Listeria hysteria: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Last week I convinced myself I’d contracted Listeria.

I’d been trying to do too many things at once in the kitchen and found myself using the same knife to cut some cake that I’d earlier used to open a packet of frozen pork. I realised what I’d done AFTER I’d eaten the cake. Of course.

I’m normally super super careful about hygiene; I’ve become something of a germ-a-phobe since I got pregnant. I wash my hands three thousand times a day and make my husband do the same (he does this begrudgingly whilst muttering under his breath). So I couldn’t believe that I’d used the same pork contaminated knife to slice my freshly baked cake.

I immediately jumped on google to assess the risk factor. If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s to NEVER GOOGLE ANYTHING HEALTH RELATED!!!! If I could round up all the fear-mongering authors of online health articles and give them a kick up the ass I would happily do so.

Within half an hour of reading about listeria, I’d decided I’d contracted it and put our baby at huge risk. Cue a hysterical phone call to one of the nurses at my OB clinic. She asked me if I had any symptoms, I hadn’t but I’d read that some people can contract it and be unaware. I came away from the call feeling as panic-stricken as I had before.

In the end, I went into my OB clinic which is what I should have done in the first place. My OB assured me that listeria is very rare and he’d never seen any cases of it and that it wasn’t even associated with pork. I could have saved myself a lot of tears and panic if I had just asked my OB for advice instead of turning to Google! I still asked for a blood test just to be completely sure; the results came back normal 🙂

If you’re ever genuinely worried about anything pregnancy related, please just book an appointment with your OB. There’s a reason medical training takes years and years. There’s a reason why medical students spend a fortune on study books rather than hopping online to do their studying. A little knowledge gathered from Google can be a dangerous thing.


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