In order to have a pregnancy that is healthy for you and your baby, you need to make some sacrifices. One of these sacrifices includes giving up certain foods that can risk your health and that of your baby. It is important for a future mom to have a balanced diet so that the baby will get the right nutrients it needs to develop properly.

These are the foods and drinks that a pregnant woman needs to avoid:

Pineapple

This fruit contains bromelain that can soften the cervix and stimulate muscle contractions which lead to early labor. It should be avoided especially during the first trimester. Drinking pineapple juice is also known as a natural way of inducing and shortening labor in pregnant women.

Papaya

Papaya is a popular abortifacient in many countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Small amounts may not be very harmful but too much of it will lead to miscarriage and early labor. This is because papaya has high latex content. Latex, an enzyme that can trigger uterine contractions should be avoided by pregnant women especially during the third and final trimester.

Pomegranate Another tropical fruit that is considered to be an abortifacient in many countries is the pomegranate. Eating too much of this fruit, especially its seeds where the contraction-stimulating compound is concentrated, can trigger contractions and lead to miscarriage.

Uncooked meat

Uncooked meat such as those of seafood, beef, and poultry should not be part of a pregnant woman’s diet because it has high risks of contamination with salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and coliform bacteria. Salmonella poisoning can be avoided by avoiding meat products in barbecue parties and social events.

Deli meat

Listeriosis is a condition that can cause still birth and miscarriage. Deli meats are the most common source of the Listeria germ that causes this condition. It can cross the pregnant woman’s placenta and infect the baby inside the womb. This will lead to infection and food poisoning that might lead to the death of the baby. If you can’t refuse or keep yourself from eating deli meat, make sure to cook it thoroughly.

Fish containing mercury

There are fishes that contain high amount of mercury which everyone especially pregnant women should avoid. Mercury consumption of pregnant women has been proven to cause delay in the development of babies and worse, brain damage. Fishes that can possibly contain mercury are shark, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, tuna, and northern pike. Reports have said that canned tuna also contain mercury but at very low amount. The pregnant woman can only eat this in moderation. It is also best to avoid eating sushi as the fish used in its preparation contain high levels of mercury.

Smoked Seafood

Smoked Seafood

Listeria can also be found in refrigerated and smoked sea foods such as jerky, lox kippered and nova style but they are safe to eat when they are used as an ingredient in meals that have already been cooked like a casserole or fried rice.

Fish Exposed to Pollutants

Lakes that are located near industrial plants may contain fishes that are exposed to very large levels of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls. Bluefishes, salmons, trouts, pikes, walleyes, and striped bass are most commonly the ones containing these pollutants. Since it may differ from area to area, you will need to contact your local department of health.

Raw Shellfish

Sea foods cause illnesses that can be very risky for pregnant women. Shellfish like oysters, mussels, and clams, especially when uncooked are the most common culprits. Cooking them may help prevent a lot of infections but alga-related infections caused by red tides are much harder to prevent. Raw shellfish are not only hazardous to pregnant women; it may also be risky for everybody to eat.

Raw Eggs

Like raw meat, raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs can also expose people to salmonella bacteria. Homemade foods using eggs may be made using raw eggs so it is best for a pregnant woman to avoid eating food containing homemade Caesar dressing, homemade mayonnaise, homemade custards and ice creams, and Hollandaise sauces. Cooking reduces the exposure to salmonella at some point. Commercially produced ice creams and dressings are made using pasteurized eggs and therefore have lower risk of salmonella contamination. Make sure that the restaurants you eat in use pasteurized eggs in the food that you order.

Soft Cheese

The pesky Listeria can also be found in imported soft cheese. Eating this will cause miscarriage. It is life threatening as it causes infection and blood poisoning. Soft cheeses that the pregnant woman should avoid are: Brie, Feta, Gorgonzola, Camembert, and Roquefort. Mexican cheeses that are not made from pasteurized milk like queso blanco and queso fresco should also be avoided. Soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe for pregnant women.

Unpasteurized milk

The omnipotent Listeria is also present in most unpasteurized milk. It is important for a pregnant woman to take in lots of calcium from milk but make sure that you take in only the pasteurized kind to avoid blood poisoning and infection that can lead to still birth and miscarriage.

Pate

PateImage Source: Kitsch & Classics

Meat spreads and refrigerated pate may also contain the bad bacteria Listeria so an expectant mother should keep herself from eating breads with these foods. Only canned pate and shelf-safe pate are safe for pregnant women.

Caffeine

Caffeine intake should be done in moderation; too much of it may lead to miscarriage. Avoiding coffee and other drinks containing caffeine during the first trimester will reduce the risk of miscarriage. Fewer than 200 milligrams per day is still safe for pregnant women but it is diuretic so it can cause dehydration as it helps eliminate fluids from the human body. Water and calcium loss is just a few of the negative effects of too much caffeine in the body. If you need your daily fix of caffeine, make sure that you drink lots of water, juice, and milk. There are also studies that confirmed caffeine’s link to miscarriage, premature child birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms found in newborn babies. It is therefore safe to just refrain from drinking caffeine.

Unwashed vegetables

Vegetables should be a part of a pregnant woman’s diet. They are the healthiest foods one can eat. You just need to wash them properly so you don’t get exposed to toxoplasmosis that can be found in the soil where those vegetables were frown.

Alcohol

If there is one kind of beverage that is completely forbidden for pregnant women, it is alcohol. Even a drop will be detrimental to the baby. The smallest amount of alcohol can hinder the development of the baby. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is very much possible especially if the mother drinks lots of alcohol often. You might have taken in alcohol before finding out you are pregnant and you can’t do anything about that but you can avoid taking in more. If you decide to breast feed, be ready to get alcohol free until you are past the breastfeeding stage.

Well balanced meals are essential for healthy pregnancy. There are important nutrients and vitamins that the pregnant mom and her baby needs. There are foods that should be in a pregnant woman’s plate while there are some which should be avoided.

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