Clean eating is important for everyone, it’s same goes to pregnant women. There were many foods that pregnant women should avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These foods could cause food poisoning, and the possible presence of bacteria, chemicals or parasites in these foods could harm the unborn baby, and miscarriage was one of the possible damages that happened to pregnant women.
Pregnant women should consume three to four servings of dairy per day. However, not all dairy products are safe to eat. Bear in mind that you are eating for two (yourself and unborn baby). Read on to find out what foods pregnant women should avoid.
1. Say no to raw eggs
Raw eggs/undercooked eggs and foods that contained raw eggs should be avoided due to the potential exposure of salmonella food poisoning (bacterium that mainly occurs in the gut). If craving for eggs, make sure the eggs were cooked.
2. Say no to unpasteurized milk
Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and foods that made from it, such as soft goat’s cheese. Unpasteurized milk may contain listeria (a germ that can cause miscarriages). If only unpasteurized milk available, then boil it before consume. And also check the label to see if your milk and cheese has been pasteurized.
3. Say no to salads from cafeterias and delis
Salads were usually one of the healthiest foods, as it was prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, you may be surprised to find out pregnant women should avoid salads from cafeterias and delis. Salads from these places may cause pregnant women to expose to salmonella, listeria, or e.coli.
There were many things to take into consideration before you order salads from cafeterias and delis, such as the room temperature, how long has the salads been placed on the salad bar, and whether the salad contained of unpasteurized cheese. For your safety purpose, it is recommended to eat home made salads.
4. Say no to raw meats
It is a must to avoid uncooked/raw meat, seafood, and any raw poultries. These foods are not cooked but cured and fermented, which may contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. This infection could cause serious health problem.
Make sure all meat and poultry were cooked thoroughly so there’s no trace of pink or blood, then you are safe to eat.
5. Say no to caffeine
Although some studies show that caffeine was good for health, but pregnant women should avoid consume caffeinated drinks. Some studies found that pregnant women who consumed high amount of caffeine led to the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants.
Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the March of Dimes say limiting caffeine intake during pregnancy to less than 200 milligrams (mg) per day appears to be safe. The safest thing is to replace caffeinated drink with other beverages, such as juices, plain water, and milk.
6. Say no to alcohol
Alcohol had been known as one of the main “killer” of pregnant women. It was never safe to be consumed during pregnancy until breastfeeding period. Drinking alcohol can result in a number of physical, neurological and mental conditions.
Alcohol will lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to be happened on babies; the effects included inhibit growth, central nervous system complications, poor motor skills, mortality, and difficulty with learning.
7. Say no to fish with mercury
It is recommended that women who were pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan on becoming pregnant to consume more fish. However, it is important to choose the right fish.
Fish that contained high level of mercury should be avoided as it has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Examples of these type of fishes included shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Also, not to forget certain types of fish used in Sushi should also be avoided due to high levels of mercury.
8. Say no to liver products
Liver or liver products such as pate contained high levels of retinol, which is a type of Vitamin A that would harm the pregnant women and unborn baby. It is essential to check the label of the supplements before consume, as some mineral supplement might contained of Vitamin A, such as cod liver oil.
For more information on choosing the right foods during pregnancy, do ask your doctor for advice. And also visit motherhood.com.my for more ideas and stories of mother, baby, and kids.