Pregnancy comes with a few rules, and one of those are the foods to avoid during pregnancy. These foods that should be avoided are to protect both you and your baby. Eating certain foods increases the risk of harm to you and your baby, so knowing what they are helps keep both of you healthy.
Undercooked Or Raw Meat
Undercooked or raw meat should be avoided in all forms, including sausages and minced meat, and even cured meat and beef jerky. It is safest to just eat well-cooked meat during pregnancy.
The reason for this is that there is a risk of toxoplasmosis, which is a tiny parasite that can live in raw meat, which can harm your baby.
Unpasteurised Milk and Dairy Products
Most of the dairy products sold in supermarkets and restaurants are pasteurised and are safe to drink. However, unpasteurised milk or dairy products should be avoided when pregnant. If you only have access to unpasteurised milk, you should boil it before drinking it. There is an increased risk of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis in unpasteurized milk.
Some cheeses are fine to eat during pregnancy, but mould-ripened soft cheeses such as camembert, brie, and others with a similar rind, blue-veined cheeses, gorgonzola, and Roquefort should all be avoided. The risk is too high that these cheeses could contain listeria.
Raw Eggs Or Undercooked Eggs
During pregnancy, you have to ensure that all eggs you eat are cooked all the way until the yolks and whites are cooked through. It is safe to use eggs in recipes if it is being cooked but stay away from egg recipes such as homemade mousse and mayonnaise, as these are not cooked. Make sure you are aware of the ingredients in the foods you eat, to be sure they don’t contain foods you should avoid during pregnancy, such as raw eggs.
There is a risk of salmonella in raw eggs. This is a common cause of food poisoning that can make you very sick and harm the baby.
Certain Types Of Fish
Fish is good for you, and you should try to eat at least two portions of fish a week, but you need to be careful of the type of fish you are allowed to eat, and which you should avoid, and which you should limit consumption of.
- Avoid marlin, swordfish, and shark, as they contain high levels of mercury which can affect your baby’s nervous system.
- Do not have more than two fresh steaks of tuna, or four medium cans of tinned tuna a week. Tuna also has high levels of mercury.
- Do not have more than two portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, herring, and pilchards.
- Avoid eating raw shellfish such as oysters, as they might land up giving you food poisoning. Cooked shellfish are fine to eat.
It isn’t just foods to avoid during pregnancy, there are liquids to avoid as well. It is best to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy, but more so in the first three months. If you do choose to have some alcohol, keep it to one or two units. You should have it no more than twice a week. Experts are not sure what amount of alcohol is safe, so it is best to just avoid it completely.
Caffeine can be found in tea and coffee, cola, and chocolate. You should consume no more than 200mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy. For example, a can of cola has 40mg of caffeine. A mug of tea contains 75mg, a bar of chocolate has 50mg and a cup of instant coffee has 100mg.