Pregnancy marks the beginning of your journey to motherhood. So, it comes as no surprise that pregnant women need to be extra careful about what they eat and drink. And, while it is fairly obvious to infer that smoking or drinking while you are gestating can lead to many nasty complications, what most women fail to realize is that some types of foods can also damage the growing fetus.
A recent University of California study claims that certain chemicals in modern foods can trigger various complications during pregnancy. Chemicals like caffeine, alcohol, and methylmercury can lead to fetal development issues and childbirth defects as well.
But, which foods can potentially harm your unborn baby? Don’t fret. Below, we list 4 toxic foods and beverages that are a strict no-no during pregnancy.
1. Canned Foods:
Canned food contains a chemical called bisphenol-A or BPA, which can lead to many problems including hyperactivity, aggression, and reproductive problems during pregnancy. Canned fish, in particular, contains methylmercury, which can lead to learning difficulties and attention issues. Canned salmon contains PCB or polychlorinated biphenyl, which leads to mental impairment, delayed reflexes, and stunted development for babies. In addition to the lovely tasting fish, avoid asparagus, mushrooms, and baked beans.
We’ve already determined that consuming too much coffee can have a detrimental effect on your fetus, and can lead to many complications during childbirth and even after your child grows up. While you may love your morning cuppa, opt for a safer option, at least until you begin to wean your baby. Excess caffeine intake can lead to birth defects, fetal death, and low birth weight during pregnancy.
3. Undercooked Meat:
While some animal meat is rich in minerals and is loaded with vitamins, raw or undercooked meat is a home for parasites or bacteria like salmonella and listeria. These organisms have the potential to not just harm the mother by causing severe abdominal pains, vomiting etc., but also harm the baby by entering through the placenta.
All meat should be cooked to about 145 °F (the heat can be increased or decreased depending on the kind of meat that you are cooking). This also means that refrigereated meat has to be consumed with greater precautions and should be bought from places that have a fresh stock.
Branded and approved foods (by food authorities) are the best ones to consume, but not before giving them some heat!
4. Soft Cheeses And Unpasteurized Milk:
Soft cheeses, especially the ones that are imported, may contain listeria, just like unpasteurized milk. Cheeses such as brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola, and Mexican should be a big no no! Look for cheeses which are made from pasteurized milk as they kill all the harmful microorganisms. It is a myth that pasteurization destroys essential nutrients and vitamins in milk.
Avoid the above for a healthy baby and you. And, if you are living in areas which do not have potable tap water, try switching over to mineral water for all drinking purposes!