Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

It’s one thing to give into the cravings that hit you at 3:00am in the morning because of the hormonal surge during pregnancy, but it’s an entirely other thing to drink and eat whatever you desire. If you’re not careful then some of the food and drinks could have drastic effects on your pregnancy.

As much as some food might seem appetizing to you in pregnancy, you cannot eat to your heart’s content.

Pregnancy is one of the most crucial times in a woman’s life. During this time, a woman is at her most delicate while carrying out one of the bravest and strongest tasks.

And it is all the more reason for her and the people around her to be considerate of her diet.

Have a look at some of the food items that you must steer clear off to keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy.

Alcohol

Even a little amount of alcohol is not safe to consume during pregnancy and hence should be avoided at all costs. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can interfere with the development of the baby. Most often than not, drinking alcohol can even lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or various other related developmental disorders in the baby.

As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, throw the alcohol away and stay far from it even after the baby is born and you are breastfeeding.

Raw Sprouts and Unwashed Raw Produce

In normal days, raw sprouts are considered healthy and completely fine to consume. But during pregnancy, they are a big no, no.

It’s because bacteria are most likely to get into the sprouts seeds, before it is even grown. Most of the times sprouts are eaten raw, which means it never gets the chance to get rid of the bacteria. Hence, avoid sprouts of all kinds at all costs, even if you find them in salad or sandwiches.

Other than sprouts, unwashed vegetables and fruits pose equal danger to the health of the baby. Unwashed vegetables can cause toxoplasmosis and transfer from mother to child during pregnancy. Bruised fruits and vegetables are also most likely to be infected with toxoplasma.

Unripe papaya

Papayas that have not reached their complete ripe stage contain a latex substance that is notorious for causing uterine contractions. This latex acts as hormones such as oxytocin and prostaglandin. These two hormones are the same one that are involved in the beginning of labor. Restaurants serve unripe papayas a lot so if you are eating out while pregnant, stay cautious.

Food To Avoid During Pregnancy

Raw or Partially Cooked Eggs

Like sprouts and vegetables, eggs too are in the list of healthy food. Raw eggs are believed to be even healthier. But the same cannot be said to pregnant women as raw and partially cooked eggs can cause salmonella food poisoning.

However, eggs can be eaten by pregnant women as long as it is cooked thoroughly, and all the yolks and whites are cooked solid. Food items that contain uncooked eggs should also be avoided such as mayonnaise.

If you order a dish at a restaurant that requires raw eggs, make sure they are using pasteurized eggs instead.

Unpasteurized Milk

Forget even the thought of unpasteurized goat’s and sheep’s milk as well as all the food items made from them including goat’s cheese. Instead consume only pasteurized milk or items that have been ultra-heat treated.

And in cases where just raw milk is available to you then make sure to boil it first. Ice-creams and other market-available milk-derived products should be avoided as well, as they can cause listeria contamination. Listeria can eventually lead to a miscarriage as it has the ability to reach the placenta and infect the baby. Once listeria spreads infection it can lead to blood poisoning.

Soft Cheese

Soft cheese also poses a high risk of listeria contamination, especially imported cheese unless they clearly state that they have been prepared using pasteurized milk. Stay far away from Gorgonzola, feta, brie, Roquefort, Camembert and Mexican style cheese.  If you love cheese, then a safer idea would be to consume non-imported ones prepared with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

Deli Meat

We know how dangerous listeria is for the baby and the mother and Deli meats are contaminated with it. Whenever you’re eating deli meat, make sure to reheat it until it is steaming so that all infections and bacteria are killed before you consume it.

Smoked Seafood

Smoked seafood items are another source of listeria and often excessively contaminated with it. If you’re a fan of smoked seafood, then opt for canned or shelf-safe smoked seafood, instead.

Caffeine

Caffeine is not entirely out of the question for pregnant ladies, but it should be consumed in extremely low quantity and very carefully. High level of caffeine could lead to low-birth weight, difficult birth and even miscarriage.

Caffeine is not only what you consume in a cup of coffee but also found in various food items such as chocolate, tea, energy drinks and even some medicines for flu and cough. Start avoiding caffeine during the first trimester to ensure healthy development of the baby. If you must have caffeine, then reduce the amount of intake to less than 200 mg per day. As long as you stick to this much consumption, you are good to go.

High-Sodium Food

You get a lot of cravings for salty foods during pregnancy, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good for you. In fact, sodium can intensify the already present conditions of high water retention and swelling and hence must be avoided.

The amount of salt used in homemade food is fine, however, the hidden quantities of sodium in fast-food items could be extremely unhealthy and should be avoided.

Avoiding some of these things might seem like a huge sacrifice, especially if you love that particular food item. But trust us when we say that it would be worth it and besides, you can always enjoy these food items once you have safely delivered a healthy baby!

© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.


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