Foods and Beverages to Avoid During Pregnancy

pregnancy.jpgPregnancy is a period in a woman’s life that calls for more attention to every activity a woman involves in them. This period is one of the most important and delicate time in a woman’s life. Eating a healthy diet is essential at this stage than ever before.

You should be keen on what you take in your meals as well as staying away from harmful foods and beverages. In fact, some foods should be avoided completely whereas other foods can be eaten rarely. Foods containing higher calorie percentage such as junk or processed foods should be avoided at all costs.

If you are at this stage of pregnancy and, you are wondering what to eat and what not to eat, then this post is for you. The foods you used to eat before may be safe or unsafe for you and your baby growing inside you during pregnancy. There are foods and beverages that you don’t need to think twice such as alcohol and coffee although there are foods and drinks you might be unsure about.

It is vital to consume food rich in nutrients that will benefit you mentally and physically and also benefit your baby’s.  Consuming harmful foods can affect you and your unborn baby.

While it might seem to be difficult for you to do all the research, this post will help you and enlighten you about the food and beverages to avoid during pregnancy.

  1. Undercooked or Raw meat

This is meat that is not well cooked. Eating raw meat raises risks of infections from various bacteria and parasites since raw meat is sometimes contaminated with germs and bacteria such as salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Hence, you should stay away from raw meat during pregnancy. You should not eat raw or uncooked cut meat such as meat patties and minced meat. Also, you should avoid eating processed meat products. If you should eat, ensure it is reheated until steaming hot.

Other meat products that you should avoid include smoked meat and refrigerated meat which is not perfectly cooked and pasteurized. For hot-dogs or sausages, ensure they are cooked perfectly. You can use a thermometer to check if the meat is perfectly cooked or not.

    2. Undercooked or Raw Fish and seafood

Undercooked fish, particularly shellfish is believed to cause numerous infections. These infections affect mostly the mother leading to dehydration and weakness of the mother. Some of the infections might find their way to the unborn baby thus leaving the unborn baby to suffer serious sickness. Infection suspected to affect pregnant women is listeria.

A bigger percentage of women are vulnerable to infections like listeria than the overall population. These bacteria breed in soil and in stagnant water or plants. It is during smoking or drying of raw fish when it is infected. Listeria finds its way to the unborn baby through the placenta, thus leading to premature delivery, miscarriage and other serious health predicaments.

Therefore, it is good as a pregnant lady to ensure you eat well-cooked fish, but also avoid some other different varieties of fish.

    3.Raw eggs

It is crucial to comprehend that raw eggs are contaminated with salmonella which has adverse effects on a pregnant woman and the unborn baby. Therefore, when eating eggs consider the following:

  • You should never eat raw eggs or soft boiled eggs during pregnancy
  • Avoid all products which contain raw eggs
  • Ensure if you eat your omelet, it must be well cooked.
  • Eat eggs which are well cooked.

If you experience symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea during pregnancy, seek medical advice immediately, these are signs of salmonella.

Always avoid eating foods that contain raw eggs such as Poached eggs, salad dressing, cake icing and homemade ice cream.

The bottom line is that raw eggs may sometimes be contaminated with salmonella, which leads to illness and raises the risk of premature birth or miscarriage. Therefore, should be avoided during pregnancy. 

     4. Caffeine

Many people prefer taking caffeine because it is the most psychoactive substance found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and cocoa but it can affect you during pregnancy. It is recommended to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg which is equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee per day. When you take caffeine, it is absorbed quickly and diffuses easily into the placenta and finally reaches the fetus. This result to a serious build-up of caffeine to the unborn baby and their placentas since they lack the essential enzymes required to metabolize caffeine.

Therefore, it is good to restrict and limit your caffeine intake to 200mg per day which is approximately 2-3 cups of coffee. High caffeine intake during pregnancy can hinder fetal growth and result to low birth weight. It is good also to consult your doctor to know what meal does not contain caffeine so that you reduce your caffeine intake.

      5. Alcohol

Alcohol should not be taken during pregnancy because it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Taking even a small percentage of alcohol can negatively affect the unborn baby’s brain development and also lead to fetal alcohol syndrome. This syndrome comprises of facial deformities, heart complications, and mental retardation. Therefore, during pregnancy, you should not take alcohol.

Conclusion

While there are much more foods that you should avoid during pregnancy, the above foods can lead to adverse serious sickness both to you when in pregnancy and to your unborn baby. Therefore, the best thing to do is to your seek doctor’s directions on what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy.

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