Pregnancy is one of the most delicate and important times in a woman’s life. Therefore, it is very important to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This includes paying attention to a pregnant women eat, and making sure to avoid harmful beverages and foods. Some foods should only be consumed in moderation, while others should be avoided completely.
Here are 7 foods and drinks to minimize or avoid during pregnancy.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy:
No amount of alcohol is known to be safe during pregnancy. Therefore it should be avoided during pregnancy.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol can have negative effects in the healthy development of your baby. Depending on the timing, amount and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to developmental disorders or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
If you consumed alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. It is advise to avoid alcohol during breastfeeding. Exposure of alcohol to an infant can cause harmful risks and alcohol reach the baby during breastfeeding.
2. Caffeinated Coffee, Soda and Tea
The amount of caffeine a pregnant woman can safely consume has been widely debated by many experts. Caffeine can cross the placenta and can affect your baby’s heart rate.
Common sources of caffeine include, but are not limited to, tea, coffee pop. Doctors advised that pregnant women consume no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily. On average, just 1 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, 1 8-ounce cup of tea contains 47 milligrams and 1 12-ounce pop contains approximately 29 milligrams.
If you are not sure about how much caffeine is safe, it is best to avoid it altogether until you talk to your doctor. Some doctors do not advise against taking caffeine in moderation, while others advised that caffeinated drinks should be avoided completely. Therefore get the information you need from your doctor to make an informed decision regarding taking caffeine during pregnancy.
3. High-Mercury Fishes
Here are 4 seafood to avoid, swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is advise pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, and those women who are breastfeeding to avoid eating these fish completely, due to their high levels of mercury.
Mercury can impair a baby’s developing nervous system and brain. Other experts are more cautious and are offering a longer list of fish to avoid. The FDA cautions that pregnant women should eat not more than 6 ounces per week of canned albacore or “solid white” tuna due to mercury risks.
But, there are many types of seafood that have low levels of mercury and should be included in your pregnancy diet. The fatty acids in seafood, including EPA and DHA, are both forms of omega-3 and they play an important role in the baby’s brain development.
4. Raw and Under cooked Meat
Avoid eating raw meat or poultry products, most especially when you are pregnant. Under cooked or raw meat can put you at risk of toxoplasmosis, which is an infection caused by a parasite that can harm your unborn baby. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, approximately 85% of pregnant women in the U.S. are at a higher risk of developing this infection.
You can thoroughly eat cooked meat, as it contains protein, which is an important nutrient for your baby’s growth. It is best to cook any meat yourself at home during your pregnancy, so you can be sure it is well done. When eating out, avoid ordering meat.
Do not eat cold meat of any kind, including turkey, ham or roast beef, unless it is heated until steaming. Make sure to wash and then dry your hands after handling raw meat.
5. Soft Cheeses
Imported soft cheeses may have listeria. You need to avoid eating soft cheeses such as Camembert, brie, feta, Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses, including queso fresco and queso blanco, unless it is clearly state that these are made from pasteurized milk. All soft non-imported cheeses tat are made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.
6. Uncooked Eggs
Pregnant woman should avoid eating uncooked eggs. Eggs in their uncooked form, pose a huge risk for salmonella poisoning.
While an unborn baby cannot have salmonella poisoning, there are some side effects that can impact your baby’s health and labor. Some of these effects include early labor and dehydration, since salmonella poisoning may lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Cooked eggs are a good source of vitamins, minerals and protein, so if you want to eat eggs during your pregnancy, make sure that they are cooked. When cooking eggs, the egg yolk and whites should be solid.
Some products to avoid are ones made with raw or partially cooked eggs, including raw cookie dough, some caesar salad dressings and eggnog.
7. Unpasteurized Raw Milk and Juices
There are plenty of individuals who tout the benefits of raw juices and milk. But, there are serious health risks in drinking these during pregnancy.
The main concern is listeriosis, which is a bacterial infection that can be dangerous to your baby. You are most at risk during pregnancy because your immune system is suppressed.
According to Baby Center, the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can lurk in unpasteurized dairy, milk products, unpasteurized juice and other foods. It can continue to grow, even in the refrigerator. It is best to avoid these beverages completely.
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