Expecting mothers need to take care of their nutrition needs more than ever before during their pregnancies. Avoiding specific food items is essential as some can pose serious risks to maternal health and fetal development alike. This comprehensive web feature takes you through ten types of food that are best left off the menu while you're pregnant. It also suggests simple yet practical ways to maintain healthy eating habits throughout this critical time span in your life.
These foods can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning, such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli. Such foods may also cause infections like cysticercosis, a parasitic infection that can attack the nervous system and hinder the baby’s brain development.
Raw eggs can contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of food poisoning from Salmonella include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. In severe cases, food poisoning can lead to hospitalization.
Deli meats and prepared salads are often made with raw or undercooked meat or poultry. These foods can also be contaminated with Listeria bacteria. To avoid food poisoning, it is best to avoid deli meats and prepared salads during pregnancy.
Some types of fish, such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish, contain high levels of mercury. Mercury can be harmful to a developing baby, and can cause neurological problems. If you are pregnant, it is best to avoid eating these types of fish.
Unpasteurized milk and soft cheese can contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria. To avoid food poisoning, it is best to avoid unpasteurized milk and soft cheese during pregnancy.
Food that's been sitting out for more than two hours can become contaminated with harmful bacteria. To avoid food poisoning, it is best to throw away any food that's been sitting out for more than two hours.
Raw sprouts can contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli. To avoid food poisoning, it is best to avoid eating raw sprouts during pregnancy.
Unwashed produce can contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria and Salmonella. To avoid food poisoning, it is important to wash all produce thoroughly before eating it.
Alcohol can be harmful to a developing baby, and can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). To protect your baby, it is best to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy.
Caffeine can cross the placenta and reach the baby. Too much caffeine can cause problems for the baby, such as irritability, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping. It is best to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy.