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I Was Infected with Listeria When I Was Pregnant

camel riding with my son who survived listeria in the womb
Here is my son today, a healthy survivor of listeria infection in the womb.

About eleven years ago, when I was nine months pregnant with my first child, I accidentally became infected with listeria, a bacteria that spreads through unhygienic food handling practices. Since listeriosis (listeria infection) can cause stillbirth, I was treated with massive doses of i.v. antibiotics over several days. Thankfully, my baby was born alive, but we have been dealing with the consequences ever since.

You can ready the whole story here as it has been posted on the Stop Foodborne Illness wall.

Listeria is the same bacteria that killed a bunch of people who ate unwashed cantaloupe a few summers ago. Here are some tips on how you can stay safe from foodborne illness.

Those life-saving antibiotics given to a developing fetus killed the listeria in the placenta but also destroyed my son’s digestive system before he even emerged from the womb. No one had mentioned the long-term effects this treatment might have on the baby that survived it.

The quest to heal his body led me on a direct path to the dietary management therapies I employ today as a naturopathic doctor (ND) and Certified LEAP Therapist. It’s fair to say that getting listeria irrevocably changed my life, my career, and my passions.

I’m thankful to have found a way to heal my son and turn him from a failure-to-thrive baby into a healthy and robust almost-11-year-old, and to be able to use the knowledge gained from my journey to help others heal and recover their health.

I could not have foreseen the path my life has taken, and I thank you all for reading and taking me along on your own journey toward health.


3 Comments on “I Was Infected with Listeria When I Was Pregnant

  1. Hi i would like to know if you could please help me.

    I have read a story about a pregnant women having lasteria while pregnant i would like to know if i am at risk.

    I have a juicer which i did not use in about 4 months, i being 22 weeks preganat decided to juice, i rinsed the juicer and noticed brown gunk in the juicer i thought that if i rinse it with dishwashing liquid the germs will die and it will be fine to drink since the brown gunk didnt want to go away.

    I than juiced and drank the juice. 

    When i looked through the nossel of the juicer there was a whole lot of thick buildup of brown gunk, so the juice had to flow through there to get into the glass that i drank.

    I would like to know does this put me at risk of having an infection while pregnant?? 

  2. One of the most crucial ways of syintag healthy is influenced by our diet, specifically the products we choose to consume. I strongly believe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should receive more funding from the government in order to guarantee the high quality and safety of our food supply. I feel safer knowing that the foods I eat will not harm my body due to the thorough inspections it underwent before packaging for distribution. The outbreak of Listeria, a fatal foodborne illness originally found in cantaloupe, is a key concern for consumers nationwide as people continue to fall victims to the contaminated fruit. I think the government should focus on correcting current issues and weaknesses in the food system because what is the point of worrying about future problems when we can attempt to fix the ones we have? It is shocking that one in six people become ill from foodborne illnesses each year, and to think I’ve been so naive believing that I was invulnerable to illnesses pertaining to food. Recently I’ve been reading food labels and trying to be more attentive about the preparation and consumption of the foods I eat because of my values of health and education. Although this type of news can cause panic and lead to other myths about certain fruits, the public should be aware of both the health benefits and risks of food products.

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