What Can You Eat And Drink When Pregnant

Milk That Hasnt Been Heat Treated


We know that milk is generally a healthy drink for pregnant women, but how about milk that hasnt been heat treated? The advice on this one is clear: raw milk is a drink to avoid during pregnancy. Raw milk can contain a number of harmful bacteria, which can lead to infection and serious consequences to the health of your baby, explains Fiuza. One of the potential bacteria raw milk can include is listeria, which can cause miscarriage, illness, or potentially even death.

Cows milk thats sold in stores is generally pasteurized, but you can still find unpasteurized milk for sale from some farms and farmers markets. If youre unsure, the label should tell you what kind of milk youre purchasing.

Food And Drinks To Avoid While Pregnant

No level of alcohol consumption is considered safe during pregnancy. Also, check with your doctor before you take any vitamins or herbal products. Some of these can be harmful to the developing fetus.

And although many doctors feel that one or two 6- to 8-ounce cups per day of coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine won’t harm your baby, it’s probably wise to avoid caffeine altogether if you can. High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and other problems, so limit your intake or switch to decaffeinated products.

When you’re pregnant, it’s also important to avoid food-borne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, which can be life threatening to an unborn baby and may cause birth defects or miscarriage. Foods to steer clear of include:

  • soft, unpasteurized cheeses such as feta, goat, Brie, Camembert, and blue cheese
  • unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider
  • raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, including mousse and tiramisu
  • raw or undercooked meats, fish, or shellfish
  • processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats
  • fish that are high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, tuna steak , and tilefish

If you’ve eaten these foods at some point during your pregnancy, try not to worry too much about it now just avoid them for the remainder of the pregnancy. If you’re really concerned, talk to your doctor.

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The Healthy Start Scheme

You may be able to gethelp to buy food and milk through the Healthy Start scheme if you’re pregnant or have a child under 4 years old and receive certain benefits, or youre pregnant and under 18.

If you qualify, youll be sent a Healthy Start card which you can use to buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables.

For more information, or to apply for a card, visit the Healthy Start scheme website.

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What To Eat If You Are Expecting

If you are expecting, there are certain foods that you should avoid. Here are a few suggestions: Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Dairy products include foods that contain milk, such as ice cream, milk shakes, sour cream, and butter. This includes foods that are considered natural sources of calcium. For example, cheese is a source of calcium, but if you dont have a calcium supplement you may need to avoid cheese for a while to make sure you have enough calcium for your baby. Other foods that you shouldnt eat are seafood and shellfish. These contain high levels of mercury and can affect your babys development. Nuts like almonds and pecans are also high in fat and calories, which are not healthy. You can also eat plenty of grains, including grains such as oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, and whole-grain bread. You should also avoid foods with trans fat, which should be avoided during pregnancy because it can lead to birth defects and contribute to your babys risk of obesity later in life. You should also be eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and lean protein.

What Can You Drink When You Are Pregnant

Acid Reflux

Its important to stay hydrated no matter what your pregnancy status is. But if youre pregnant, its especially importanteven more so in the warmer months.

Water: Water is the most important drink you should focus on during your pregnancy. Try and drink at least seven eight-ounce glasses of water a day. If youre not a huge fan of water to begin with, try it with ice, a lemon, or a sugar-free flavoring. There are also nifty time-stamped water bottles out there that you can use to be sure youve drank enough water according to what time of the day it is.

Juice: Juices, the best being orange juice, are fine to have while pregnant. Just be sure theyre fortified with calcium and pasteurizedones with no added sugar are also best.

Tea: Herbal teas are not regulated by the FDA, so run any that youd like to have by your doctor before consuming them while pregnant. That said, some herbal teas have been shown to have benefits for pregnant people. These include ginger and peppermint teas, which can help relieve symptoms of morning sickness, as well as caffeine-free and antioxidant-rich rooibos tea.

Coffee: We know it may be hard to part with your morning cup of joe. But, we’d be remiss not to reiterate, just try and limit it to one cup with under 200 milligrams of caffeine.

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Eating To Help Manage Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting are often the first sign youre pregnant. Even though its commonly called morning sickness, it can happen any time of the day or night, especially when youre hungry or tired.

The good news is that early in pregnancy you dont need much additional nutrition, so its rare for nausea and vomiting to cause any nutritional problems. But if your vomiting is severe, and you struggle to keep any foods or liquid down, its a good idea to seek advice from your midwife or doctor.


  • eating regularly, choosing smaller meals or snacks
  • having fewer high-fat and spicy foods
  • a carbohydrate snack before getting out of bed in the morning
  • drinking small sips of flat lemonade or ginger ale
  • ginger or foods flavoured with ginger
  • giving yourself extra time in the morning – rushing can make you feel worse

If cooking smells make you feel sick, have someone else do the cooking while youre not in the room.

Can You Drink Nutritional Shakes While Pregnant

Its always important to eat a nutritious diet, but its especially important when youre pregnant. Your body needs extra nutrients to support your growing baby, and that means you might have to make some changes to your usual diet. One change you might consider is adding nutritional shakes to your daily routine.

There are plenty of different brands and types of nutritional shakes on the market, so its important to do your research before you choose one. Look for a shake that has high levels of protein, calories, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Also, check the label to make sure the shake is safe for pregnant women. Once youve found a shake youre comfortable with, drink it regularly throughout your pregnancy.

Remember, however, that shakes should not be the only source of nutrition during pregnancy. Be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Drink plenty of water, too. With a healthy diet and plenty of fluids, youll be on your way to a healthy pregnancy.

  • 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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If You Drink Coffee Stick To One Cup

Decades of research has linked consumption of coffee and other sources of caffeine to increased risks for miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight babies. But the research isnt clear on how much is safe to consume. Most public health groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, agree that limiting caffeine to no more than 200 milligrams per day will not majorly increase such risks.

I tell my patients its O.K. to have one cup of coffee daily, said Dr. Kiefer, no matter your stage of pregnancy.

But caffeine content can vary depending on what you drink. At Starbucks, a shot of espresso has 75 milligrams of caffeine whereas its Tall-sized brewed coffee drinks have closer to 190 to 280 milligrams. The English breakfast tea I ordered at the coffee shop that day probably had around 50 milligrams.

Also keep in mind that caffeine can pop up in unassuming places, such as in decaf coffee, colas, iced teas, energy drinks, kombucha and chocolate.

How To Avoid The Effects Of Mercury

What Can You Eat or Drink While Pregnant? – Video

Most fish contain trace amounts of mercury. It tends to build up in larger and older fish. If youre pregnant or nursing, you should avoid eating fish that are high in mercury because mercury can damage your babys developing nervous system.

Fish that tend to be high in mercury are:

You should always eat fish while its hot. Avoid eating any preserved, smoked, or raw fish.

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Liver And Other Foods Containing Vitamin A

Avoid liver and liver products, such as liver pâté and liver sausage. Liver products have lots of vitamin A in them. This can be harmful to an unborn baby. It is not safe to take multivitamins containing vitamin A or fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil. It is fine to eat low levels of vitamin A found naturally in foods like carrots. But it is important to avoid any foods that have vitamin A added . It is okay to use cosmetic products, like face cream, that contain vitamin A.

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Hot Dogs And Deli Meat

That double turkey, salami and onion with extra mustard might be tempting your appetite, but it may not be the healthiest option out there right now.

As a mom-to-be, you’ll want to steer clear of those foods that have been preserved with nitrates and nitrites, chemicals used in food preservation that aren’t good for a developing fetus.

Along with that double-decker sandwich, you might want to forgo hot dogs and pâté. These foods also run the small risk of carrying listeria.

Alternatively, switch to nitrate-free lunch meats and heat them up until steaming to get rid of any bacteria before you eat them .

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Nutrient Needs During Pregnancy

A person needs more water- and fat-soluble vitamins during pregnancy and lactation. This includes folate, choline, and vitamins B12, A, and D, among others.


To help prevent illnesses and other complications during a pregnancy, avoid:

  • Seafood that contains mercury: Avoid shark, swordfish, and marlin, or keep the intake to an absolute minimum.
  • Uncooked or partially cooked meats: Opt for thoroughly cooked meats.
  • Uncooked shellfish: This is due to a risk of bacterial or viral contamination, which can cause food poisoning.
  • Raw eggs: Avoid these and any foods that contain them.
  • Soft, mold-ripened cheese: Cheeses such as brie and camembert carry a risk of Listeria contamination. Listeria is a group of bacteria that can cause potentially fatal infections in pregnant people and their babies.

Food Cravings During Pregnancy

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You’ve probably known women who craved specific foods during pregnancy, or perhaps you’ve had such cravings yourself. Some old theories held that a hunger for a particular type of food indicated that a woman’s body lacked the nutrients that food contains. Although this turned out not to be so, it’s still unclear why these urges occur.

Some pregnant women crave chocolate, spicy foods, fruits, and comfort foods, such as mashed potatoes, cereals, and toasted white bread. Other women crave non-food items, such as clay and cornstarch. The craving and eating of non-food items is known as pica. Consuming things that aren’t food can be dangerous to both you and your baby. If you have urges to eat non-food items, notify your doctor.

But following your cravings is fine as long as you crave foods that contribute to a healthy diet. Often, these cravings let up about 3 months into the pregnancy.

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Avoid Unsolicited Dietary Supplements When Pregnant

Unless otherwise specified by your doctor or dietitian, dietary supplements may not be suitable during pregnancy.

Or to be more accurate, they are not worth the risk.

Several types of dietary supplements contain super-loaded quantities of abortifacient compounds. An abortifacient is a substance that causes contractions of the uterus wall, inducing abortion.

Abortifacients used today are pharmaceutical drugs, such as the Morning After Pill. However, this was not always the case.

Foods naturally high in abortifacient compounds were commonly used during the pre-pharmaceutical era. Herbal, ritualistic and spiritual preparations were trusted, although the effectiveness of these has never been confirmed through scientific method .

While the effects of abortifacient-like food supplements are limited to animal studies and anecdotes , it makes sense to avoid varieties known to have abortifacient properties.

Take Fenugreek supplements for example, commonly used to improve blood sugar response and even to stimulate lactation for optimal breastfeeding.

However, when given to pregnant rats in moderate doses, it is suspected of causing birth defects, particularly related to spinal development .

It was also shown to have an anti-fertility effect in both male and female rats. Therefore it would be wise to avoid fenugreek supplementation during pregnancy, just to be safe.

Have A Healthy Diet In Pregnancy

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow.

You do not need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need.

It’s best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, but when you’re pregnant you need to take a folic acid supplement as well, to make sure you get everything you need.

There are also certain foods that should be avoided in pregnancy.

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Take Care With Certain Types Of Processed Meats

There are dozens of bacteria, viruses and parasites that can linger in foods and cause illness. Experts are particularly concerned about listeriosis a bacterial infection that can cause seemingly mild or even nonexistent symptoms in pregnant women, but which can be especially dangerous to an unborn baby including causing miscarriage, preterm labor or stillbirth.

Listeria infections during pregnancy are rare. Between 2009 and 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were just 227 cases in pregnant women in the United States. But research suggests that pregnant women may be up to 20 times more vulnerable to a listeria infection than the rest of the population.

Your immunity is altered when youre pregnant, and that makes you more susceptible to serious consequences of foodborne illness, said Dr. Zoe Kiefer, M.D., M.P.H., an ob-gyn at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Nearly one-quarter of all listeria cases in pregnant women in the United States result in fetal loss or death of the newborn, according to the C.D.C.

Experts have said to keep fruits and veggies , in your diet unless theres an outbreak. Cooking produce is another way to minimize potential risk, said Dr. Haley Oliver, Ph.D., an associate professor of food science at Purdue University.

In general, keeping kitchen surfaces clean, thoroughly washing fruits and veggies and properly storing them can help keep you protected.

Wrapping Up What Not To Drink During Pregnancy


Your body may be telling you it wants something or telling you it hates something and those things change week to week, if not day to day. Do your best to make healthy choices when planning your pregnancy drinks and give yourself grace when you dont.

Learn ways to replace your favorite unhealthy drinks with healthier alternatives: like a virgin mixed drink so you dont feel like youre always missing out, infused water for fruit juice, or seltzer water for sodas or even a zevia for a treat on occassion.

Now check out which drinks you want to guzzle down during pregnancy!

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What Foods Should I Eat

You will need an additional 200 to 300 extra calories from nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. It will be important to carefully consider the foods you consume during your pregnancy. This is a time to eat more foods that are nutrient-dense, and fewer sweets and treats. Eat a variety of foods. Use the website www.choosemyplate.gov as a guide to choose the amounts of foods in each food group.

Need A Boost Of Fiber Try Hummus And Veggies

One of the unfortunate side effects of pregnancy can be constipation. Along with drinking enough fluid, getting good sources of fiber like vegetables can keep you regular.

Vegetables also have antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals substances that protect the health of your cells and support your immune system, which is slightly lowered during pregnancy. And, when you dip veggies like carrots and broccoli into hummus, you get an extra helping of fiber along with protein to keep you feeling full longer.

Choosing healthy snacks doesnt have to take a lot of effort. Prioritize nutrition during pregnancy by keeping your kitchen stocked with nourishing options. That way, when you reach for a snack it will be a good one for you and your baby.

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