Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Many women have concerns about what types of food are safe to eat during pregnancy. However, it is easier to look at what foods should be avoided during pregnancy rather than discussing the foods that are safe to eat.

Certain types of food should be avoided during pregnancy because they may cause harm to the mother and the baby developing within her. Here is the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Deli and Processed Sandwich Meats
These meats might get contaminated with listeria, which is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause miscarriage or even a stillbirth. Although listeria is relatively harmless to many people, it can threaten the life of your unborn baby. Pregnant women are generally more susceptible to listeria due to their lowered immune system. Before you eat deli meats, be sure to cook them until they are steaming hot. This will help kill any bacteria that might be present in the meats.

Raw Meats
Like deli meats, raw meats should also be avoided because they also carry bacteria that is harmful for both the mother and baby.

Certain Types of Fish
Generally, most fish are healthy for a pregnant woman. However, there are certain types of fish that contain high levels of mercury, the element that is harmful for an unborn baby’s brain. Consuming too much mercury during pregnancy can result in various developmental problems and may also cause brain damage. The types of fish containing the highest levels of mercury are: swordfish, shark, tuna, king mackerel, sea bass, and tilefish.

Raw Eggs
Like raw meat, raw eggs also carry bacteria, particularly salmonella. Raw eggs are in a number of products, including a few types of Caesar dressing, ice cream, and mayonnaise. If you are uncertain whether something you are eating contains raw eggs or not, it’s better avoid it.

Unpasteurized Soft Cheeses
Some imported chesses may also carry life-threatening listeria if they are not pasteurized. Common types of cheese that can carry listeria include: certain forms of brie, feta, camembert, gorgonzola, and Mexican cheeses like queso. However, if these cheeses are pasteurized, they should be safe to consume.

Unpasteurized Milk or Juices
Any type of unpasteurized milk product or juice has the potential of carrying listeria and other bacteria that are harmful for the mother and the baby during pregnancy.

In addition to the above-mentioned foods, a pregnant woman should also avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Consuming alcohol can cause numerous fetal abnormalities and birth defects as well as developmental problems. Alcohol consumption should be avoided during breastfeeding as well, as it can pass through the breast milk.

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