What Not To Eat Or Drink When Pregnant

Is It Safe To Drink Herbal Tea

What Not to Drink / Avoid Drinking During Pregnancy

Because you want to keep your caffeine intake down, you may want to sip on a cup of herbal tea. However, there is little data on the effects certain herbs can have on a developing baby. This is why itâs best to play it safe and avoid herbal tea unless you get the OK from your healthcare provider. Check with your provider about those herbal teas marketed as safe for moms-to-be, too.

Raw Or Undercooked Meat

Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so it is steaming hot and there is no trace of pink or blood. Take particular care with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.

Don’t eat rare meat. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant the infection can damage your baby, but it’s important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.

If you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. If you are infected while you’re pregnant, treatment for toxoplasmosis is available.

Wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly after preparing raw meat. It’s also important to remember to wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat. This will help to avoid the spread of harmful bugs such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli that can cause food poisoning.

Undercooked Meat And Seafood

Foods that are commercially packaged are likely to contain large quantities of trans fats. These trans fats are bad for the heart and the blood vessels. Since your heart and blood vessels play a major role in making your baby. It is best to avoid these. Chips, biscuits, cookies and fast food are in this category.

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Seafood High In Mercury

If you think that seafood is harmless, think again. Some seafood types are on the list of what foods to avoid while pregnant due to their high mercury content. It is true that shellfish and fish provide good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, protein and zinc. But a select few are high in mercury. Mercury is relatively harmless for most adults, but not for pregnant individuals. Regularly eating large servings of seafood high in mercury can damage your babys nervous system and brain development. Heres a list of seafood you should steer clear of:

  • Tilefish
  • Consuming more than 12oz of fish and shellfish a week

Foods To Avoid In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

What not to eat or drink while pregnant?

The first trimester is a crucial time for your babys growth. Some types of food can be harmful to you and can affect your babys health and development.

You should avoid the following foods in your first trimester:

Seafood Containing Mercury

Eating fish with high levels of mercury can cause mercury poisoning. If you eat fish that contain mercury during pregnancy, it can pass on to your baby. Mercury is a metal that can delay your babys development, cause brain damage, and affect their hearing and sight.

Avoid eating fish like:

  • Clover

Unwashed Vegetables or Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are an essential part of your diet. Before you eat them, make sure that they are properly washed. Unwashed vegetables and fruits may contain dirt and germs such as toxoplasmosis, which can harm you and your baby.

Also, avoid having pre-packaged salads, buffet salads, or those at open salad bars, as they can be contaminated with listeria.

Excess Caffeine

Although a moderate intake of caffeine is allowed during pregnancy, high caffeine intake can affect your babys development. Research has shown that excess caffeine can increase the risk of a miscarriage during the first trimester.

Your daily caffeine intake should be less than 200 milligrams, which is equal to a 12-ounce cup of coffee. Check the labels of sodas, energy drinks, teas, or chocolate, as they may contain caffeine.

Excess Vitamin A

Other Foods

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Can Pregnant Women Have Seafood

Seafood is a good choice for pregnant women, but it is important to be careful with the type of fish you eat and where itâs sourced from. Seafood thatâs high in mercury poses a risk to your babyâs developing nervous system, which is why itâs important to avoid older, larger fish that could contain higher quantities of mercury.

To be safe, itâs best to avoid

  • shark

  • tile fish

  • raw shellfish like oysters and clams.

For the latest information on fish caught in local waters, check with your state health department or with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

When preparing fish and shellfish, itâs also important that you cook

  • fish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, until the flakes are opaque

  • shrimp, lobster, and scallops until they turn milky white in color

  • clams, mussels, and oysters until the shells open. Throw away those shells that remain closed.

You may also be wondering whether pregnant women can eat sushi. Uncooked fish and shellfish come with an increased risk of harmful bacteria, so avoid sushi made with uncooked fish or shellfish, as well as refrigerated smoked fish, like salmon. The good news? There are plenty of sushi alternatives you can eat while pregnant, like vegetarian sushi or sushi rolls made with cooked fish or seafood, like shrimp tempura.

If you do want to consume sprouts, make sure you cook them thoroughly.

For a handy checklist of foods and drinks not to eat during pregnancy, check out the below:

Fruit Juices Prepared Outside The House

Avoid Dairy products like cheese and paneer. Much of paneer, cream etc. that is available commercially is not made with pasteurized milk. Non pasteurized milk may contain various germs that can cause serious infections in pregnancy and so it is safe to avoid milk products not prepared at home. If you do buy milk products from outside make sure you check the label.

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Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Drink Mineral Water

Mineral water is a suitable alternative to purified water during pregnancy, as it doesn’t contain sugar, colorants, or preservatives.

However, it shouldn’t replace regular water in your diet. Mineral water is high in sodium salts, which can induce swelling if consumed regularly.

Yes, coffee is safe during pregnancy.

However, daily caffeine intake should not exceed 200 milligrams, which is about two standard cappuccinos.

Since caffeine is also found in tea, cocoa, and hot chocolate, these drinks should be limited too.

Most studies show that moderate green tea consumption during pregnancy doesn’t have a harmful effect on the baby.

However, this drink contains caffeine, so it’s worth limiting when possible.

Beverages You Should Drink While Pregnant And 11 Beverages You Should Avoid

What NOT to Eat During Pregnancy: Foods and Drinks to Avoid While You’re Pregnant

There are so many things to remember during pregnancy. It can be complicated trying to keep track of how much exercise you’re supposed to be getting, staying on top of your numerous doctor appointments, figuring out which kinds of medications and supplements you should or shouldn’t be taking, deciding what to eat each day, and even learning what to drink or, perhaps more importantly, what not to drink over the course of nine months.

For every piece of guidance you’ve received about something seemingly as simple as drinking fruit juice to a glass of milk, you’ve likely had an array of contradicting opinions. Your close friends and family have probably already offered up tons of unsolicited though likely well-meaning advice about what worked for them during their respective pregnancies. It can get super confusing knowing who to trust and, while we advise you to consult your doctor before making any changes, science has shown us what is and isn’t safe to drink during pregnancy. Here’s everything you should know.

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Avoid: Untested Tap Water

There is one caveat to this whole upping your water intake business. Depending on the age of your home or apartment, your tap water may be passing through lead pipes. Consuming lead-laden water is not good for anyone, but pregnant women need to be even more cautious.

In an article for WebMD, Elizabeth Ward, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant, highlighted some of the risks. High levels of lead can cause low birth weight, preterm delivery, and developmental delays. You might think turning to bottled water to be your safest bet, but Ward explained that’s not always true. Instead, having your tap water tested is advisable. But try not to worry if the test comes back showing trace amounts of lead.

Although ideally it would be great to remove all of the lead pipes in your home, water filtration systems have proven to be both effective at removing lead and good news! they’re cost-effective. The Environmental Working Group advises purchasing a carbon-based filter that attaches directly to your faucet as “many pitcher filters are not certified to remove lead and do not work as well for this purpose.”

What Not To Eat When Pregnant

The TLDR: Avoid raw foods, like fish, shellfish, meat and eggs. Stay away from fish high in mercury, such as tuna and shark. Dont eat unpasteurized cheeses, milk or juices, or cold deli meats or lox. Some caffeine is okay, but you should probably avoid drinking alcohol while pregnant.

Want more detail? Here you go:

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What If You Accidentally Eat One Of These Foods While Pregnant

Accidentally ate something you shouldnt have? It happens sometimes. Call your doctor right away if you start to notice possible signs of food poisoning. These include: stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or headache. Contaminated food usually makes you sick within one to three days after eating it.

And if youre feeling fine? You dont have to call the doctor, but theres also no harm in reaching out anyway. Some extra reassurance is never a bad thing!

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

  • What to Expect: Eating Well When Youre Expecting, 2nd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
  • What to Expect When Youre Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.

Drink: Pasteurized And Fortified Orange Juice


Safe drinking water is the best thing you can drink while pregnant, but let’s be honest sometimes you want something that’s, you know, not water. Orange juice has been found to be a great choice for pregnant women. Be sure to choose an OJ that’s been fortified with calcium as this is vital for bone health, registered dietitian Natalie B. Allen told The List. The citrusy beverage also contains potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure, a potentially dangerous condition in pregnant women.

Orange juice also works well when taken with your prenatal vitamin. The expert explained, “The Vitamin C in the juice will enhance iron absorption and orange juice also contains folate, which is important in neurological fetal development.” Washing down your prenatal vitamin with orange juice is good for another reason. Medical News Today revealed that iron supplements can cause nausea. The Vitamin C in the juice not only enhances the absorption, as Allen explained, but also helps reduce queasiness. Before you run out to buy all the OJ, you should make sure to choose one that is pasteurized as this will minimize the risk of any harmful food pathogens.

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Undercooked Raw And Processed Meat

Some of the same issues with raw fish affect undercooked meat, too. Eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.

Bacteria may threaten the health of your little one, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including intellectual disability, blindness, and epilepsy.

While most bacteria are found on the surface of whole pieces of meat, other bacteria may linger inside the muscle fibers.

Some whole cuts of meat such as tenderloins, sirloins, or ribeye from beef, lamb and veal may be safe to consume when not cooked all the way through. However, this only applies when the piece of meat is whole or uncut, and completely cooked on the outside.

Cut meat, including meat patties, burgers, minced meat, pork, and poultry, should never be consumed raw or undercooked. So keep those burgers on the grill well done for now.

Hot dogs, lunch meat, and deli meat are also of concern, which is sometimes surprising to pregnant people. These types of meat may become infected with various bacteria during processing or storage.

Pregnant women should not consume processed meat products unless theyve been reheated until steaming hot.

Raw eggs can be contaminated with the Salmonella bacteria.

Symptoms of salmonella infections include fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

Foods that commonly contain raw eggs include:

Although this is mostly

Is It Acceptable To Drink Freshly Squeezed Juices And Smoothies During Pregnancy

Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies are safe during pregnancy, but making these drinks at home is preferred instead of buying them at a restaurant or juice bar. That way, you can wash the fruits thoroughly.

Some 100-percent fruit juice is fine, but juices should be consumed in moderation when pregnant too much can exceed the calories or sugar needed for a healthy pregnancy.

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Milk Or Juices That Are Not Pasteurised

Drinking good amounts of milk and having fruit juices is how most people begin their day on a good note, and for pregnant mothers, it is even more important. But milk and juices come in variants, too, especially the non-pasteurised one. Pasteurisation is a process that takes care of various bacteria and microbes present in the substance. If the milk that you buy or the juice box you purchased is not pasteurised, the bacteria present in it could be harmful to you. And since they enter your body, they could easily find their way to the baby via the placenta and cause irreversible damage.

Keep General Guidelines In Mind

What Can You Eat or Drink While Pregnant? – Video

About 300 extra calories are needed each day to maintain a healthy pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. These calories should come from a balanced and diverse diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with minimum added sugars and fats.

When navigating the menu of daily choices, it helps to know the difference between absolutes and guidelines , says McNally.

Fish, for instance, is an important source of nutrients. However, some types of fish should be avoided or only consumed in moderation during pregnancy because they contain higher levels of mercury. Raw and undercooked fish, especially shellfish, such as oysters and clams, is an absolute no-no, she adds.

Alcohol and recreational drugs, which can cause problems in children ranging from behavioral problems to birth defects, should also be strictly avoided.

Raw fish can be contaminated with parasites and bacteria. We recommend that women avoid this during pregnancy, McNally says. Drugs and alcohol are also things that we have patients stay away from. Even patients who have a glass of wine with dinner will never know the safe level or what you can drink or not drink in terms of fetal alcohol syndrome.

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Is It Safe For Pregnant Women To Drink Carbonated Beverages And Energy Drinks

Health care providers recommend that pregnant women exclude carbonated and energy drinks if possible, as they may contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine, colorants, and preservatives.

Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine. Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help you make healthier choices. Flavored waters can also contain a surprisingly large amount of sugar. Cutting down on these drinks will reduce the calories you consume without compromising on any nutrients.

Clean drinking water is considered the perfect beverage during pregnancy.

Juice Made From Wheatgrass

The benefits of wheatgrass are tremendous to such a high degree that most women believe that a healthy pregnancy without consuming wheatgrass is a rarity. However, very few people know about the presence of various microbes and moulds present in wheatgrass. The conditions in which wheatgrass is harvested are usually damp and moist, making it a paradise for various microbes to thrive. Since wheatgrass juice is made from raw wheatgrass, these germs find their way into the juice which, when consumed, causes a massive imbalance in the nutrients present in your body.

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Can Pregnant People Drink Milk That Hasn’t Been Heat

During pregnancy, make sure to only drink milk thats been pasteurized or ultra-heat-treated . These preparations use heat to kill bacteria and prevent food poisoning, which can harm a pregnancy and the future baby’s health.

Cows’ milk that’s sold in shops is pasteurized, but you can still find unpasteurized or “raw” milk for sale from some farms and farmers’ markets. The label will state what kind of preparation youre purchasing.

Say No To Solid Fats Saturated Fats And Trans Fats

What NOT to Eat During Pregnancy: Foods and Drinks to ...

These fats can also put your baby at risk of metabolic defects and developing obesity later as a child, according to studies. When it comes to your babys health, you may want to think long-term as well. Heres a list of fats you should avoid while pregnant:

  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese and some types of cheese
  • Palm or kernel oil
  • Heavy cream and sour cream
  • Coconut oil

Some of these bad fats are also hiding in many desserts and other dairy products. Unless you are sure that these foods do not contain saturated fats or are cooked in healthy oils, cut back on the following foods:

  • Sausages and hot dogs
  • Pastries and other baked goods

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