An Iowa mother almost lost her son because of what she ate while pregnant.
In 2014, a woman named Lucinda gave birth to her son, Ezra, in Iowa, Little Things reports. Two weeks later, she noticed the boy was crying all day and acting strange. His skin started to turn red and he was hot to the touch
When Lucinda took Ezra's temperature, it was 102 degrees. Lucinda rushed Ezra to the hospital, where doctors told her the boy had a brain infection, listeria meningitis.
Listeria meningitis is typically acquired by a baby from its mother at the time of delivery. The disease crops up when the mother ate something that contains the bacteria while pregnant.
Adults have a healthy enough immune system to fights off listeria meningitis, so it poses little threat. But babies' immune systems are not yet fully developed and they are at risk. A pregnant woman must be careful about what she eats to avoid giving the infection to her baby.
Lucinda had eaten common deli meats, like cold cuts, salami, turkey and hot dogs. Refrigerated meats, cheeses, and deli products, when served cold, usually host listeria bacteria, which can live in refrigerated temperatures. Pregnant women are usually advised to avoid those foods.
The story has since gone viral on Facebook, with users swiftly responding. One user wrote, "I didn't know this- ate cold cuts the whole time I was pregnant 34 years ago. They never said anything back then about it being harmful. But I was always choosy about where I purchased my meats and the cleanliness of the deli dept, the meat slicers, etc. never bought pre-packaged products."
Another added, "Wondering why her doctor didn't inform her of this? My docs in 2010 and 2013 both told me I couldn't eat cold deli meats. Glad the baby is ok."
Doctors told Lucinda that if Ezra's meningitis had gone untreated, he would have died. She is now sharing her story so other mothers-to-be know the risks of listeria meningitis.