Nutrition is very important during pregnancy. There are specific nutrients that your body needs if it’s going to help your baby grow and develop the way that it should. At the same time, there are some foods that you should just stay away from during your pregnancy. Knowing which foods to avoid during pregnancy is important to both your health and to the health, development, and growth of your little one.
Here are some of the categories of foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Seafood that’s high in mercury. Seafood is a wonderful source of both protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help your baby’s brain develop. However, there are some types of seafood that may have levels of mercury that are too high or even dangerous for pregnancy. These include swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel. You’ll also want to limit your canned tuna intake to about 12 ounces per week. You should also check with state or local health officials as to mercury levels in any local game fish.
- Undercooked food. Meat, eggs, and poultry, in particular, must be cooked thoroughly during pregnancy. During your pregnancy, your risk of contracting food poisoning is higher, and it can cause problems with pregnancy in some rare cases. You’re best to avoid undercooked or uncooked foods.
- Unpasteurized foods. You can certainly benefit from a variety of low-fat dairy products during pregnancy. They’re a wonderful source of protein and other nutrients. However, make sure you stay away from dairy products that aren’t pasteurized, such as certain soft cheeses.
- Unwashed fruits and veggies. You need plenty of fruits and veggies during pregnancy. Just make sure they’re thoroughly washed before you eat them. Avoid uncooked sprouts altogether, as they can often contain harmful bacteria.
- Excessive caffeine. Generally speaking, less than 200 mg of caffeine a day is considered safe during pregnancy. That’s about two cups of homemade coffee – or a small coffee from Starbucks. Make sure to check labels, of course. Lay off the caffeine as much as you can, as it can increase agitation during pregnancy, and can affect other areas as well.