When your body becomes another little human’s home, you may have to sacrifice a few of your favorite foods in order to keep your baby healthy. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable and hard as it is, so having this information to keep your baby safe and sound for the next 9 months can be a world of help. Here are a few things you will need to avoid for the duration of your pregnancy:
High amounts of caffeine consumption can be detrimental to your unborn child. Caffeine has been shown to increase the risk of miscarriages by about double in women who consumed 200 mg or more during pregnancy compared to those who consumed none. This includes cola, tea, coffee, and even chocolate. Try to drink more water, juices, and decaffeinated drinks during pregnancy instead of sodas and teas. It’s best to hold off on the caffeine until after your pregnancy is over, but if you decide to have caffeine in your diet, be sure to consume less than 200mg a day.
Unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, goat, Camembert, feta, queso blanco, blue cheese, and other soft cheeses can be contaminated with listeria which can cause food poisoning. Pregnant women have weaker immune systems, therefore they are more likely to contract food-borne illnesses which can take a toll on baby and even cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Only consume aged cheeses like cheddar and parmesan during pregnancy.
Deli meats can also be contaminated with listeria, but the real risk comes from a parasite called toxoplasma. Toxoplasma can cause an infection that can lead to serious health consequences including still birth. When eating meat, be sure that it is cooked to at least medium or medium well, and heat deli meats to steaming before consuming.
The majority of seafood and fish contains mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause brain defects and impair development in your unborn baby. Larger fish tend to have higher mercury contamination levels, so it is safe to consume certain fish like salmon. Canned tuna also contains low mercury levels, so it is okay to eat as long as you limit yourself to no more than once or twice per week. It is never safe to consume raw fish of any type while you are pregnant. Raw seafood can pose serious risks including salmonella that can be very harmful to you and your baby.
Pregnancy is not the time to pig out on raw cookie dough, as much as you may crave it. Consuming undercooked or raw eggs can lead to salmonella, which can be very harmful to unborn babies and pregnant women. Foods to avoid that typically contain raw eggs include batters, unpasteurized eggnog, certain dressings like Caesar, and some unpasteurized ice creams. You can always make raw cookie dough from scratch without the eggs though! Try using ground flax meal mixed with water instead of eggs to hold the batter together in your favorite cookie recipe.
Following these guidelines will help you protect your baby from neurotoxins and diseases that can harm your baby. As always, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and maintain a balanced diet during your pregnancy. This will ensure maximum health for you and your unborn baby for the next 9 months.