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“IS SASHIMI SAFE?”


Q.    I have abstained from eating sashimi (raw fish) since I got pregnant. Is it safe to eat now that I have given birth?  I am breastfeeding
 
 

A.     The danger of eating sashimi is that of getting food poisoning.  This would happen if the raw fish was contaminated with bacteria or parasites.  When a mother gets food poisoning, symptoms might include vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea.

According to the *LLLI ( La Leche League International) Breastfeeding Answer Book (pg 458), when a mother has food poisoning, it usually stays localised in her gastrointestinal tract and does not pass into her milk.  As such, breastfeeding can continue and poses no danger to the the baby.  The breastfeeding mother with diarrhoea and vomiting however,  will need to ensure that she drinks enough liquids to maintain her fluid balance and avoid dehydration.

Only in the rare cases where food poisoning becomes systemic (meaning the bacteria has passed into the mother’s bloodstream and her milk), breastfeeding should be discontinued until blood tests are negative.
 
 


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