Pregnancy is a crucial period in the lifetime of a woman. These nine months require extreme caution on the behalf of a would be mother, who has to careful about every aspect of her life- from what she eats, to where she goes and all her day to day activities. She needs to be careful about exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals in her food, as these factors can have a direct impact on the unborn child. Wrong foods can lead to some serious problems in her pregnancy and even cause potential birth defects in the fetus.
Therefore, a mother needs to be aware about the foods to eat and those to avoid during these nine months.
Listed below are the 10 foods to avoid during pregnancy:
There are certain types of cheeses which you need to avoid during pregnancy. These include soft cheeses made up of unpasteurized milk such as Feta, Brie and blue cheese, which have a possibility of hosting listeria bacteria. This variety of bacteria may lead to an infection which may cause harm to the unborn baby. However, you can have cottage cheese or mozzarella cheese.
2. High Mercury Seafood
Despite the fact that seafood is a rich source of healthy protein and omega 3 fatty acid, there are some varieties of fish which have a high mercury level, which can cause harm to the developing nervous system of the fetus. As such, such seafood needs to be avoided during pregnancy, including swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish.
3. Sushi and Undercooked Seafood
Sushi and raw undercooked seafood items should be absolutely avoided during pregnancy, as chances are high that they may contain harmful viruses or bacteria, which may pose a danger to the health of the mother as well as the baby.
4. Undercooked Meat and Poultry
Another food which should be avoided by pregnant women is undercooked meat and poultry, which may result in bacterial food poisoning. Though it is unlikely to affect the baby directly, but still it may cause dehydration and weakness to would be mother. Hot dogs and luncheon meats should be consumed steaming hot and refrigerated meat spreads should be avoided.
5. Undercooked Eggs
Just like undercooked meat and poultry, raw eggs may also contain harmful bacteria, which might have a negative impact on the health of the mother and the fetus too. Therefore, avoid foods which contain raw and undercooked eggs.
6. Unpasteurized Milk
Another food item to be totally avoided during pregnancy is unpasteurized milk as consuming it can be an invitation to food borne ailments due to bacteria in unpasteurized milk. Similarly, a pregnant woman should stay away from unpasteurized juice.
A pregnant woman should steer clear of caffeine as it has the capability of reaching over the placenta, to affect the heart rate of the unborn child. Studies have shown that consumption of excess caffeine during pregnancy may elevate the risk of miscarriage. The quantity of caffeine should be limited to a maximum of 200 mg during the pregnancy period.
8. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables
Though the benefits of fruits and vegetables have been considered as limitless on account of high nutrient content, they should be consumed with caution during pregnancy. You should be careful about washing them thoroughly as they may be coated with an invisible layer of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, which may cause serious birth defects in the fetus.
Another drink to be completely avoided during pregnancy is alcohol. Excess intake of alcohol can cause a fetal deformity called fetal alcohol syndrome, leading to mental retardation, heart disease or facial deformity in the fetus. Even moderate drinking can be detrimental for the baby.
10. Herbal Tea
The safety of herbal tea during pregnancy is a questionable fact as there is little known about its impact on the fetus. Since pregnancy is a delicate period, it is better to be on the safe side and avoid herbal tea too.
One should also limit the intake of salt, sugar and fried, fatty foods during this period as it may cause some complications like gestational hypertension and diabetes. The best way is to depend on hygienic and fresh foods prepared at home with your own hands. Fresh, clean fruits and vegetables should be given preference over stale or non vegetarian food items.