Pregnancy is an exciting time for many women, but it can also be a confusing one. With so much information out there about what to eat and drink during pregnancy, it can be hard to know what’s safe and what isn’t. To ensure you have a healthy baby, here are some foods and drinks that should be avoided during pregnancy:
1. Unpasteurized Milk & Cheese – Unpasteurized milk and cheese may contain harmful bacteria such as listeria or salmonella which could cause serious health problems for both mother and baby. It’s best to avoid unpasteurized dairy products altogether while pregnant.
2. Raw Meat & Fish – Eating raw meat or fish increases the risk of food poisoning due to potential contamination with bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. Pregnant women should always make sure their meat is cooked thoroughly before eating it in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
3. Caffeine – Too much caffeine has been linked to low birth weight babies, so pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks throughout their pregnancy if possible (no more than 200mg per day).
4. Alcohol – Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) which causes physical deformities in newborn babies, as well as mental retardation later on in life. Avoiding alcohol completely is recommended for all pregnant women regardless of how far along they are in their pregnancies.
5. Soft Cheeses – Soft cheeses such as brie, camembert or feta may contain listeria which could potentially harm your unborn child. As such, these types of cheeses should be avoided while pregnant, unless they are labeled “made from pasteurized milk” on the packaging.
6. Deli Meats – Deli meats such as ham or turkey may contain listeria which could potentially harm your unborn child. These types of meats should be avoided while pregnant unless they are heated up until steaming hot before consumption.
7. Processed Foods – Processed foods often contain high levels of sodium, sugar, fat, preservatives, and artificial colors/flavors, all of which can increase the risk for complications during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid processed foods whenever possible when expecting.
8. Certain Fruits & Vegetables – Some fruits and vegetables may carry parasites that could potentially harm your unborn child. Examples include undercooked sprouts (alfalfa/bean), and unwashed berries, grapes, and apples. Therefore, these types of produce items should always be washed thoroughly before consuming them while pregnant.
9. Herbal Teas – Herbal teas have not been studied enough yet regarding safety during pregnancy; thus drinking herbal teas without consulting with a doctor first is not recommended since certain herbs might interact negatively with medications taken by expectant mothers.
10. High Mercury Fish – Fish containing high levels mercury such as shark, swordfish, and king mackerel pose a threat because mercury accumulates over time in our bodies. Eating too much fish containing high amounts of mercury poses risks for both mother and baby. Instead, opt for lower-mercury options like salmon or tilapia when looking for seafood options while expecting.
Following this list will help ensure you have a healthy baby! If you ever feel unsure about something you want to eat or drink during your pregnancy then don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider who will provide guidance tailored specifically towards your needs.