What Type Of Cheese Can I Eat While Pregnant

Cheeses comprise a large variety of products that range from smooth, soft cheeses to hard, harder-than-wood blocks, and even those with edible rinds. Eating cheese when pregnant can be quite challenging, with so many varieties, and not knowing which ones are safe to eat, leaving you with more questions than answers. So, what type of cheese is okay to eat while pregnant?

Firstly, if you happen to be pregnant, it’s better to avoid cheeses that have been processed as they may contain more bacteria than unpasteurized cheese. Soft cheese and pre-packaged cheese slices are especially risky due to the high risk of Listeria. Soft ripened surface cheeses such as Brie and Camembert are not recommended for pregnant women. Similarly, queso blanco, queso fresco, feta, are also on the no-no list while pregnant. According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should be entirely avoiding all these in order to prevent any possible complications due to foodborne illnesses.

Reputable brands of hard cheese are okay to eat when pregnant. Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, and Parmesan are all safe. Try sticking to the brands you usually buy, and if you’re buying from a cheese counter, make sure the cheeses are hard and don’t have any soft sections. You should also make sure the cheese has been safely stored in a sealed container.

These are also the cheeses that you’re most likely to find in pre-packed cheese slices, so feel free to use pre-packaged hard cheese. However, make sure the cheese has been kept in its original packaging until you are ready to consume it.

Most types of cottage cheese are safe to consume when pregnant. However, it’s important to watch the type of cottage cheese you are eating, and to avoid those made with raw or unpasteurized milk. For this reason, it’s better to opt for no-fat cottage cheese as the ingredients will mostly likely have have been pasteurized.

When it comes to cream cheese, those made with pasteurized milk are considered safe for pregnant women. You should also make sure the cream cheese is within its expiry date, and has been stored correctly. Furthermore, cream cheese usually comes with additives such as herbs or garlic, so be sure to read the label when buying cream cheese, as it’s better to stick with varieties that have these additives only in very small quantities.

In conclusion, pregnant women can enjoy most type of cheese, if they make sure to stay away from soft, unpasteurized cheeses (especially those from delis and grocery counters) and pre-packaged cheese slices. Hard cheeses, cream cheese, and cottage cheese are generally safe to eat, but it is important to double check the ingredients and make sure of the safety of those products.

Storing Cheeses While Pregnant

When pregnant, it is important to ensure that the cheeses you eat have been stored safely before eating. It is important to check for any mould or mouldy parts on the cheese, as these can carry dangerous levels of bacteria that can cause allergy reactions or illnesses. It is generally advised to keep cheeses stored in the fridge as low as possible to prevent any bacteria or mould growth.

It is also important to note not to let any kind of cheese sit at room temperature for more than two hours, as this can further allow the bacteria to grow rapidly. When using pre-packaged cheese, it is best to keep them in a sealed container or a tight-fitting container to prevent bacteria entering the product.

Cheeses to Avoid While Pregnant

In addition to steering clear of soft cheeses, pregnant women are advised to avoid blue veined cheeses, such as Stilton and Roquefort as these contain high levels of histamine, which can have adverse effects on the baby. It is also important to avoid soft goats’ cheeses such as Feta and Chevre, as these are more likely to contain the harmful bacteria.

It is a good idea to clarify with your healthcare provider regarding any other cheeses you should avoid during the entire course of pregnancy.

Ingredients in Cheese

It is important to consider the ingredients in the cheese when pregnant. If you are consuming pre-packaged cheese slices, check the ingredients list for additives mentioned, such as whey, milk solids, casein and butter. Choose cheeses that do not contain rBST, as this has a growth hormone intervention.

It is also a good idea to look out for natural preservatives and additives, such as lactic acid, or microbial cultures, as these are beneficial to your health and have no adverse side effects. Some cheeses may contain artificial food colourings or preservatives, or even flavours, so take the time to read the full list of ingredients and make sure these are suitable for pregnant women.

Nutrients and Vitamins in Cheese

Cheese can be a great source of essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant women, as it provides protein, as well as calcium and iron. It is also considered as a high-energy food, and can be an excellent source of energy for pregnant women. The Vitamin B2 present in cheese is also beneficial for pregnant women, as it helps improve the function of the nervous system.

Cheese also contains Vitamin A, which helps promote healthy teeth and bones, as well as Vitamin K, which helps the body absorb calcium more efficiently. Cheese also helps to promote healthy skin, as it is rich in fatty acids, which helps keep skin hydrated and moisturized.

Eating Cheese While Pregnant

While cheese can be a nutritious part of a pregnant woman’s diet, it is important to be aware of how much cheese you are eating. Women should aim to have roughly two to four servings of dairy per day, including cheese, during their pregnancy.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should aim for around three ounces of hard cheese per day. This would be equivalent to one slice of hard cheese, two tablespoons of shredded cheese, or one-half ounce of grated cheese. It is important to monitor the quantity of cheese a pregnant woman is eating, and to never exceed four servings per day.


Considering the variety of cheeses available, it can be difficult to make the right choice when it comes to eating cheese while pregnant. By following the guidelines above, pregnant women are able to enjoy cheese in moderation and safely. It is important to stick to hard cheeses, and to double check the ingredients list of pre-packaged cheeses, while also keeping an eye on the expiration date. It is also important to store cheese safely in the refrigerator, and to avoid letting any cheese sit at room temperature for longer than two hours. Finally, pregnant women should aim to have two to four servings of cheese per day.

Sharon Pruden

Sharon E. Pruden is a passionate advocate for dairy products and the people who produce them. She has written extensively on the topics of cheese, yogurt, milk, and other dairy products and their importance to a healthy diet. She is committed to educating consumers about the nutritional benefits of dairy products and advocating for the dairy industry.

Leave a Comment