Pregnancy is a very busy and stressful time for any mother.

Being nine months pregnant in general and having strange cravings for different foods all the time are quite challenging. Such worry, though, is nothing compared to finding out that your infant might have a potentially fatal condition. Sadly, this was the case for one Iowan mother. It turned out that a snack she had eaten had rendered her kid sick just two weeks after his birth.

In June 2014, a mother from Iowa brought her two-week-old son home from the hospital.

She then began to suspect that something wasn’t right. Lucinda, Erza’s mother, saw that her son was crying a lot more than she thought he should have been. Since Lucinda had already brought up her daughter, who was now two years old, she knew the difference between a cry indicating hunger and one indicating a more serious problem.

She started to worry. She then saw that her baby’s skin was turning red.

Lucinda took her child’s temperature swiftly. Lucinda rushed her young boy to the hospital before it was too late.

The doctors had to spinal tap Ezra in order to figure out what was wrong. It was found that Erza had a severe case of the brain infection listeria meningitis. Lucinda was frightened and appalled to learn that her lovely newborn boy had such a severe illness just two weeks after delivery.

Lucinda thought she had taken all the required precautions to decrease the possibility that her baby would get sick, just as she had done with her two-year-old daughter.

At that point, Lucinda learned that moms frequently transmit listeria meningitis to their newborns while they are giving birth. It’s possible that the mother consumed it in food right before giving birth.

What kind of food might have allowed her to pass this along to her son? Contaminated meat? Poisoned food, what is it? Well…

If you can believe it, it turns out to be cold cuts. The meat, which is very well-liked for lunch and snacks.

Deli meats and cheese are typically served cold and never heated after being chilled. Therefore, listeria bacteria may be present in them. These bacteria can survive at refrigerator temperature and stay on the meat if they are not destroyed by cooking. While deli meats are safe for adults to eat, babies’ immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight off the bacteria, especially in the first few days after birth.

Like any other meat product, deli meats should not be consumed by pregnant moms unless they have been thoroughly cooked. Ham, turkey, salami, bologna, and hot dogs should all be avoided unless they are cooked to the right temperature.

If Lucinda had attempted to wait out the illness, Ezra might have died from it. Thank goodness, her sharp thinking prevented that tragedy. Lucinda wants to be sure that all pregnant women are aware of the need to avoid this common food item in order to spare them from having the terrible experience she did.

I had no idea a common dish could be so bad for pregnant women. Only sushi and alcohol are often mentioned as foods that expectant women shouldn’t consume. We can certainly add cold cuts to that list to ensure everyone’s safety!