Pregnancy is one of the most amazing and sensitive period in every woman’s life. Just getting to know what a woman’s body is capable of during this time is amazing. It is one of the most crucial times for both expecting mother and baby’s health as well as the baby’s development.
Since expecting mother is housing the baby for 9 months, she needs to careful with her food choices, as this determines the baby’s overall health and development.
In this article, I am listing the foods that should be avoided completely or up to some limit during pregnancy. So, here is the list of foods and beverages that should be avoided or minimized during pregnancy:
Drinking alcohol can cause many physical, neurological and mental conditions which are also known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders.
So, alcohol should be completely avoided throughout pregnancy.
Caffeine intake should be limited during pregnancy. Caffeine increases heart rate and blood pressure, which is not good during pregnancy. Also, it passes through the placenta and reaches the fetus, and a fetus is not capable of metabolizing caffeine. Fetal growth can be impacted due to high caffeine intake, so it is best to minimize its intake.
Also, caffeine is present in many beverages and foods besides coffee, like chocolate, soda, tea, etc. So, one should be aware of the amount of caffeine they are intaking from all different sources.
Unpasteurized Dairy Products:
There are high chances of unpasteurized milk containing bacterias such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. If the expectant mother gets infected with these, it can be a life-threatening situation for the unborn baby.
So, it is extremely important to make sure the dairy products that you are consuming are made of pasteurized milk.
Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before cooking or consumption. Unwashed fruits and vegetables can contain several bacteria and parasites such as Toxoplasma, E.Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. These bacteria and parasites impact both the mother to be and baby.
Even though the impact of these might not be seen immediately in the majority of newborn babies, it can haunt later in life with issues such as blindness, intellectual disabilities, etc. As fruits and vegetables are essential during pregnancy, they should be thoroughly washed.
High Mercury Fish:
Fish with a high level of mercury should be avoided by pregnant women. Mercury is highly toxic and it has been linked to developmental problems in children as well as brain damage.
Not all fish contain high levels of mercury and consuming low mercury fish in moderation is healthy as well, as it provides Omega-3 fatty acids which is good for fetal development. So, one should be careful while selecting the right type of fish for consumption during pregnancy.
Raw or Undercooked Meat and Seafood:
When raw or undercooked meat and/or seafood is consumed, there is a high chance of it being contaminated with coliform bacteria, toxoplasma, listeria, and Salmonella. These bacteria can be harmful to the health of unborn babies, as they can lead to issues such as stillbirth, severe neurological illnesses, such as intellectual disability, blindness, or epilepsy.
So, it is important to make sure that the poultry and seafood that is being consumed during pregnancy are well cooked.
Raw eggs or any food that contains raw eggs should be avoided during pregnancy. Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella, which can lead to may problems during pregnancy. Though Salmonella impacts the expectant mother and not the fetus, there have been some cases where Salmonella infection has led to premature birth or stillbirth.
More than healthy nutrients, processed junk food is made of artificial sugar and added fats. Junk food is never a healthy choice, and especially during the time of pregnancy it is better to avoid it.
Junk food can lead to gestational diabetes and a fetus’s weight gain. If the baby is born overweight he or she will be prone to many diseases that will impact their adulthood as well.
In conclusion, it is extremely important to be conscious of the food that is being consumed during pregnancy. If there are doubts about any kind of food, it is better to avoid it until the next visit to the doctor.
If your doctor advises it to be as safe, it can be consumed of course, if not it is better to avoid it. It is better to be aware and careful than to risk the pregnancy and the little wonder that is preparing to come to this beautiful world.
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