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Can pregnant women eat cream cheese?

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Inside: Pregnant and craving cream cheese? Here’s whether or not cream cheese is safe during pregnancy, plus other tips for the first time mom!

If you’re a first time mom, you’ve probably heard about the dangers of eating soft cheese, deli meats, and sprouts.

But, what about cream cheese?

If you’re used to adding a smear to your morning bagel, you probably don’t want to break your routine.

Here’s what you should know about pregnancy and cream cheese!

Red haired woman holds up cream cheese bagel sandwich by her chin and smiles.

Is cream cheese safe for pregnant women?


Cream cheese is actually not a soft cheese, even though it’s smooth and spreadable.

Cream cheese is made from pasteurized milk where the ingredients are heated to the point that harmful bacteria are killed. This is also why sour cream is safe during pregnancy.

The pasteurization process is standard in American manufacturing, but may not be the case in other countries.

So, if you do any traveling or someone brings you a treat from another country, be sure to avoid cream cheese and other dairy products that you aren’t certain about.

What else should I know about cream cheese?

You’ll want to pay close attention to the expiration date of your cream cheese. These products often don’t last long in the refrigerator.

To avoid getting sick, check your labels frequently.

You should also make sure you don’t accidentally introduce bacteria into your cream cheese by double-dipping!

And while a little bit of cream cheese won’t affect your health, you should practice moderation as it is pretty high in fat content. Too much could lead to complications like gestational diabetes or an unhealthy pregnancy weight.

Here are some great options to substitute for cream cheese that aren’t as high in fat.

What foods should I avoid?

Cream cheese is okay to have, but here are several food items you should definitely avoid:

  • Unpasteurized dairy and juices
  • Soft cheeses that are unpasteurized like blue cheese and brie
  • Deli meat
  • Meat from organs
  • Undercooked eggs
  • Uncooked or undercooked fish and meat
  • Produce that is unwashed
  • Fish with high mercury levels like shark, tuna, marlin, swordfish, and mackerel
  • Raw Sprouts
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol, tobacco and non-prescription drugs

So go ahead and add some cream cheese to that bagel, just be sure to practice moderation!

Did you also know that food plays a large role in conceiving a baby? Here are 26 Foods That Increase Sperm Count, including the foods your partner should avoid when trying to increase male fertility.

And here are even more tips for the first time mom, including tips for first time mom labor, how to treat your postpartum body, newborn baby hacks, newborn sleep tips, and more!