As we mentioned in our post on Halloumi, cheese is a troublesome food for pregnant ladies with some cheeses being fine to others a big no-no.
In this post, we take a look at can pregnant women eat cream cheese to see which of the two buckets it falls into.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Cream Cheese?
Cream Cheese like Philadelphia is normally safe to eat during pregnancy because they aren’t ‘soft cheese’ but rather processed cheese that’s made with pasteurized milk.
That said, it’s always best to check the packaging if you’re in any doubt and you’ll also typically want to avoid home or restaurant-made cream cheese as this can be made with unpasteurized milk.
Where Does The Confusion Come From?
Most of the confusion around cream cheese comes from the fact that it’s soft. Both the American Pregnancy Association and the NHS recommend against eating soft cheeses during pregnancy.
With its soft, creamy texture, it’s easy to see how many people believe cream cheese to be a soft cheese.
To understand this a little more it helps to know what a soft cheese is.
What’s A Soft Cheese?
Soft doesn’t refer to the feel of the cheese but rather the process of how it’s ripened.
Soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert and Gorgonzola are made with unpasteurized milk which helps with the process of mold-ripening.
Due to the lower acidity, bacteria such as listeria finds it easier to grow in them during the ripening process.
It’s the bacteria rather than the texture that makes soft cheese off-limits during pregnancy.
So long as your cream cheese is made with pasteurized milk then it’s safe to eat during pregnancy.
Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese OK for Pregnant Women?
The good news for Phily lovers is that Philadelphia cream cheese is okay to eat during pregnancy as it’s made from pasturized milk.
Keep in mind though, smoked salmon Philadelphia may not be suitable during pregnancy.
What Other Brands Are Safe To Eat?
Based on our research, the following brands of cream cheese are safe to eat:
- Dairylea Cheese
- Kraft Cheese Spread
- Laughing Cow
- Merkt’s Cheese Spreads
- President Authentic Spreadable Pub Cheese
- Kaukauna Spreadable Cheese
Is Cream Cheese Frosting Safe To Eat During Pregnancy?
Did somebody bring you cupcakes and now you’re wondering if you’re okay to eat them? The good news is that cream cheese frosting or icing is completely safe to eat during your pregnancy especially if they’re frosted using the suggested brands above.
Is Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Safe for Pregnant Women?
So we’ve established that the cream cheese part of this dish is perfectly safe to eat but what about the smoked salmon? The truth is understanding if smoked salmon is safe to eat would take a whole article in and of itself and depends on how the fish is smoked and whether it’s served hot or cold.
While cream cheese is certainly tasty, it’s not particularly nutritious. It’s also full of saturated fat (the bad kind) so should really only be eaten in moderation during pregnancy.
If you do start developing a craving for it then try and opt for a low fat version.
The Bottom Line
Can pregnant women eat cream cheese? Absolutely! So long as it’s made using pasturized milk, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy in modoration.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.