Being pregnant is an experience unlike any other. It’s exciting, overwhelming and scary at times. There’s so much to “know” and being aware of what foods can be harmful to you and your baby is important. Take a look at our list of a few foods you’ll want to avoid while growing that beautiful baby of yours.
1. Soft Cheese
Right off the bat let’s clarify- you should avoid any food that is unpasteurized. This may include soft cheese, such as brie, if it’s made from milk that has not gone through the pasteurization process. You will know by checking the label. It should be noted that most cheese products in the United States ARE pasteurized, but you should still do you due diligence and check the label and ask your server if you’re out to eat. If you’re rather not risk it, then just stick to hard cheeses like cheddar.
As if your pregnant pallet would ever crave such stinky gourmet, sushi is a big no-no while your baby is still in utero. Sushi is uncooked fish and as such, may have bacteria or parasites. Getting sick from either of these while pregnant will be very hard on your body and your unborn babe.
3. Raw Eggs
Sorry mamas, no runny eggs for you! Uncooked egg yolks can sometimes lead to food poisoning. While food poisoning may not directly affect your baby, it definitely affects you and you’re the food source for that growing little one. Make sure your eggs are scrambled or fried hard, and be sure to avoid any homemade salad dressings which may contain raw eggs like Caesar. This also means no cookie dough!
4. Fish with High Mercury Levels
I clearly remember googling specific types of fish when I went out to eat, fearful that I would eat something that would be harmful to my daughter. Certain types of fish contain high levels of mercury which is harmful to people in general. When you’re pregnant, it can be particularly damaging to a baby’s developing kidney, lungs, hearing, vision and nervous system. Ready for that list now? It includes orange roughy, tuna steaks, shark, swordfish, and canned solid white albacore tuna.
5. Rare Cooked Red Meat
Like other uncooked foods, rare red meat can contain bacteria because the heat hasn’t penetrated it and killed off unwanted visitors. In this instance, E. Coli can be present and if ingested, be harmful to you and baby. It’s a good idea to order or cook steaks to medium or higher.
6. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are not regulated by the FDA and therefore may not conform to certain standards. Though teas have many beneficial properties, there has not been enough research to show the safety of all types of teas consumed during pregnancy. It’s an especially good idea to avoid teas with ingredients like chamomile, which has been known to cause pre-term labor.
It seems like a no-brainer to even include alcohol in a list of things to avoid during pregnancy, but it’s still a must. Consuming alcohol can lead to a multitude of problems for your baby, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, learning disabilities and much more. Just say no.
Caffeine should be avoided during your first trimester, as it can cross the placenta and cause miscarriage. After your first trimester, you should limit your intake of no more than 300mg a day, which equals about 3 cups of coffee. Remember that caffeine is also found in your favorite soft drinks, tea and certain foods and they all count!