You just found out that you are pregnant! Firstly, congratulations. You are ready to embark a fascinating journey while preparing yourself for the birth of your baby that will be making his or her debut in nine months from now- or maybe somewhat sooner. Either way, you want to do everything in your power to maximize the odds of you having a healthy and an uneventful pregnancy.
The first thing to do is to make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins as they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you need to support yourself and your growing baby. You also want to make sure that you are taking a folic acid supplement, along with a prenatal vitamin because those are essential to take while pregnant to support your developing baby.
On the flip side, there is a list of foods to steer clear of as well as they can harm your unborn baby. You already know that alcohol is off-limits. However, there are also other foods that are just as dangerous as alcohol- or even more so for the fetus. Let’s go over what foods to stay away from during pregnancy:
● Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk. If you like blue cheese or other mold-ripened soft cheese like camembert, brie, chevre, or gorgonzola, unfortunately, you are going to have to stop eating those right now. These cheeses are likely to carry a dangerous bacteria called listeria. If a pregnant woman consumes anything with listeria, then it could cause a miscarriage, a stillbirth or a severe illness in the baby. Hard cheeses are safe such as cheddar or mozzarella. Soft cheese made of pasteurized milk such as cottage cheese, feta, cream cheese, and ricotta are safe to eat. That also means to never drink unpasteurized milk either.
● Pate. This spread may be tasty, but pate also can carry listeria. That said, you will want to stay away from all types of pate.
● Raw meat. Meat is important to eat during pregnancy because it is a great source of protein that you need. This goes for poultry, pork or beef. However, if it is undercooked or raw, stay away from it. There is a good chance that any undercooked meat contains a harmful bacteria called toxoplasmosis which is dangerous for your unborn baby. Fortunately, there are treatments for toxoplasmosis during pregnancy and you may only find out that you contracted it through blood work. It is best to steer clear of any meat that has been on the grill that appears to have blood in it. That is a sign that it is not cooked through. Raw meat can also contain salmonella and that is also dangerous for the unborn baby.
● Raw shellfish or raw fish. Unfortunately, if you are a sushi lover, you will have to stay away because any kind of raw fish can carry listeria. You can have sushi that only contains cooked egg, avocado, and fully cooked seafood.
● Deli meat and smoked meat. Smoked meat and even smoked fish can carry listeria and toxoplasmosis. So you will want to avoid those. And deli meat such as pastrami, bologna, smoked ham, smoked turkey, and salami also can carry harmful bacteria. However, if you cook deli meats, that is the safest thing to do and you can eat those. If you have a craving for a salami sandwich, for example, all you have to do is cook it up and then you can enjoy it!
● Raw eggs or partially cooked eggs. It is best to stay away from eggnog, soft boiled eggs, sunny side up eggs and homemade mayonnaise. That is because eggs that are not cooked through properly can contain salmonella which is dangerous for the unborn baby. Fully cooked eggs like scrambled or hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat.
● Certain types of fish. Some types of fish contain high mercury levels which are dangerous for your unborn baby. Examples of those fish are shark meat, swordfish, catfish, tuna steaks, orange roughy, and marlin. However, salmon is not only safe to eat but it is recommended as it contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for the baby’s brain development. Salmon has low mercury levels as well which will not harm the baby.
● Liver products. Liver contains high levels of Vitamin A which can be harmful to your developing fetus. Also, stay away from Vitamin A supplements.
● More than 300mg a day of caffeine. Too much caffeine, which is more than 300 mg a day can increase the chance of miscarriage or increase the chance of you giving birth prematurely. One cup of coffee a day is safe, as long as it is not too strong. Energy drinks are also not safe as they contain more than 300 mg of caffeine.
● Prepackaged salads. Keep far away from prepackaged salads even though they are convenient. They can contain listeria.
You also want to stay away from any foods that have soil on them such as newly picked fruits or vegetables, because soil also contains harmful bacteria.
For list of foods that should eat during pregnancy, you can read from TheJuzz.com.