The Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are some foods you should give up or cut down on during pregnancy, because they could cause food poisoning or harm your baby. Here is a list of suggested food to avoid for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Cheeses that are mould-ripened, such as brie and camembert, and soft blue-veined cheeses, such as roquefort, aren’t safe to eat in pregnancy. Also steer clear of unpasteurised soft cheeses, such as those made from sheep and goat’s milk, as these could contain listeria bacteria. Listeria can cause an infection called listeriosis that may harm your baby.
Unpasteurised milk (green-top milk) and unpasteurised soft cheeses aren’t safe to eat in pregnancy. They are more likely to contain bacteria that could give you food poisoning. However, hard cheeses such as parmesan and pecorino, even if they have been made with unpasteurised milk, are safe to eat, as the risk of listeriosis in these is low.
Avoid eating raw or runny eggs, as they may contain salmonella bacteria. However, eggs that have the British lion quality stamp are less likely to contain salmonella, as they come from hens that have been vaccinated against salmonella. To be on the safe side, you may prefer to cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm, as this destroys salmonella bacteria.
Don’t eat mousse, homemade ice cream or fresh mayonnaise from delis or restaurants, as these may contain raw egg. However, supermarket salad dressings and ice creams are usually made using pasteurised egg, so are safe to eat.
- Liverisn’t safe to eat during pregnancy, as it contains high levels of retinol (vitamin A), which may be harmful to your baby.
- Meats other than liver are safe to eat, as long as they have been cooked until piping hot throughout, with no pink or bloody bits, and until the juices run clear. Take extra care if cooking barbecued meat, or microwavable ready mealsthat contain meat.
- You may prefer not to eat cured meats, such as parma ham, because of the small risk of listeriosis.
- Don’t eat raw fish or raw shellfish, such as oysters, when you’re pregnant, as it may cause food poisoning.
- Smoked salmon is considered safe to eat in pregnancy, as the curing process destroys listeria bacteria. However, if it hasn’t been completely cured or frozen before you eat it, listeria bacteria may remain. So if you choose to eat smoked salmon, make sure it is from a trusted source, such as a supermarket.
- Oily fishis good for you and your baby, as it is a good source of vitamins, minerals and protein. The government advises adults to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily fish. But as oily fish can also contain environmental pollutants (PCBs), it’s best not to eat it more frequently than twice a week.
- Other types of fish and shellfishmay have similar levels of dioxins and PCBs to oily fish. These are sea bream, turbot, halibut, dogfish (also called rock salmon or huss), crab and sea bass. So limit how much you eat of these fish to two portions a week.
- Don’t eat shark, swordfish and marlin, as these fish contain unsafe levels of mercury. Tunacontains some mercury, too, so don’t eat more than four medium-sized cans, or two fresh tuna steaks, a week.
Pate: Refrigerated pate or meat spreads should be avoided because they may contain the bacteria listeria. Canned pate or shelf-safe meat spreads can be eaten.All fresh pate, whether made from meat, fish or vegetables, may contain listeria bacteria, which may be harmful to your baby. However, heat-treated or UHT pate is safe to eat, as long as it is not made from liver.
Limit your caffeineintake to 200mg a day. That’s two mugs of instant coffee, a mug of brewed coffee, two mugs of tea, or five cans of cola, a day. Drinking lots of caffeine on a regular basis in pregnancy has been linked to miscarriage and babies who have a low birth weight.
Government advice is that you stop drinking alcoholcompletely during pregnancy. Other experts recommend that you avoid it at least for the first trimester. If you do decide to drink alcohol, don’t have more than one or two units, once or twice a week, which is a small glass of wine. Never drink enough to get drunk while you’re pregnant.
Beware Fresh Juice
Fresh-squeezed juice in restaurants, juice bars, or farm stands may not be pasteurized to protect against harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. Some markets also sell raw, unpasteurized juice in the refrigerated case — look for the required warning label, and steer clear. Pregnant women should opt for juice that is pasteurized. Juice in boxes and bottles on your supermarket shelf is also safe.
Sorry, sushi fans, but it’s time for a 9-month hiatus from this treat. Although seafood is a great source of protein,raw seafood can be a source of harmful parasites and bacteria. The FDA recommends pregnant women only eat fish and other seafood that has been cooked thoroughly.
Raw Cookie Dough
When you’re baking cookies, you may be tempted to pop a bit of raw dough in your mouth. But if the dough contains raw eggs, even a taste could pose a risk. The CDC estimates one in 20,000 eggs is tainted with salmonella bacteria. To be safe, resist tasting unbaked cookie dough, batter, or filling made with raw eggs. The good news: Store-bought cookie dough ice cream is safe.
Herbal Teas And Supplements:
Though people may be badgering you that taking herbal tonics, herbal teas and other herbal supplements is good for you, some herbs can do more harm than good during pregnancy. Plus there is always the possibility of buying spurious herbs as you don’t know how to check for genuineness. Avoid herbs like Senna, wormwood, Saw palmetto, as they are not thoroughly tested like medicines.
Do you crave for those spicy, sour treats sold at roadside stalls? Cravings are good during pregnancy; just make sure your cravings are met with high quality standards.Avoid street food during pregnancy as it may give you an upset stomacuck with after delivery, the fatty foods can out you at risk of heart disease and obesity.
If you think that cutting back on natural sugar will help your pregnancy, think again.Artificial sweeteners, especially saccharin, are not filtered by the placenta. Hereby, you are giving artificial sugar to your unborn child.
Excess of Vitamins:
“Too much of anything is bad” – this is meant for vitamins during pregnancy. You should not consume higher than the recommended dose of vitamins, as these posses direct health threats to you and your unborn child. They can disrupt normal fetal development and can even trigger pre-term labor. Some vitamin overdoses are also linked to congenital disorders.
This is just a fancy name for ‘carbs’ like bread and muffins. They aren’t exactly harmful for your baby. The only thing is that they can cause painful constipation. Anything made from fine flour (bread, pizza, etc.) can cause constipation.