Is It Safe To Eat Liver During Pregnancy?

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Healthy eating is the way to having a healthy child! The foods that you consume when you are pregnant will have direct impact on how your baby develops within you. There are many foods which should be taken in greater volume, and others which must be restricted.

Liver is one such food which has positive, as well as negative effects on the development of your unborn baby. Here is a simple guide on is eating liver safe during pregnancy or not.

Forms Of Liver

Liver is eaten in many forms in different parts of the world:

  • Liver Pâté
  • Chopped liver
  • Liver sausage

Whatever be the form of liver that you are consuming, the impact is almost the same. Some difference lies in the source from where the liver is coming.

Benefits Of Eating Liver During Pregnancy

Liver has many nutrients which are good for our health. It contains:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Protein
  • Folic Acid

While protein and folic acid are important for supporting your baby’s growth, iron ensures formation of adequate hemoglobin in blood. It is the Vitamin A part which can cause problems.

[ Read: Dos And Don ts During Pregnancy ]

Negatives Of Eating Liver During Pregnancy

Liver contains a high concentration of Vitamin A. The exact amount found in various sources will differ. For example, beef liver will have higher degree of Vitamin A, than chicken liver. But even in small quantities, it can cause harm because of the form in which it is found.

  • The Vitamin A in liver is in the form of retinol.
  • Excessive intake of vitamin in this preformed version can lead to birth defects.
  • The defects can be in the form of mutations and can even lead to development of cancerous cells.
  • So retinol is considered harmful for pregnant women and should be avoided in any form. It is also high in cholesterol, which is dangerous for everybody.

How Much To Consume?

There is no clear evidence that prescribes a certain quantity of liver that can be consumed while you are pregnant. So, it all depends on your personal judgment. However, avoiding it will be the best course of action. You can have other forms of meat which are safer.

It is said that about 2500 international units of Vitamin A can be safely consumed per day during pregnancy. Women who take a higher amount are at risk of facing birth defects and complications.

What To Avoid?

When you are abstaining from having liver, you must also try and stay away from these products:

  • Spreads that contain traces of liver.
  • Supplements having Cod liver oil or shark liver oil.
  • Medicines or supplements which have a high concentration of Vitamin A in the retinol form.
  • Skin care products which have retinol as a component.

Other Sources Of Vitamin A

Now that you know about the ill effects of eating liver, you need to find some alternative sources of Vitamin A which are good for your baby’s development. Some of them can be:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Turnip Greens
  • Beet Greens

All these sources are great for building good vision and immunity and act as effective antioxidants. The best part is that Vitamin A in these vegetables is in the form of beta carotene, which is good for your body.

[ Read: Tuna During Pregnancy ]

It is true that everything is good in moderation. So if you are having liver once in a few months, it should be fine.

Also, after you have crossed the crucial first trimester, the risks will be lower. Definitely have a word with your doctor before you decide eating liver in pregnancy. The best alternative is finding other forms of delicacies to indulge in.

We hope you find this piece useful. Do share your experiences and tips with other mommies in the comment section below.

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