What NOT TO EAT While Pregnant – A Quick Guide for New Moms

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 should take while nurturing and protecting their growing baby. As mothers prepare for the blissful moment their baby arrives, they need to take into consideration their eating and nutritional habits. We have put together a quick and simple guide for new moms on what not to eat while pregnant.

What NOT TO EAT While Pregnant – A Quick Guide for New Moms

You have probably heard there are some things that you can’t eat during pregnancy and it can be nerve-wracking trying to figure out what you can and can’t have.

We know you’re dealing with a lot in the first trimester, so we made this guide to make this a little easier! Here is a list of 7 foods mothers should not eat while pregnant:

1. Raw and Undercooked Meats

While pregnant you will want to avoid raw or undercooked foods due to the high risk of things like E. Coli and Salmonella. These bacteria could have negative effects on your health along with your babies.

This includes foods such as rare steaks or meats, raw seafood (shrimp, clams, and shellfish) as well as raw eggs (this means avoid that cookie dough!). 

2. Alcohol

The CDC states “there is no safe amount of alcohol while pregnant”. They do not recommend consuming any form of alcohol as it 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.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the hardest things to avoid while pregnant. It is not recommended for pregnancy because it, like alcohol, transfers to the baby through the umbilical cord.

HOWEVER, you are allowed to have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day. This is about one cup of coffee.

4. Lunch Meat

Moms-to-be should avoid lunch and deli meats because they 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.

5. Soft Cheese

Like lunch meat, soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk 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.

6. High Mercury Fish

Fish that contains high levels of mercury should be avoided. Consuming high levels of mercury while pregnant has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage for the baby.

Fish that contain high levels of mercury are; sharks, swordfish, King Mackerel, and tilefish. Canned light tuna has moderate levels of mercury and can be consumed. However, use moderation.

7. Potlucks

Potlucks are full of wonderful food. However, you should avoid potlucks when pregnant since you don’t know how the food was prepared nor how long the food has been 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.

8. Raw Sprouts

Raw Sprouts is a surprising addition to this list. This includes 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.

9. 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.

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.

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