Pregnancy is the most magical and emotional time in every mother’s life. As your body changes and grows to accommodate another life there are extra precautions every mother must take while nurturing and protecting their growing baby. As mothers prepare for the blissful moment their baby arrives, they must take into consideration their eating and nutritional habits. We have put together a list of what not to eat while pregnant, a quick and simple guide for new moms.
What NOT TO EAT While Pregnant – A quick Guide for New Moms
Mothers are sacrificing their bodies to grow healthy babies and with that comes the need to be more aware of the food they consume. Some food that are “perfectly fine” for others are not nutritionally acceptable for those carrying babies. Mothers are now responsible for the foods they eat, because they are at higher risk to transfer that nutritional or lack of nutritional value to their baby. Many of your processed and raw food can cause birth defects and slow growth rate while pregnant. Here is a list of the top 7 foods mothers should not eat while pregnant:
Raw and Undercooked Foods
The main reason to avoid raw or undercooked foods is the high risk of Salmonella.
Raw and undercooked foods are not healthy for your growing baby. This includes foods such as rare steaks or meats, raw seafood (shrimp, clams, and shellfish) as well as raw eggs (found in cookie dough). Symptoms of Salmonella infections are usually experienced only by the mother and include fever, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Some mothers have experienced cravings for alcohol, however, the CDC states “there is no safe amount of alcohol while pregnant”. Any form of alcohol is bad for pregnancy because the drinking of alcohol during pregnancy can cause lifelong physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities for your baby (CDC). Alcohol is dangerous because most liquids (including alcohol and caffeine) transfer to the baby through the umbilical cord.
Caffeine is one of the hardest things to avoid while pregnant. It not only boosts energy levels but is also creates stimulates in your brain that can become addictive. It is not recommended for pregnancy because it, like alcohol, transfers to the baby through the umbilical cord. American Pregnancy Association implies caffeine can affect the babies sleep cycles as well as encourage hyperactivity through the consumption of caffeine. You are allowed to have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day, but sadly say goodbye to your favorite Starbucks Barista, because their coffee has an extremely high amount of caffeine.
Mothers need to avoid lunch and deli meats because some meats can contain listeria. Listeria is a germ that is most commonly found in unpasteurized food. It is one of the few germs that can grow inside your fridge. You should avoid deli/lunch meats while pregnant. Consuming foods that contain listerias puts you at risk for miscarriage, stillbirths, and uterine infections. According to WebMD you can make these foods safe by heating them until they steam.
- Soft Cheese
Like lunch meat, soft Cheeses, like cheese dip (con queso), or Rotel dip are made with unpasteurized milk which can be contaminated with listeria, which causes miscarriages. According to the CDC soft cheeses made with raw milk are 50 % more likely to cause listeria than those made with pasteurized milk. It is our advice to stay away from soft cheeses and any unpasteurized food that may contain listeria.
High Mercury Fish
Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. High levels of mercury in food while pregnant has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage for the baby. Fish that contain high levels of mercury are; shark, swordfish, King Mackerel and tilefish. Canned light tuna has moderate levels of mercury and can be consumed however use moderation.
Many potlucks are full of wonderful food that could satisfy any mothers cravings. However, you should avoid potlucks since you don’t know how the food was prepared nor how long the food has set out. If foods have been sitting out, unrefrigerated or uncovered that makes it a food risk for you and your baby. WebMD has a great “2-hour rule” where you do not eat any potluck or dish that has been out in room temperature for more than 2 hours.
During your pregnancy, it is important to take care of not only your mental, and emotional health, but also your nutritional needs. As you carry your baby, you are providing the needed nutrients to help your baby grow and develop in a healthy way. Eating a balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, while balancing cravings and proteins encourages a healthy pregnancy. Remember that not all cravings are good but using moderation and self-control help in maintaining a healthy life and pregnancy.
Raw Sprouts was a surprising thing on the list of things not to eat while pregnant. This including alfalfa, bean sprouts, clovers, and radishes as they have a chance of being contaminated by Salmonella. These sprouts are safe when cooked, so just make sure to have all your sprouts cooked.
Non-Pasteurized Milk, Cheese & Fruit Juice
Pasteurization is pretty amazing. It keeps harmful bacteria from entering your milk, cheese, and juice. Unfortunately, some people confuse organic with unpasteurized, this is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The harmful bacteria in unpasteurized items like juice milk and cheese can have life-threatening consequences for your unborn baby. Pasteurization is by far the most effective way to kill any harmful bacteria, and the best part it does not change any of the items nutritional value.
You Might Also Enjoy: