When new mothers find out they are pregnant, the first thought is what they can and cannot eat or drink.
Pregnancy can alter your lifestyle in a significant way. You may suddenly need to give up some of your favorite guilty pleasures, like Starbucks coffees, sushi rolls, and even have your steak less red in the middle.
Although you can still enjoy plenty of food and beverages, here are the things you must absolutely avoid while you are pregnant.
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13 Foods You Should Never Eat While Pregnant
Be sure to also read 13 foods you SHOULD eat as well.
Types of Cheese
Mold-ripened cheeses like brie, chevre, and camembert should be avoided along with soft-blue veined and stronger flavors like gorgonzola and Danish blue.
The reason you need to stick to cheddar instead is that the abovementioned cheeses are made from mold and can contain listeria, which is a harmful bacterium that is too risky to consume for your unborn child.
Infections caused by listeria are rare, but you are in a vulnerable state where any illness can lead to stillbirth or a miscarriage.
The safest cheeses to eat are cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, and halloumi because these are typically made from pasteurized milk.
Raw or Undercooked Eggs
Raw eggs should generally be avoided even if you are not pregnant because they do not taste as good as scrambled eggs on toast during brunch.
You should only eat eggs that are thoroughly cooked until the yolks and whites are solid.
This way, you can stay safe from salmonella. Even if you like a runny yolk, it is still best to let the egg boil a little longer.
All your meat and poultry should be thoroughly cooked so that there is no trace of pink or blood.
Your food should be steaming hot. This is necessary for pork, poultry, minced meats, burgers, and sausages.
Rare meat is unsafe during pregnancy because it can lead to an infection called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite found in animal feces, soil, untreated water, and meat.
You should also wipe down all the utensils and counters after handling raw meat. This will help prevent the spread of E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter that causes food poisoning.
Liver or Supplements With Vitamin A
Liver products like sausages should be a miss during pregnancy because it has excess vitamin A.
You should also stay away from high-dose multivitamin supplements like fish liver oil because vitamin A can be dangerous for the unborn baby. This is because vitamin A is fat-soluble, and your body will store excess amounts, which can have toxic effects such as liver damage and lead to congenital birth abnormalities.
The components of fish liver oil, however, like DHA and EPA are important for fetal development. You can find a specific supplement made for pregnancy that has these nutrients right here.
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Types of Fish
Fish with plenty of protein and omega-3 fatty acids is necessary to consume during pregnancy.
However, you should stay away from certain types that have higher levels of mercury. This can cause problems for a developing baby’s nervous system. Avoid consuming sharks, marlin, swordfish, and catfish.
Oysters or any raw shellfish should not be bought at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that pregnant women only eat fish or shellfish cooked at a safe 145 degrees F temperature.
Cooking fish destroys potential pathogens and harmful parasites.
Peanuts can be part of your healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy.
However, you should strictly stay away from them if you are allergic.
Even if your allergies are not severe, it is still better to avoid peanuts since they are highly allergenic.
Fruits and Vegetables
To avoid listeria, you should kill your appetite for rockmelon or bean sprouts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that pregnant women are ten times more likely to get listeriosis, and this can cause premature birth, stillbirths, and miscarriage, as mentioned earlier.
During your pregnancy, you should always aim to have freshly prepared food.
Pre-packaged food can be appetizing, but it is best to stay far away from a buffet salad bar because they have a high risk of listeria contamination.
Salads are great to keep you fit and healthy, but you should buy fresh ingredients and make them at home.
Raw sashimi, sushi, and oysters are a big no-no during pregnancy.
Cooked and ready-to-eat prawns or salmon is a much better option. You can still enjoy a bit of sushi if you buy rolls with cooked meats, like teriyaki chicken sushi, instead of raw fish.
Cucumber maki or sushi rolls with fully cooked egg and avocado are also safe to consume.
The rice and meat in your sushi roll need to be cooked all the way through before eating to prevent listeria contamination.
You should only drink pasteurized milk or cartons that have been ultra-heat treated and long-life.
Raw or unpasteurized milk can be contaminated with listeria, which is why you should also opt-out of buying any soft-serve ice cream while pregnant.
Pregnant women should not eat cold cured meats because these foods harbor the Toxoplasma parasite or listeria.
This means you should wait until after giving birth before tucking into sliced ready-to-eat meats from sandwich bars or delicatessen counters.
No matter how much you miss sandwiches with chorizo, ham, or salami, it is best to eat piping hot meat freshly prepared and cooked.
Coffee can be lifesaving in the mornings before work, but caffeine is a stimulant that can raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
This is dangerous during pregnancy because caffeine can also cross through the placenta to your child.
Caffeinated beverages can also make you want to pee all the time since it reduces your body fluid levels.
Caffeine is unsafe because it can cause dehydration if you have more than 200 milligrams a day.
Even while breastfeeding, you should limit yourself to only have a maximum of two cups of coffee a day. The most fantastic news is that you have plenty of decaffeinated drinks if you enjoy the taste and do not need the beverage to help with an all-nighter.
Drinking alcohol during your pregnancy can cause the unborn baby to develop abnormal facial features, behavioral problems, and low birth weight.
Alcohol can also cause stillbirth and miscarriage. There is no safe alcohol consumption during or immediately after pregnancy, so you should wait to pop the champagne until you’re no longer breastfeeding.
In The End…..
Pregnancy is a special time and you need to take care and be aware of the decisions you make during this time. That includes considering your diet.
You may have to give up a couple of the things you love but it’s only for a short time and it’s for the health of both you and your baby.
We wish you luck and baby dust!
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