Salmonella food poisoning anywhere between six hours and six days after consuming contaminated food products.

Aside from the typical symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, severe cases of Salmonella poisoning could result in an infection in the urine, blood, or other parts of the body. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, your baby could be affected.


Listeria causes a severe infection called Listeriosis, which is the third leading cause of food poisoning-related deaths in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control states that pregnant women are ten times more likely to get Listeria infection compared to others.

If infected, expecting mothers must act quickly because Listeria increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm labor. If you’re experiencing diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches, or a fever, you should visit your doctor to monitor your condition.

More severe cases of Listeria infection could cause headaches, confusion, sensitivity to light, and other symptoms. These symptoms could indicate that the infection has spread to the nervous system, which would require immediate medical assistance.

If you have a minor Listeria infection, replenish your body with plenty of fluids until you stop experiencing symptoms. More severe cases might require the use of antibiotics and other medical interventions.

Food Poisoning vs. Morning Sickness Symptoms

If you’re in the early stages of your pregnancy, vomiting might be nothing out of the ordinary. So, it could be hard to tell whether you’re experiencing an average bout of morning sickness or the effects of eating contaminated food products. You should pay close attention to your symptoms to ensure you don’t have food poisoning.

Morning sickness often includes the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Food Aversions

Food poisoning might produce additional symptoms and is often more GI-related. Along with nausea and vomiting, you could experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Urine, blood, or other bodily infection

What to Do if You Have Food Poisoning While Pregnant

If you’re experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, you must do the following to protect yourself and your baby:

  • Stay Hydrated – It’s essential to stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy, especially when you’re experiencing constant diarrhea and vomiting. Combining water with other fluids high in electrolytes could help you maintain healthy fluid levels until your symptoms disappear.
  • Get Plenty of Rest – Your body is hard at work giving your baby the nutrients they need while fighting off a food-borne illness at the same time. So, be sure to rest when you can to allow your body to heal.
  • Seek Medical Help – If your symptoms worsen and you can’t stay hydrated, you should seek medical help immediately. Your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic to treat your food-borne illness or provide you with an IV to avoid dehydration.
  • Report Your Food Poisoning – You should report your food poisoning incident to local health officials as soon as possible so they can track down the source. Reporting food poisoning not only helps you find who’s liable, but it also prevents others from getting sick.
  • Reach Out to a Food Poisoning Lawyer – You could be dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that require monetary compensation. A food safety lawyer knows how to find the parties at fault for your food-borne illness so you can recover what you lost.

Call the Food Safety Lawyers at OFT

When your body is working hard to grow your baby, the last thing you need is to suffer from a food poisoning infection that depletes vital nutrients for fetal development. Once you’ve sought medical help, your next step is to report your food poisoning incident and contact a food safety lawyer.

OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers have handled many cases like yours and know what it takes to hold all liable parties accountable for their actions. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation at (888) 828-7087.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash