There is a lot of information on the internet, as well as rumors you hear from one source or another, about the types of foods you should avoid during pregnancy, but it’s hard to get concrete information on what you should avoid and why. This article outlines some of the foods that should be avoided during pregnancy and gives reasons why they should be avoided.
It’s up to you to make healthy choices for your pregnancy, and no one can be perfect, but I hope this article will help you to make an informed choice about pregnancy nutrition and avoiding foods that can be harmful to your baby.
What foods can be harmful to your baby, and why?
including sushi, seafood, or rare/undercooked beef or poultry, pates
Can contain coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, or salmonella
also watch out for foods containing raw eggs such as cookie dough, caesar dressing, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custard, unpasteurized eggnog, and hollandaise sauce.
Can contain salmonella
Blue cheese, feta cheese, brie, camambert, latin-american soft white cheeses like queso blanco and queso fresco, blue veined cheeses like roquefort
Can contain harmful bacteria
There are some fish that are safe to eat. These fish include wild pacific salmon, farm-raised trout and catfish, fish sticks, summer flounder, croaker, mid-atlantic blue crab, and haddock.
It should be noted that farm-raised fish have a lower nutritional value than wild fish.
It is suggested that women use caution when eating these types of fish: canned tuna, mahi mahi, sashimi, easter oyster, blue crab from the Gulf of Mexico, lake whitefish, blue mussels, cod, and pollock.
However, some types of fish are considered unsafe due to high levels of mercury, which can cause brain damage. These fish are shark, swordfish, king mackerel, sea bass, and tilefish. You should also stay away from tuna steaks.
Some fish are considered dangerous because they can contain an industrial pollutant called polychlorinated pipheyls (PCB). PCB can lead to a decreased attention span, a lower IQ, and problems with memory. The fish most affected by PCBs are bluefish, striped bass, freshwater lice, salmon, pike, trout, and walleye.
Also, use caution when considering these foods.
also includes hot dogs and sausages
Can contain listeria
Can contain salmonella or e. coli according to a 1999 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release
Eating large amounts of liver can lead to high levels of vitamin A. Some research suggests that this can lead to a higher incidence of birth defects.
Many products contain caffeine, either added or naturally occuring. Tea, coffee, many sodas/colas, chocolate and cocoa beans
Prevents absorption of folic acid and iron, pulls calcium from the bones. May lead to long-term developmental effects.
Cut fat off red meat:
Chemicals and toxins concentrate in fatty tissues.
Ciders and fresh press juices:
As these are unpasteurized, they can harbor harmful bacteria
Hopefully this doesn’t limit your diet too much. I know it can be hard to stay away from foods you’re craving, and pregnant women always seem to crave sushi…
Please see my other articles on pregnancy, childbirth, and my homebirth series for more information on birth options.
Good luck with your pregnancy! Remember, it doesn’t last forever. It just seems like it.