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You never thought that you would fit into the pregnancy stereotypes. But here you are, craving for ice cream so bad that you'll send your partner to the grocery store in the middle of the night for a pint of mint chocolate chip.
Why pregnant women love ice cream
Who doesn't love ice cream? Ice cream is by far one of the most popular desserts, both during and outside of pregnancy. Many people are drawn to its rich, creamy texture that is sweet and satisfying. Pregnant women are particularly drawn to the fact that it is cold, which is ideal as a pregnant woman's body feels warmer due to the extra blood flow and the increased work it does to grow another person! Ice cream is also high in calcium, which is believed to be a cause of cravings as some women may have a harder time getting enough of this mineral in their diet.
Safety in Eating Ice Cream While Pregnant
Let's talk about ice cream safety for a few minutes. Before digging your spoon into that mound of cold, sweet bliss, consider what you are going to consume. What types of ice cream are your best bets?
Ice cream bought in the store
In general, ice cream that you purchase from your local grocery store or big box store should be completely safe for you.
If you are tempted by the soft ice cream machine at a local restaurant, that should be fine too, as long as the ice cream is made with pasteurized milk. (The pasteurization process kills any potentially harmful bacteria that might lurk in the milk that the ice cream is made from.)
Homemade ice cream
Homemade ice cream, as tempting as it is, could be a little riskier. If it has raw eggs in it, you should probably avoid it. The raw eggs could be a salmonella food poisoning risk, and you don't want to open up to that possibility during pregnancy.
If your favorite flavor is strawberry or mint chocolate, then you can indulge your cravings with no problem. (Well, at least within the framework.)
However, you should stay away from caffeinated ice creams such as coffee flavored ice cream if you are already consuming caffeine in other forms. Green tea actually has some caffeine in it too, so this may be another flavor that you should skip or limit.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day for pregnant women. So the equivalent of caffeine in about 1 to 2 cups of coffee is likely safe during pregnancy - whether you consume that in the form of coffee, ice cream, or tea is entirely up to you. Note, however, that coffee ice cream contains significantly more calories and added sugar.