Nutrition is key for a healthy pregnancy, but there are many foods a pregnant woman should avoid. Here is a look at the top eight foods pregnant women shouldn’t eat and why:
Raw, or unpasteurized milk, is full of potentially dangerous bacteria. It can make anyone sick, but it is especially dangerous to pregnant women. It harbors bacteria called Listeria which may cause miscarriage, fetal death, or death and illness in a newborn.
Soft cheeses, as well as other dairy products like yogurt and cream, can be made from unpasteurized milk. You must make sure all dairy foods you are consuming have gone through the pasteurization process. Always read your dairy labels. If the product does not state the word “pasteurized,” it is not safe for pregnancy.
While fish is usually a healthy part of any diet, raw fish and sushi can be harmful to a pregnancy. Aside from the numerous types of bacteria that can develop from improper storage, many forms of raw fish can also contain parasitic worms. If you are craving sushi during your pregnancy, opt for fully cooked or vegetarian rolls.
Fish with Mercury
Fish that are high in mercury like canned Tuna, Chilean Seabass, Swordfish, and Marlin, should be avoided during pregnancy at all costs. High levels of mercury have been linked to developmental delays and brain damage in babies. Always choose fish low in mercury like Artic Cod, Salmon, and Trout.
Raw & Undercooked Eggs
Raw eggs are notorious for salmonella. Salmonella can lead to serious vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration for mom, and may cause a life-threatening condition (for mother and baby) called sepsis. Avoid raw eggs, and raw egg based foods including homemade salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces and ice creams, that may have been prepared with this harmful ingredient.
Listeria makes a return when it comes to processed foods like deli meat and hot dogs. Other processed favorites like pate and refrigerated smoked seafood can be harmful as well. If you are preparing these foods for family members, ensure you do not get the preserving juices on your hands or other foods, as this can increase your chance of infection.
Caffeine should be avoided at all times during pregnancy. While you may be used to your cup of coffee in the morning, your unborn baby is not. That caffeine can cross your placenta, and produce the same stimulating effects in your child. Caffeine also raises your heart rate and blood pressure during pregnancy, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.
Canned foods present to two problems to women who are pregnant. First, any food that is not properly sealed can become a breeding ground for botulism and other dangerous bacteria. The lining of the cans also contains a toxic substance called BPA. BPA has been linked to cancer, cardiovascular problems, and issues with fertility.