Pregnancy marks the beginning of your journey towards motherhood. And, it is essential for you to have a well-balanced diet to ensure the well-being of both you and your little one. But, there are also some foods that you might need to steer away from during pregnancy. This is primarily because some foods may result in negative effects such as a possible miscarriage. So, it is vital that an expecting mother is extremely vigilant before incorporating some food into her pregnancy diet. And, avoid certain foods during the course of pregnancy. It is also important to stay away from some fruits that can cause undesirable results. Here, we bring you a list of such foods:
1. Undercooked Or Raw Meat
There is an array of viruses, bacteria, and parasites that might be present in undercooked meat such as raw oysters, sushi, rare meat, or unpasteurized eggs. You can also check the doneness of a meat or fish with the help of a food thermometer to minimize the risk of any food-borne illness. Also, don’t eat raw dough and follow all the baking instructions diligently (1).
2. Unpasteurized Dairy Products
You should stick to ultra-heat treated (UHT) or pasteurized milk, which is also known as long-life milk. If it is only unpasteurized or raw milk that is available, make sure that you boil it properly first. Try to steer away from unpasteurized sheep’s or goats’ milk. And, if you are having any homemade dairy preparation such as yogurt, make sure that it has been made from pasteurized milk. If that is not the case, avoid it (2).
3. Some Seafood
Usually, large fish such as shark, swordfish, or king mackerel might contain high levels of mercury. A coal-burning plant’s byproduct, mercury, might interfere with the growing infant’s normal brain and nervous system development. Pregnant women can only consume 12 ounces of seafood with low mercury content in a week. Such seafood includes shrimp, salmon, and catfish. Even fish that are caught in lakes, rivers, or ponds for sports might contain industrial pollutants that are harmful to the little one. So, it is quite important to be careful with the consumption of seafood (3).
Alcohol can rob the developing cells of essential nutrients and oxygen, which can further hamper a normal fetal development. In fact, an alcohol exposure’s impact on the physical growth and intellectual abilities of the baby is permanent. So, avoid alcohol at all costs (4).
The risk of a miscarriage might increase due to caffeine, be it in coffee, soft drinks, tea, or energy drink. It may also result in stillbirth or low birth weight. While the research is at times conflicting, it is better to avoid caffeine to ensure your little one’s well-being (5).
6. Soft Cheese
Steer away from ripened cheeses like Camembert and Brie. And, even avoid blue-veined ones like Danish Blue and Stilton. In fact, a few doctors also suggest avoiding ‘gourmet’ cheeses that are marked unpasteurized. This is advised because cheeses might contain listeria which can result in a miscarriage. In fact, listeriosis might cause stillbirth or even preterm birth in later stages of pregnancy (6).
7. Unwashed Fruits And Veggies
The surface of unpeeled or unwashed fruits and veggies might be contaminated with parasites and bacteria. This contamination can happen at any stage and this bacteria may affect both the mom and her baby. One of the most dangerous parasites that might be present on the surface of fruits and veggies is Toxoplasma. While it might not show any symptoms during birth, it may cause symptoms like intellectual disabilities later on in life. So, to reduce the risk, carefully wash and peel fruits and veggies (7).
Don’t get worked up. Just incorporate these suggestions and everything will be alright. All the best, soon-to-be mommies!