The Canadian government, the American government, and several other countries have guidelines and labels on how certain products may affect pregnancy. But do you always have to follow these pregnancy product labels, and what do they mean? Let’s dive in!
Pregnancy Product Labels
First of all, you may be wondering what exactly I mean by “pregnancy product labels.” Basically, I’m talking about any labels that include warnings or risks for pregnancy. For example, “Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing.”
But I also feel that these product labels, while important and beneficial, may also cause a bit too much worry in some cases. Let me explain!
The CFIA in Canada has pretty stringent recommendations for what pregnant women should and shouldn’t eat. For example, you end up on high alert for bacteria-borne illness from raw meat and shellfish, but also from deli meats due to listeria. Even imported cheeses like brie are right now off-limits due to listeria concerns!
There are even questions about whether or not pregnant women should consume caffeine, because caffeine during the first trimester has been linked to miscarriages.
But I do think it’s possible that warning pregnancy product labels, from government agencies like the FDA and CFIA, can create TOO much of a worry for pregnant consumers!
Because of course we are all wanting to be extra careful…which means we might end up avoiding all caffeine during our whole pregnancy; being terrified that we’re going to get food poisoning after every meal; refusing to eat meat no matter how it’s been cooked; being super vigilant about expiration dates and throwing things out before they expire…and I don’t need to tell you that these measures are probably a little overzealous!
So, while I think these pregnancy product labels and warnings are great, I think sometimes the stress caused by worrying over every product label and every possible risk, outweighs the health benefits to you and your baby!
Are Govt. Agencies’ Warning Labels Always Necessary??
For example, Canada not only has the CFIA but also the NHPD to decide what guidelines of/pregnancy product labels are displayed. And to avoid liability, they will put a label on exotic ingredients that they don’t have a lot of data or studies on yet, even if it’s safe…Many of these exotic ingredients include perfectly natural superfoods. But if the data and studies aren’t definitive yet, then a “just in case” warning label is added, even though the product is almost certainly safe!
Overall, other than the very well-known foods to avoid during pregnancy, like raw (or undercooked) meats, fish, and eggs, and unpasteurized milk, you are pretty safe to enjoy food during pregnancy the same way you did before, and same way with vitamins and supplements you had already been taking!