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Being pregnant is amazing.
If you’re expecting or having a newborn, you’ve undoubtedly started considering what you should and shouldn’t eat.
While there are many healthy foods that you should include in your diet, there are also some foods to avoid during pregnancy.
Because some of these foods can risk your developing baby, while others can make you sick, to ensure a healthy pregnancy, you must be aware of what you can’t eat when pregnant.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
The following are a few of the foods to avoid while you’re pregnant:
1. Avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
Alcohol is a big no-no during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of miscarrying and cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to congenital disabilities.
In addition, your baby may suffer low birth weight, heart defects, and intellectual disabilities.
Not only does alcohol temporarily lower your inhibitions, but it also dehydrates your body, which can lead to premature labor.
If you are an expecting mom or want to get pregnant, you should avoid alcohol entirely.
2. Avoid excess caffeine during pregnancy.
Caffeine is another substance that pregnant women should avoid.
While a cup of coffee, tea, or soda may not seem like a big deal, the caffeine in these beverages can add up quickly.
In addition, taking in caffeine may lead to problems such as insomnia and anxiety in pregnant women.
Caffeine can have an impact on your baby’s heart rate if it crosses the placenta.
It can also increase your risk of miscarriage. Moreover, habitual caffeine use can result in low birth weight and premature labor.
If you are pregnant, it is best to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day.
3. Avoid herbal tea during pregnancy.
Herbal tea can be a great way to relax, but some herbal teas can contain herbs that are not safe for pregnant women.
Herbs such as ginger, ginseng, and licorice can cause contractions.
Herbal tea can lead to premature labor and even miscarriage. Other herbs, such as a raspberry leaf, can stimulate labor.
In addition, some herbs can also increase your risk of bleeding during pregnancy.
It is best to avoid herbal tea during pregnancy unless you have discussed it with your healthcare provider first.
4. Avoid unwashed fruits and vegetables during pregnancy.
You are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses when you are pregnant. One way to reduce your risk of getting sick is to avoid eating unwashed fruits and vegetables.
Unwashed fruits and vegetables may be tainted with germs such as Escherichia coli and salmonella.
These harmful bacteria can cause food poisoning, which can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their babies.
Therefore, pregnant women should always wash their fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them to avoid getting sick.
5. Avoid undercooked meat during pregnancy.
Undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria or parasites, such as toxoplasma, which can cause toxoplasmosis.
Another is Listeria, which can cause listeriosis. Both toxoplasmosis and listeriosis can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their babies. They can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, or premature labor.
Eating undercooked meat can also lead to food poisoning, which can cause serious illness in pregnant women and their babies.
Pregnant women should avoid consuming rare or medium-rare meat to reduce the danger of food poisoning. Instead, they should make sure that all meat is cooked thoroughly before eating it.
6. Avoid undercooked poultry and eggs during pregnancy
Poultry and eggs can also contain harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. These bacteria can cause food poisoning.
It may seem easy to determine if your poultry or eggs are cooked properly, but it is tricky. The only way to be sure of the safety of poultry and eggs is to cook them thoroughly. Also, some foods may contain undercooked poultry and eggs, such as:
– Caesar salad dressing
– Hollandaise sauce
– Raw cookie dough or cake batter
Pregnant women should avoid these foods altogether.
If you are uncertain if food has undercooked poultry or eggs, it is best to avoid it.
7. Avoid raw, undercooked, or contaminated seafood during pregnancy.
Seafood is a nutritious food that contains high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Still, it can also be contaminated with harmful bacteria or toxins.
These contaminants can cause serious illness in pregnant women and their babies. The toxins can cause congenital disabilities, stillbirth, or miscarriage.
Raw seafood may include Sushi, Sashimi, Raw oysters, Clams, and Mussels. If you are unsure if a seafood dish contains raw fish, it is best to avoid it.
Contaminated seafood may include those that have not been appropriately refrigerated, those that have been sitting out for a long time, and seafood that has been caught in contaminated water.
If you are unsure if a type of seafood is safe to eat, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider.
8. Avoid seafood high in mercury during pregnancy.
Pregnant women can still eat fish and seafood but should limit their intake to 12 ounces (340 grams) per week. They should also avoid eating fish with high levels of mercury.
Eating seafood high in mercury can be harmful to both pregnant women and their babies. Mercury is a heavy metal that can damage the nervous system if ingested in large enough doses.
It can also cause congenital disabilities, learning disabilities, and other problems in newborns. Seafood usually catches mercury from contaminated water.
The mercury level in fish and seafood can vary depending on where they were caught and how long they’ve been in the water. Some fish and seafood high in mercury include Shark, Swordfish, King mackerel, Tilefish, and Marlin.
Suppose you are unsure about the mercury content of a specific type of fish. If you’re not sure, ask your healthcare provider or look it up online.
Before making any dietary adjustments, especially when you are pregnant, it is usually a good idea to talk to your doctor.
However, following the general guidelines outlined in this article can help you avoid some of the most common food-related dangers during pregnancy.
It is always better to be safe than sorry. So if you are unsure about a particular food or drink, it is best to avoid it altogether.