Can I eat goats cheese pregnant?

During pregnancy, it’s crucial to be mindful of your food choices. While some foods can benefit your health during this time, others can pose risks. Understanding which foods are safe and which should be avoided is essential. Goat cheese is one example of a food that requires consideration. Consuming dairy products like cheese is important during pregnancy as they provide essential nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin D, which support the baby’s development. If you enjoy eating cheese, particularly goat cheese, it’s important to determine whether it’s safe to consume during pregnancy. Let’s delve into that question!

Can I eat goats cheese pregnant?
Can I eat goats cheese pregnant?

Is Goat Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women?

Yes, pregnant women can consume goat cheese, but it’s important to be cautious about the type they choose. Goat cheese comes in two main varieties: hard and soft. Hard goat cheese is generally considered safe during pregnancy, while soft goat cheese may not be recommended. You can differentiate between the two by pressing your fingers into the cheese – soft cheese will leave an indent, while hard cheese will not. When purchasing goat cheese, be sure to check the expiration date and type. Additionally, cooking the cheese thoroughly, such as using it as a topping for heated dishes like pizza or pasta, can eliminate harmful yeast and bacteria, making it safer to consume during pregnancy.

Types of Goat Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women

The following varieties of goat cheese are deemed safe for consumption during pregnancy due to their minimal risk of causing food poisoning:

Hard Goat Cheese

Hard goat cheese, crafted from pasteurized milk, retains a slight moisture content, rendering it safe for pregnant women. The moisture in hard cheese inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, significantly reducing the risk of contamination. Both pasteurized and unpasteurized hardbound cheeses are considered safe for pregnant consumption.

Pasteurized Goat Cheese

Pasteurized cheese, regardless of variety, is generally safe for pregnancy, except for those ripened on the surface. Pasteurization, a process that eliminates bacteria, yeast, and mold present in raw milk, ensures the safety of pasteurized goat cheese varieties.

Sheep’s Milk Cheese

Cheeses made from sheep’s milk, such as feta and halloumi, are considered safe for pregnant women. Their production methods contribute to their safety. Feta cheese, with its high salt content, and halloumi cheese, boasting a semi-hard brined consistency, are less susceptible to bacterial contamination, thus making them a safe choice during pregnancy.

Types of Goat Cheese to Avoid During Pregnancy

Certain types of goat cheese should be avoided during pregnancy due to their potential to cause food poisoning. Steer clear of the following varieties when expecting:

– Soft Cheese: Soft goat cheese, often made from raw and unpasteurized milk, poses a higher risk of bacterial contamination and is generally considered unsafe during pregnancy.

– White Rind Cheese (Chevre): This type of soft goat cheese, akin to brie and camembert, is mold-ripened and carries a risk of listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection.

– Cheese with Ripened Surface or Mold-Ripened: Any goat cheese with a ripened surface or mold-ripened should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of listeriosis.

Listeriosis, caused by the listeria bacteria found in raw milk goat cheese, can result in flu-like symptoms, fever, and potentially severe complications such as blood infection and meningitis. It’s important to exercise caution and opt for safer cheese options during pregnancy to mitigate the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Advantages of Consuming Pasteurized Goat Milk Cheese During Pregnancy

Enjoying goat cheese during pregnancy can be beneficial if you opt for safe, pasteurized varieties. Here are some advantages of incorporating pasteurized goat cheese into your diet while pregnant:

– Rich Source of Dairy: Pasteurized goat cheese is a valuable source of dairy, promoting strong bone formation essential during pregnancy.

– Unique Fat Content: Unlike some other cheeses, goat cheese contains fats that are metabolized slowly by the body, minimizing the risk of sudden weight gain.

– Ease of Digestion: Goat cheese is generally easier to digest compared to other types of cheese, which can be particularly helpful in managing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

– Abundance of Essential Minerals: Pasteurized goat cheese boasts significant levels of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, copper, and iron, all crucial for supporting a healthy pregnancy.

– High Protein Content: With a high protein content, goat cheese contributes to the development of the growing baby during pregnancy.

– Healthy Fats: It contains various healthy fats, including short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, medium-chain triglycerides, and essential amino acids.

– Promotes Gut Health: Goat cheese aids in maintaining gut health, supporting overall digestive well-being.

– Lower Lactose Levels: Compared to many other cheeses, goat cheese typically contains lower levels of lactose, making it more suitable for individuals with lactose sensitivity.

– Rich in Antioxidants: Additionally, goat cheese is rich in antioxidants, which help combat free radicals and contribute to a healthy heart.

Tips for Consuming Goat Cheese During Pregnancy

Here are some helpful tips for safely enjoying goat cheese while pregnant:

– Cook Unsafe Varieties: Certain varieties of cheese, such as brie, blue cheese, and soft cheese, can be made safe for consumption by baking or deep-frying them.

– Opt for Heated Cheese: Cheese used as a topping on dishes like pizza is generally safe for pregnant women, as long as it has been heated thoroughly, not just warmed. The high temperature during baking ensures the cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy.

– Choose Safe Types: When craving goat cheese, opt for safe varieties and consider consuming it grilled. Enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich occasionally can be a tasty and safe choice during pregnancy.

– Heat for Safety: If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular cheese, simply heat it before consumption to ensure it’s safe for pregnant women.

By following these tips, you can enjoy goat cheese safely during pregnancy while minimizing any potential risks associated with consuming unpasteurized or unsafe varieties.

Popular Goat Cheese Dishes and Safety Precautions

Now that you’re aware of the numerous benefits of goat cheese, let’s explore some delicious dishes you can enjoy safely during pregnancy:

– Baked Goat Cheese: Baked goat cheese is safe to consume as it’s heated sufficiently in the oven, ensuring it’s thoroughly cooked. Make sure the cheese is heated until it’s hot, not just warm.

– Deep-Fried Goat Cheese: The high temperatures used for deep frying make deep-fried goat cheese safe to eat during pregnancy.

– Crumbled Goat Cheese: Enjoy crumbled goat cheese safely, especially if it’s made from hard goat cheese or goat cheese without a soft rind.

– Goat Cheese on Pizza: It’s safe to indulge in goat cheese on pizza, as the cheese is heated to a high temperature during baking, effectively eliminating any harmful bacteria.

– Feta Made With Goat Cheese: Opt for feta cheese made with pasteurized goat’s milk for a safe choice during pregnancy.

– Goat Cheese in Tarts or Quiches: Baking tarts and quiches in the oven ensures that goat cheese incorporated into these dishes is safe to eat.

– Goat Cheese in Pasta or Ravioli: Soft and pasteurized goat cheese is commonly used in pasta or ravioli dishes, making them a safe option for pregnant women.

– Grilled Goat Cheese: Grilled goat cheese is safe to eat when cooked until it’s steaming hot, ensuring it’s thoroughly heated.

How to Select the Right Type of Goat Cheese for Pregnant Women

If you’re considering goat cheese during pregnancy, opt for hard goat cheese. When shopping, carefully examine labels in the supermarket to ensure safety. Look for ingredients indicating the cheese is made from pasteurized milk. Avoid products labeled as prepared from raw milk or ‘au lait cru,’ as they are not safe for consumption during pregnancy. If purchasing from a local cheese farmer, inquire about the milk used and make your selection accordingly.

A Note of Caution

If you inadvertently consume goat cheese during pregnancy, whether safe or unsafe, and experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or food poisoning, promptly consult your midwife or doctor.

During pregnancy, it’s essential to be mindful of your diet. Before incorporating any new foods, including goat cheese or other items not considered safe for pregnant women, consult your doctor or a dietician. Make informed choices, prioritize a nutritious diet, and enjoy a healthy and joyful pregnancy!


Is most goat cheese pasteurized?

Most commercially produced goat cheese is pasteurized, meaning it has undergone a heating process to kill harmful bacteria. However, it’s always best to check the packaging or ask the producer to be sure.

What cheeses should be avoided during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, including certain types of goat cheese such as chèvre. These cheeses can potentially contain harmful bacteria like Listeria, which can pose risks during pregnancy.

Is goat pregnancy safe?

Yes, goat pregnancy is generally safe. However, like any pregnancy, it requires proper care and monitoring to ensure the health of both the mother and the offspring.

Can pregnant ladies eat goat’s cheese?

Pregnant women should be cautious about consuming goat cheese, especially soft varieties like chèvre, unless they are certain it has been made from pasteurized milk. Pasteurization eliminates harmful bacteria and makes the cheese safe for consumption during pregnancy.

Is all goat cheese pasteurized?

Not all goat cheese is pasteurized. Some artisanal or homemade varieties may be made from unpasteurized milk. It’s essential to read labels carefully or inquire about the pasteurization process if you’re unsure.

Is it safe to eat goat cheese?

Yes, goat cheese is generally safe to eat, especially when it has been pasteurized. It is a nutritious source of protein and calcium. However, individuals with lactose intolerance or allergies to dairy should avoid it, and pregnant women should be cautious, opting for pasteurized varieties.


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