It is important during pregnancy to learn which food are safe to eat, which food should be avoided and which food should be approached with caution. Always check with your health care provider if you have any concerns about your specific nutritional needs. The following information is intended to help by providing a handy list of foods to avoid and tips to keep in mind.
Some fish and shellfish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Too much mercury damage baby’s developing nervous system. Larger and older fish may contain more mercury. Pregnant mother should avoid:
- Raw Seafood
- King mackerel
Which Seafood is safe to eat
Some type of seafood contain little mercury. Pregnant mother can safely eat a certain amount, as like whitefish, cod, salmon, sardines, shrimp, oysters. Always cook seafood properly. Fish is done when flakes and appears opaque throughout. Always cook shrimp, lobster and scallops until they’re milky white. Clams and oysters are cooked when their shells open.
Meat & Poultry
Rare or undercooked beef, poultry or pork should be avoided during pregnancy because of the risk of contamination with bacteria. Make sure that all meat and poultry are well-cooked before meal. If your craving a steak be sure to order it well done, no pink allowed.
Prepared deli meats available at a deli counter like turkey, beef and chicken should not be consumed unless you re-heat them until steaming hot.
Raw Fruits & Vegetable
Fruits and vegetables are great pregnant mother’s diet. Remember to washed to avoid potential exposure to bacteria that might be present on their surface. If possible peel any fruits and vegetables or to cut away any damaged portions.
Alcohol & Caffeine
Alcohol during pregnancy may result in fatal alcohol syndrome, no amount of alcohol is safe. Avoid alcohol during pregnancy and after if you are breastfeeding since alcohol may reach the baby via your breast milk. Same to the caffeine, it can cross the placenta and affect baby’s heart rate. Hence, it is important that drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated or alcohol beverages.
Raw eggs, Unpasteurized Dairy and Juices
Food that contain raw or uncooked eggs may be exposure to salmonella. During pregnancy, your immune system changes so that its main purpose is to protect your developing baby. This means that you can be more susceptible to food poisoning from salmonella bacteria.
Unpasteurized dairy and juices may contain bacteria called Listeria which has the ability to enter the placenta and infect the baby with infections or blood poisoning. Pregnant mother should avoid:
- Homemade ice cream
- soft cheeses and dairy like Feta, Goat Cheese
- Unpasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized juices or cider
A balanced, nutritious diet is an important aspect of a healthy pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet, balancing carbohydrates, fat and proteins, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, usually ensure good nutrition.