Pregnant and delighted? You ought to be with the little one jiggling in your tummy. Isn’t it great to have a soul within you? When you’re expecting, it is very common that you would receive a ton of advises on what to eat or drink to keep up your health as well as of the teeny little baby inside you . Having a well-balanced diet every day is crucial, but it is all the more important when you are pregnant. Whatever you gulp down your throat is going to influence you and your child’s health. So to cloak your child in good health, take a look at the following list of foods that you must avoid when you’re bearing a child.
10. Unpasteurized products
Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, camembert, chèvre (one type of goat cheese), and others with a similar rind, must be eschewed during pregnancy as they may bear a harmful type of bacteria called listeria. It is recommended to avoid soft cheeses because they are less acidic than hard cheeses and hold more moisture, which serves as a desirable environment for growth of such bacteria. Ingestion of raw or unpasteurized milk, including sheep or goat milk, can also result in the deadly infection called Listeriosis. Keep in mind to stay away from unpasteurized juices as well.
- Raw eggs
Uncooked eggs or any dish which contains raw eggs should be avoided when you’re expecting, as they may cause Salmonella food poisoning. Homemade mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressings, ice-cream, custards, eggnogs, hollandaise sauces and raw cookie dough must not be eaten by a pregnant woman as these may contain uncooked eggs. Even soft-scrambled eggs and sunny-side up eggs may cause harm.
Salmonella food poisoning causes some mild symptoms in the pregnant women such as dehydration, vomiting and diarrhoea. To treat this food poisoning, fluroquinolone antibiotics are to be given in case of pregnant women but this particular class of antibiotics are known to cause certain types of birth defects. The infection may also cross the placenta and kindle severe diseases and death in the foetus. To prevent these risks of food poisoning, one must prefer to thoroughly cook the eggs until the egg whites and yolk are firm and solid, because this process would destroy the strains of Salmonella present in them.
- Meat & Poultry
For non-vegetarians across the globe, meat is a staple food, without a doubt. But during pregnancy, one must not eat undercooked or raw meat. Processed meat comprising of sausages, salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey, beef, poultry, minced meat including burgers should be kept out of reach of pregnant women because they have high risk of spreading infections to their babies through coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
These meats have been associated in causing Listeriosis, a vicious illness that can put the baby and the mother in peril, causing miscarriages, stillbirths, and severe other complications. Listeria bacteria possess the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby, which could lead to blood poisoning and may be life-threatening. Either one must cook their meat until they are extremely hot – or try to shun them altogether.
King Mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish and tilefish, compared to all other fish, live longer and accumulate more mercury in their flesh, and hence must be kept at a distance from the pregnant women’s platter. These large fishes tend to carry perilous concentrations of methyl-mercury that comes as a by-product of coal-burning plants which may impede with the development of the child’s brain and nervous system. It is highly suggested that pregnant women avoid these fish during their entire childbearing years since the human body can store mercury up to four years.
Caffeine is that one thing in life that a large number of the people on earth crave, for a variety of reasons. No doubt that pregnant women would like to have their usual share during those months as well. But is it safe or is it not? There have been several studies and speculations regarding the safety of having caffeine regularly in a pregnant women’s diet. Well, the March of Dimes has recommended to limit the consumption of caffeine to 200mg daily.
Caffeine is a diuretic and thus it helps eliminate fluids from the body which may lead to loss of water and essential nutrients from your body. If too much of caffeine is consumed during pregnancy, there is a risk of miscarriage and therefore, one must avoid the intake of caffeine at any cost during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Other risks that are associated with intake of large amounts of caffeine are premature delivery, stillbirths, low birth weight and withdrawal symptoms might also occur in infants. Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby’s heart rate.
Two mugs of coffee (100 mg per mug) or tea (75mg per mug), one mug of brewed coffee (140 mg per mug) or five cans of cola (40 mg per can), a bar of chocolate (10-25mg) , a day, is, however, okay.
These days, a sip of wine, a mug of beer and other drinks containing alcohol, have become very common among people. It has become an everyday thing. But it is strongly advised to couples who are planning to have a baby that they give alcohol a no-entry long before they become pregnant. According to the March of Dimes, there is no safe concentration of alcohol during pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant, she and her partner should focus all their attention to the well-being of their child and themselves. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can restrict the healthy development of your baby.
Alcohol strips the developing cells of a baby of oxygen and essential nutrients which can obstruct normal foetal development. Physical growth impairment and mental retardation are some of the other effects that alcohol can cause on exposure to the foetus.
- Unwashed fruits, veggies and sprouts
When most of the sources of nutrients (meat and seafood) are cut down during pregnancy, you have to rely mostly on vegetables and fruits. But even these will wreak havoc to you and your baby’s health if you do not follow the safety measures first. Remember, one must always properly wash their fruits and vegetables before having them. Proper cooking is also absolutely necessary as undercooked meals for a pregnant woman is a strict no-no! Unwashed fruits and veggies and their skins may harbour pesticides, parasites and bacteria that can cause vicious complications to you and your baby’s health. Raw or unwashed veggies especially lettuce and cabbage must be eschewed during those crucial months.
Vegetable sprouts when taken raw is another harmful thing entering your body during pregnancy. The raw sprouts can serve as a suitable environment to harbour baleful bacteria and viruses which can lead to fatal food poisoning. The FDA advises everyone, regardless of pregnancy, not to eat raw sprouts — including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts.
- Herbal tea & supplements
No matter how many times people tell you that herbal tea is good for you, never assume that it is good even when you’re pregnant. There are no such confirming studies on humans that herbal tea and herbal supplements prove to be beneficial during the pregnancy of a woman. There is always the possibility of buying adulterated and spurious herbs as general people have the littlest idea of its authenticity.
To keep yourself and your baby healthy, you must just avoid consuming herbal tea, tonics and supplements for the nine months.
- Nitrate-rich food items
It is widely known that chemical-containing foods perish our health easily. Bacons, sausages, diet-sodas, artificial sweetener (saccharin), etc., are some of the known nitrate-rich food items.
Saccharin like artificial sweeteners can easily pass through the placenta and can affect the unborn child. The low nutritional values of such nitrate-heavy food items can lead to serious health issues during pregnancy and cause foetal abnormalities and its poor development.
- Nuts & liquorice
Nuts are generally advised not to eat while pregnant as they can cause various types of allergies or skin rashes on your body. Before having nuts in your daily diet, it is recommended to consult your doctor.
Liquorice intake during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery since it results in uterine contractions. Hence, when expecting a baby, one should steer clear of liquorice in all its forms.
Even though there are dozens of advises on the internet on what to eat or not to eat, you must always consult your doctor before taking any decisions on your diet. An expert would be able to lead you through healthy pregnancy in way much better ways.