8 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
One thing you will come to learn when you become pregnant if you didn’t already know them, is that pregnancy is a delicate time in a woman’s life. You have a new life growing inside of you and you have to exercise the utmost care to ensure they grow and develop as they should.
There will be things you must do and often too as well as things you absolutely must avoid for you and your baby’s continued good health.
One of such things is food. While you can eat just about anything pre-pregnancy, some foods will have to become a sort of taboo, that is until you carry your baby to term and even a little afterward.
This post right here presents you will eight foods to avoid during pregnancy for various reasons and it’s best you know what these are if you are planning to get pregnant or already are.
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8 Worst Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
1) Raw or Undercooked Eggs
This is one meal you want to avoid at all costs. Raw or partially cooked eggs increase your risks of salmonella.
Salmonella causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe discomfort. Babies who get this infection will present with diarrhea, fever, and even meningitis.
Eggs should be boiled for 12 -15 minutes or until the whites and yolks become hard to remove every risk of this infection.
You also want to ensure you avoid every meal with raw or undercooked eggs as these could also present the same risk.
2) Raw or Undercooked Meat
Again with raw food, raw or partially cooked meat should also be avoided. Raw meat contains toxoplasma, a parasite that could cause severe damage to your baby.
Other bacteria you can find in raw and undercooked meat include listeria and salmonella and since pregnant women are ten times at risk of listeria, you want to ensure your meat is fully cooked before you consume it.
3) Unpasteurized Milk
Unpasteurized milk also increases your risk of listeria in pregnancy.
Listeria causes an illness called listeriosis and presents with symptoms such as chills, fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, and diarrhea. In some cases, it comes with no symptoms at all, making it much easier to pass it on to your baby.
Listeria has been linked to a high risk of miscarriage, preterm labour, and even stillbirth.
4) Liver Products
Liver and liver products have a high dose of vitamin A, which is bad for your baby.
Excess vitamin A found in products like liver sausage, all types of liver, pátè and vitamin A supplements could cause congenital birth defects in your baby.
Alcohol is bad in pregnancy as even a small amount could get passed to your baby through the umbilical cord, causing a myriad of health issues and complications.
Alcohol is much harder on your developing baby due to the length of time it stays in their bloodstream, since your baby’s body breaks down alcohol much slower leading to possible lifelong health complications.
Some of these complications you can expect to see in you and your baby include:
- Premature labour
- And a series of long-term medical issues and birth defects including behavioral problems, learning difficulties, cerebral palsy, and heart defects.
Read Also: 8 Fun Facts About Morning Sickness
Caffeine is another food choice you want to limit during pregnancy. Like alcohol, excess caffeine increases your risk of a miscarriage.
It goes further to promote difficult labour and low birth weight in your baby.
For caffeine lovers, you don’t necessarily have to stop your caffeine intake altogether, but you do have to limit it to no more than 200mg a day. This equates to two cups of instant coffee or espresso.
Bear in mind also, that other drinks like cola, tea, and soda also contain some level of caffeine, so you want to factor this in if taking any of these drinks.
7) Fish High in Mercury
Fish is a good source of protein, iron and zinc, and other beneficial nutrients and vitamins crucial in pregnancy.
However, you want to avoid all fish that come high in mercury as too much of it could lead to a buildup in your bloodstream damaging your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
Fish like swordfish, shark, and king mackerel should be avoided to be replaced by the much safer and more nutritious options like salmon, clam, catfish, crab, cod, trout, shrimp, and tilapia.
8) Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly under running before eating as the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is known to live on vegetables and could easily get into the body from unwashed vegetables.
Toxoplasma causes the disease toxoplasmosis which could lead to eye and brain damage in babies.
How to Treat Infections During Pregnancy
Seeing how potentially harmful getting one or more infections during pregnancy is, the best safety course for you and your baby is to try to prevent them as best you can.
Besides avoiding raw and undercooked foods as well as washing foods thoroughly before eating, here are a few other ways to prevent infections during pregnancy:
- Wash cutlery, and every item used when preparing meals. You also want to clean tabletops and wash dish clothes if need be.
- Avoid sharing food or drinks with other people.
-Wash your hands often
- Avoid cross-contamination by washing bowls and knives before using them for other items.
What To Eat During Pregnancy
The best foods to eat during pregnancy are foods that give you and your developing baby the nutrients you need.
Your meals should contain all the classes of foods Inge right proportion. This balanced diet will ensure you boh are well-nourished and stay healthy.
There really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet for expecting moms. You should try out different food options and combinations until you find the ones that sit well with you.
Here are some food options for expecting moms:
- Vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, celery, sweet potato, asparagus, cauliflower, corn, squash, and salad greens are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Proteins like fish, chicken, eggs, beans, turkey, nuts, and pork.
- Grains like oatmeal, cereals, pasta, and brown rice.
- Fruits like bananas, strawberries, apples, citrus, pears, and avocados.
- Dairy like yogurt, cheese, and milk.
- Healthy fats and oil.
- Water ( 8 – 12 cups daily to prevent dehydration which can cause dehydration which in turn affects your amniotic level.