What Are You Not Supposed To Eat When Pregnant

Food And Drink To Avoid

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The following are things you should avoid altogether.


Alcohol can affect your babys development and other important body parts as it passes through your blood to your baby. It can even have a long-lasting impact on your childs life after theyre born, causing physical and developmental disabilities.

Theres no safe amount of alcohol to consume at any point during pregnancy, Hofmeister said.

High-mercury fish and raw seafood

Seafood such as swordfish, some types of tuna, shark, mackerel and tilefish are high in levels of mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy. If you consume high-mercury fish regularly, mercury can build up in your bloodstream and can be passed to your baby, which can cause damage to their developing brain and nervous system.

Raw or undercooked seafood should also be avoided because it can contain bacteria and viruses, such as listeria, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirths and preterm births and deaths. If you want to enjoy sushi, make sure the seafood is cooked.

Raw, undercooked and cured meats

Meat served raw or undercooked can carry harmful bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, salmonella, toxoplasma and can make you and your unborn baby very sick. Instead of ordering your burger or steak rare, ask for well-done.

Cured meats like salami, pepperoni, chorizo and prosciutto should be avoided as they might have parasites in them that cause toxoplasmosis.

Unpasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice
Raw sprouts

Can Pregnant Women Drink Fruit Juice

Pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid fresh juices for the simple reason that non-pasteurised juices can lead to digestion-related illnesses. So when you are consuming fruit juice make sure that it is pasteurised.

If you are craving for a glass of juice, drink prune juice as it can help alleviate constipation. You can even try drinking Vitamin C juice which has folic acid and can enable your foetus to develop normally while preventing conditions such as spina bifida. But overall, it is a good idea for all expectant women to avoid fruit juices.

Now that you which fruits are not safe for consumption during pregnancy, avoid them at all cost. In the beginning, it will be difficult for you to give up some of your favourite veggies and fruits, but keep in mind that it will help you carry your pregnancy to term and ensure good health both for you and your baby. Have a healthy pregnancy!

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Be Selective With Meat Spreads Or Pt

Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads from a deli or meat counter, or from the refrigerated section of a store. They can contain Listeria. Meat spreads and pâté that do not need refrigeration before opening, such as products in cans, jars, or sealed pouches, are a safer choice. Refrigerate these foods after opening.

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Foods To Eat During Pregnancymonth 9

Your baby is almost ready to make an appearance! Her lungs will still be developing right up until the moment she is born, preparing her to take that first breath of air. This is a good time to relax, take a deep breath, and focus on you for a moment before the baby comes.

WaterThis is the most important nutrient, and we often take it for granted. It is essential for transporting nutrients around your body, eliminating waste, and regulating your body temperature. In hotter climates and seasons, you can lose between 2 and 3 quarts per day in perspiration. So drink up and get 6 to 8 glasses a day!

CranberriesHaving a healthy microbiome in the lower parts of your digestive tract before your baby is born is important. You can help this along by drinking enough water each day to flush out toxins in your body and to help prevent a urinary tract infection . Cranberries are a healthy snack choice right now. They have lots of antioxidants, and studies show that eating these berries is linked to a lower risk of UTIs.

Raw Eggs Or Undercooked Eggs

15 Lesser

The safest eggs to eat are British Lion eggs , these can be eaten raw or runny. This is because they are less likely to have salmonella in them, which can cause food poisoning.

If you eat eggs that are not British Lion, or that are not hens eggs, make sure they are cooked thoroughly.

Using eggs in cooked recipes is safe. Try to avoid foods that have raw egg in them, such as homemade mayonnaise or mousse, unless you have made them with British Lion eggs.

Find out more about eating eggs during pregnancy.

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Eat For You Not For 2

  • The need to eat for two during pregnancy is a myth.
  • In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters you may need some extra food to provide nutrients for the growth of your baby.
  • Eating a little more vegetables, lean protein and wholegrains each day is all youll need. For example, a small bowl of wholegrain pasta with vegetables and meat or bean sauce.

Foods That Cause Allergy:

Soy, wheat, cows milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts , fish, and shellfish should only be consumed if you are not allergic to them. However, a few studies say that taking these foods during early pregnancy may decrease the chances of the baby developing allergies and asthma later in life . But, you cannot be sure about this.

Solution: As not all studies support this claim, it is best to check with your doctor what is safe and what is not, especially when it comes to allergies.

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Weight Loss And Weight Gain Are A Big Deal

Weight gain or weight loss that is outside the recommended range is a cause for concern. If you gain too much weight, your baby could be born larger than expected. Just the same, losing too much weight puts your child at risk of being born smaller. Both instances may come with health complications.

Doctors and nutritionists will quickly advise you to eat more if they detect constant weight loss. Malnutrition will have adverse effects on you and your babys health. It weakens your body and may lead to low birth weight or premature labor. Doctors set a standard weight depending on your height. If you measure outside the recommended range, its important that you mind your eating habits and make sure your body is properly nourished.

Undercooked Or Raw Fish


This one will be tough for you sushi fans, but its an important one. Raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause several infections. These can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, such as norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella, and Listeria.

Some of these infections may only affect you, causing dehydration and weakness. Other infections may be passed on to your baby with serious, or even fatal, consequences.

Pregnant women are especially susceptible to listeria infections. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , pregnant women are up to 10 times more likely to get infected by Listeria than the general population. Pregnant Hispanic women are 24 times more at risk.

This bacteria can be found in soil and contaminated water or plants. Raw fish can become infected during processing, including smoking or drying.

Listeria bacteria can be passed to your baby through the placenta, even if youre not showing any signs of illness. This can lead to premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth, and other serious health problems, according to the CDC .

Its definitely advised to avoid raw fish and shellfish, including many sushi dishes. But dont worry, youll enjoy it that much more after baby is born and its safer to eat again.

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Why Should You Avoid Certain Foods During Pregnancy

Your immune system is weakened during pregnancy, so youre more susceptible to bacteria, viruses and other things that can cause foodborne illnessthink E. coli, salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Not only can these make you sick, but severe cases can cause preterm labor or miscarriage.

Also, since youre passing along most everything to your growing baby, what you eatfrom the mercury in fish to caffeine in coffeeaffects them too.

How Much More Do I Need To Eat When Pregnant

During the first trimester, you dont need to eat any extra portions. In the second trimester, you will need an extra 340 calories per day, and in the third trimester, about 450 extra calories a day. To get the extra energy you need, try to keep healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts, plain yoghurt and fresh fruit. To find a plan that works for you, speak to your healthcare provider.

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What Foods Are Completely Off Limits During Pregnancy

Dont eat these foods during pregnancy. They can be really harmful to you and your baby.

Certain meats and fish

  • Raw or undercooked meat, including beef, poultry and pork. This includes hotdogs and deli meat . If you eat hotdogs or deli meat, cook them until they are steaming hot or just avoid completely.
  • Raw fish, especially shellfish. Dont eat sushi unless the fish is cooked. Also avoid ceviche, sashimi, and raw oysters.
  • Fish that can be high in mercury, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Always check with your local health department before you eat any fish you catch yourself.
  • Refrigerated pates, meat spreads or smoked seafood. If it is cooked into a dish like casserole it is OK. Pates that are shelf-stable are also OK.

Certain dairy products

  • Raw or lightly cooked eggs or foods made with them. This includes cake batter and raw cookie dough.
  • Soft-scrambled eggs
  • Products made with uncooked eggs like certain Caesar salad dressings, eggnog or certain sauces like hollandaise. Shelf-stable commercially made Caesar salad dressing is OK to eat because it doesnt contain uncooked eggs.
  • Unpasteurized juice or milk or any foods made with them
  • Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela


Can I Eat Eggs While Pregnant

Foods You Can

Hen eggs carrying the Red Lion logo are produced according to a food safety standard called the British Lion Code of Practice, and are considered to be at very low risk for salmonella. These eggs are safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked . Any recipe made with these eggs, including mousses, soufflés and fresh mayonnaise, are also safe. Eggs that are not stamped with the Red Lion logo need to be cooked thoroughly until both the white and yolk are solid.

Non-hen eggs, including duck, goose and quail eggs, should always be cooked thoroughly.

Safe to eat

  • Hen eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice
  • Other eggs, including non-hen eggs, as long as they are well-cooked

Best to avoid

  • Raw or partially cooked non-hen eggs
  • Raw or partially cooked hen eggs of unknown origin

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Make A Healthy Food Swap

These food swaps provide you with more nutrients to support your babys growth and help control blood sugar levels and prevent constipation.

  • Swap white bread for wholegrain.
  • Swap ice cream for yoghurt.
  • Swap soft drinks for sparkling water.
  • Swap chips for plain, unsalted popcorn.

Tip: Add an extra handful of vegetables when cooking and try baking or grilling food instead of frying it in oil.

Foods To Proceed With Caution

Some foods should be limited during your pregnancy because of the effects they can have on you and your baby when consumed in large quantities.


If coffee or tea is life, giving it up while pregnant may be really difficult. The good news is that you dont have to give it up cold turkey, you may just have to cut back to one cup a day.

Pregnant women can have 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, Hofmeister said. Its best to get your caffeine from natural sources, such as coffee or tea, and avoid sugary sodas and energy drinks which are high in caffeine and contain other additives.

The reason for limiting how much caffeine you have each day is that its absorbed very quickly and passes easily to the placenta. In high quantities, caffeine has been shown to affect fetal growth and increase the risk of low birth weight at delivery.

Herbal tea

I know, I know. We just talked about coffee and tea, but herbal teas are a whole separate issue. Herbal teas have been used for centuries to help with certain ailments, but some have been linked to miscarriages. Bottom line: Before you sip it, ask your health care provider first.

Safe-to-eat fish

Undercooked or raw eggs pose a risk for foodborne illness, but this doesnt mean you cant enjoy eggs altogether. Eggs can contain salmonella, so they need to be cooked thoroughly before eating, Hofmeister said. Instead of over easy, cook scrambled eggs well-done or enjoy them hard-boiled.

Deli and processed meats

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What Kind Of Sushi Is Off

Any sushi with raw or undercooked seafood is off-limits, according to FoodSafety.gov. Eating raw or undercooked fish can expose your growing baby to mercury, bacteria, and other harmful parasites.

Due to immune system changes during pregnancy, pregnant women are more susceptible to infection, which can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, uterine infection, and preterm delivery, says Kristian Morey, RD, LDN, clinical dietician at The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center.

Whats more, your baby is especially vulnerable to mercury exposure, which Morey says can result in neurological issues, as methylmercury has toxic effects on the nervous system during development.

What Eating Well Means

Testing PREGNANCY Gadgets w/ my Pregnant Sister!
  • eating more healthy foods containing folic acid, iron and iodine
  • limiting intake of high fat and high sugar foods
  • taking vitamin supplements containing vitamin D
  • drinking lots of fluids but only small amounts of caffeine
  • not drinking alcohol at all
  • taking care how you prepare and store food

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Get The Right Amount Of Calories For You

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you need to eat twice as much food.

  • First trimester Most women dont need any extra calories.
  • Second trimester Most women need about 340 extra calories a day.
  • Last trimester Most women need about 450 extra calories a day.

Ask your doctor or midwife how many calories you need during pregnancy.

Examples of healthy snacks include:

  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit
  • Whole-grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese
  • Carrots with hummus

Fish From Local Waters

Unless you know your local streams, bays, and lakes are unpolluted, avoid eating fish you catch yourself. Some lakes and rivers are contaminated with industrial chemicals. Locally caught bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout, and walleye may be affected. Check with your state’s fish and wildlife department for more information.

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But My Farmer Tests Their Raw Milk Is It Safe

Unfortunately, a negative lab test is not a 100-percent guarantee that the milk used in cheese is safe to consume. It may be negative one day and positive the next, as bacteria can grow quickly. And low levels of contamination dont always show up on lab testing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that around 1,600 people become ill from Listeria bacteria each year. Of them, around 260 die.

Keep an eye on yourself to see if you feel ill. You may notice diarrhea or stomach upset first. In the meantime, contact your doctor if you have questions about your potential exposure. Your doctor can draw your blood to test for infection and give you antibiotics, if necessary.

Be on the lookout if you develop flu-like symptoms . These symptoms are associated with a more serious infection. It can take between 1 and 4 weeks to develop and some people havent reported symptoms until 70 days after eating contaminated foods.

Is There Any Limit On The Amount Of Fish I Can Eat During Pregnancy

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Fish is highly nutritious and a useful source of key nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acid, iodine and selenium. White fish can be eaten freely, but during your pregnancy its best to limit oily fish to no more than twice per week. Theres no need to avoid smoked salmon in the UK, as its safe to eat during pregnancy.

Tuna is no longer considered an oily fish, but it should be limited to two fresh steaks or four cans per week because it may contain mercury.

Shellfish is safe to eat as long as it has been thoroughly cooked. Enjoy that king prawn curry, but give the oysters a miss for now.

Safe to eat

  • Smoked salmon in the UK
  • Sushi, if made with cooked fish or cooked shellfish or pre-frozen raw wild fish, or if it is vegetarian
  • Shellfish, if they have been thoroughly cooked through

Best to avoid

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Factors That May Affect Your Pregnancy Diet

A balanced diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, healthy protein and dairies, plus grains. Its recommended for everyone. However, expecting moms have special dietary needs and may be given food restrictions during pregnancy. Your nutritionist may strongly advise you against eating specific foods depending on your symptoms, lifestyle, health condition, allergies and several physiological changes.

For example, consuming fruits is healthy but if it aggravates your nausea, your nutritionist may suggest an alternative or a different serving size. Aside from symptoms, other factors may contribute to your dietary plan.

In The Mood For Chips Try Dried Beans

When youre craving chips, dried bean snacks are a healthier substitute. You can find different flavored versions of roasted chickpeas, fava beans and soybeans at the store, or make a batch at home.

Beans have folic acid, which is key for pregnant women because it reduces the chance of spinal cord birth defects. Theyre also high in iron, which is used to create more red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body and to your baby. During pregnancy, you need one and a half times the usual amount of iron. Low iron, or anemia, is the most common nutritional deficiency among pregnant women. To increase the absorption of iron in beans, pair them with a food high in vitamin C such as sliced bell peppers, oranges, melon or strawberries.

One caveat: Packaged dried bean snacks have variable amounts of sodium. Excess sodium intake causes you to retain water and can lead to swelling. Eat these in moderation. If you see sudden signs of swelling, talk to your doctor. It could be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition.

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