Any expectant mother is sure to have a lot on their mind as soon as they find out they are pregnant. Whether this child will be the first or not, any mom will have a lot on her mind at once. Typically, after the initial surprise of the double pink lines, a lot of moms come to the realization that that positive test means no more partying for nine months. But drinks are not the only thing newly expectant moms have to give up. On top of eliminating that and getting nutrition in control, there are actually several other potentially harmful foods for pregnant mothers to avoid.
It can be very helpful to use apps such as Ovia or even Foods To Avoid When Pregnant. These apps, along with many others, make it easy to look up what is and is not safe to be eating while pregnant, and it can all get overwhelming, so having one of these apps can be very beneficial.
Foods high in mercury? Nope. Caffeine? Only in very limited quantities. Blue cheese? Also no. Lunch meat? Questionable. “Pregnancy is one of the most vital and sensitive periods in a woman's life. Therefore, it’s very important for pregnant women to eat a healthy diet. Expecting mothers have to pay close attention to what they eat and make sure to avoid harmful foods and beverages. Certain foods should only be consumed rarely, while others should be avoided completely,” shares Healthline.com. Listed below are ten foods that mom’s have to give up as soon as the stick turns pink. But don’t worry, there are also ten foods to replace them with!
20 Stay away from: Sushi
Thinking of hitting up your favorite sushi joint? You will need to tread carefully. “That’s because uncooked fish is more likely to contain parasites and bacteria—including listeria—that can lead to infections and foodborne illnesses and potentially harm your growing baby. “Since pregnant women have weakened immune systems, they’re more susceptible to bacteria and parasites that can be present in raw fish if the fish isn’t handled properly,” explains Candice Wood, MD, an ob-gyn at Banner–University Medical Center Phoenix,” explains TheBump.com. If you just can’t live without your sushi fix, go to a clean and reliable joint and treat yourself to some veggie rolls. Just make sure you let them know that you’re pregnant so they prepare your rolls away from the raw fish.
19 But you can eat: Homemade Sushi Bowls
Sushi lovers, rejoice! There are a ton of sushi bowl recipes available on Pinterest so check it out. The jist though, is that you make the rice and top it with your favorite sushi additions such as; avocado, cucumber, shredded carrot, sesames and so many more options! Make a spicy sauce or opt for just soy sauce. Either way, sushi bowls are a great way to get your sushi fix in while pregnant. I loved making these while pregnant and even felt comfortable adding in some cooked fish to mine! Experiment with flavor variations and you are sure to find a new favorite dinner for any night of the week.
18 Stay away from: Raw Eggs
Say bye bye to sunny side up eggs. “ Raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella. Some homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custards, and Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs. If the recipe is cooked at some point, this will reduce the exposure to salmonella,” shares AmericanPregnancy.org. No worries, you can still your eggs thoroughly cooked and after your pregnancy you can resume your sunny side up eggs! And don’t worry, further down the list you will see there is still a way for you to enjoy cookie dough!
17 But you can eat: Cooked Eggs
You might miss those runny yolks, but luckily you can still eat eggs a variety of other ways. Who knew cooking eggs came with some regulations though? For best practice, follow the below recommendations from BabyCenter.co.uk. “Storing eggs safely will help to keep them free of the salmonella bacteria: Keep eggs in the fridge. Don’t let eggs come into contact with other foods. Keep them in a separate egg tray or in the box that they were bought in...Don’t use eggs with damaged shells, as dirt or bacteria may have entered. Don’t keep hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for more than three days.”
16 But you can eat: Egg Free Cookie Dough
One of my favorite treats, pregnant or not, is single serve cookie dough! Super easy to throw together and egg-free, this is a tasty treat for when you just have to indulge yourself. My go-to recipe? Combine the following in a bowl and enjoy; 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon sugar, a dash of salt, a dash of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of milk, 6 tablespoons flour and as many chocolate chips as you like. Once combined, I prefer to let mine rest in the fridge for a few mins to give it an even better cookie dough consistency!
15 Stay away from: Undercooked Meat
Enjoy your steak a little rare? Me too. Too bad you will also have to give this up for awhile! You can still enjoy red meat in moderation, just make sure it is thoroughly cooked to the recommended temperature. “Eating undercooked or raw meat increases your risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella...Bacteria may threaten the health of your unborn baby, possibly leading to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including mental retardation, blindness and epilepsy...Some whole cuts of meat — such as tenderloins, sirloins or ribeye from beef, lamb and veal — may be safe to consume when not cooked all the way through. However, this only applies when the piece of meat is whole or uncut, and completely cooked on the outside,” writes Healthline.com.
14 But you can have: Salmon
You might not be able to have sushi, but you can still have your salmon cooked! And it’s actually pretty good for you. “University of Granada researchers have proven that eating two servings of salmon reared at a fish farm (enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and only slightly contaminated) a week during pregnancy is beneficial both for the mother and child. This research study -conducted within the framework of a Project funded by the VI EU Framework Program called The Salmon in Pregnancy Study (SiPS)- reveals that the intake of salmon increases omega-3 fatty acid levels both in the mother and child and improves their antioxidant defenses; the cause is the selenium and retinol content of salmon. In addition, salmon does not alter oxidative stress levels, inflammatory response and vascular homeostasis,” writes News-Medical.net.
13 Stay away from: Caffeine
This is a bit of a grey area. You can coffee, and other caffeine, in moderation, if you choose too. You should do your own research and follow the advice of your Doctor. “Although most studies show that caffeine intake in moderation is permissible, there are others that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages. Avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage. As a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 200 mg per day during pregnancy,” shares AmericanPregnancy.org. You can find brands of coffee, such as MommeeCoffee.com, that come in Decaf, Quarter Caf and Half Caf. I loved these options while I was pregnant and nursing my little one!
12 But you can eat: Sparkling Water
My first trimester of pregnancy consisted of a lot of Skittles (oops) and even more sparkling water. Luckily, the sparkling water is okay, and a lot of pregnant Mama’s actually use this sparkling goodness to help combat the wonderful joys of morning sickness. There are a lot of flavor options available making it a fun treat to mix up every now and then. “Mineral water is a healthy, calorie-free beverage option in pregnancy. It contains higher levels of naturally occurring minerals than tap water and can also be naturally carbonated. Pregnant women have increased mineral and hydration needs, making mineral water a better choice compared with soft drinks or calorie-dense beverages,” suggests LiveStrong.com.
11 Stay away from: Raw Sprouts
Though not considered an everyday food you might eat, you will want to be careful you do not consume raw sprouts. These sneaky sprouts can find their way into subs and salads so if you are eating at a restaurant that serves them, make it clear you do not want any mixed in with your food. “Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts, may be contaminated with Salmonella. The humid environment required by seeds to start sprouting is ideal for these kinds of bacteria, and they’re almost impossible to wash off,” states Healthline.com. Some say they are safe to heat once they’re cooked but it is advisable to just skip them altogether. Better safe than sorry, as they say!
10 Stay away from: Unpasteurized Foods
Bye, bye, blue cheese and all other unpasteurized foods. “ Imported soft cheeses may contain listeria. You would need to avoid soft cheeses such as brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola, and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco, unless they clearly state that they are made from pasteurized milk. All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat,” writes AmericanPregnancy.org. “Raw milk and unpasteurized cheese can contain an array of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter. The same goes for unpasteurized juice, which is also prone to bacterial contamination,” adds Healthline.com.
9 but you can eat: Frozen Yogurt
Luckily you do not have to say no-no to Fro-Yo! As long as you make sure the establishment you get your soft serve from is clean and regularly cleans their machines, frozen yogurt is a great way to treat yourself throughout your pregnancy, and treat yourself you should! You can also opt for store-bought versions as well, just make sure they are pasteurized, which most of them are. Wondering how much calcium you need to intake? BabyCenter.com recommends the following, “Aim to eat three to four servings of calcium-rich foods a day, enough to give you 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium.”
8 Stay away from: Unwashed Produce
Girl, wash your produce! Pre-pregnancy it might have been tempting to just dust that apple off on your shirt before indulging in the first bite, Now that you’re pregnant, you will want to be sure and thoroughly wash all of your produce. “Vegetables are safe, and a necessary part of a balanced diet. However, it is essential to make sure they are washed to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown,” states AmericanPregnancy.org. Make it a habit to toss all of your produce into a colander in the sink right when you get home from the store. Use a veggie wash and clean everything at once!
7 but you can eat: Dried Fruit
No junk food means no candy, bummer right? If you can make yourself ditch the Skittles (this was a tough one for me) then you should consider switching to dried fruit instead. I found that freeze dried strawberries gave me the sour and sweet crunch I craved, but there are a ton of options for sale in any given groceries. Or you could go the do-it-yourself route and make your own! SparkPeople.com has a great recipe for fruit strips, which are another great alternative to candy! “Combine 2 cups of chopped fruits and berries into a saucepan with 1 cup water, and cook over medium heat until fruit is soft. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Puree the cooked fruit with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Spread onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Dry at 140 degrees for 5-6 hours. If fruit feels sticky after 6 hours continue to dry an additional hour. Use kitchen shears to cut into desired shapes,” states SparkPeople.com.
6 Stay away from: the forbidden drinks
This is the most obvious thing to avoid on the list, and the one most people will likely miss the most! Luckily, you can still enjoy some Mommy Mocktails, which we will talk more about later on in the list. “There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Depending on the amount, timing, and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders,” states AmericanPregnancy.org.
5 but you can eat: Mocktails
Don’t worry, girls night is still possible! My husband and I attended a wedding while I was pregnant and at one point in the evening I had three kiddie cocktails lined up in front of me because my husband was a little tipsy and trying to be thoughtful. Luckily, there are options besides kiddie cocktails, the more grown-up version is mocktails. There are a ton of options available on Pinterest, and a lot of bartenders might even have a suggestion for you, so don’t be afraid to ask. And if you’re running short on ideas, I have to say that I have never been disappointed by a kiddie cocktail, with extra cherries of course!
4 Stay away from: Lunch Meat
“You should avoid deli meats, also called ready-to-eat meats, such as sandwich meat, cold cuts, lunch meat, hot dogs, and sliced meats. They are known to contain listeria bacteria, which can readily move from the mother to placenta causing serious complications including fetal death,” states MomJunction.com. Some people say that you heating these meats up makes them okay to eat. This is another scenario where it is in best practice to discuss your options with your Doctor, do your own research and make your own informed opinion. Just remember, it might seem like it, but nine months is not forever and you will be back to eating what you want again before you know it!
3 but you can eat: Lots Of Legumes
Eat those burritos, Mama! Opt for a hearty dose of beans on your burritos, beans are a legume, which are a great pregnancy food. “This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts. Legumes are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium — all of which your body needs more of during pregnancy. Folate is one of the B vitamins (B9). It’s very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially during the first trimester,” suggests Healthline.com. Luckily, these means you can get your fix of hummus too! And not to be missed is dessert hummus, which you can actually find in most grocery stores these days.
2 Stay away from: Processed Junk Food
This can be a tough pill to swallow because you might crave a lot of junk foods while you’re pregnant but it is really best to just say no! “Pregnancy is a time of rapid growth. As a result, pregnant women need increased amounts of many essential nutrients, including protein, folate and iron. Yet even though you’re essentially eating for two, you don't need twice the calories — about 350–500 extra calories per day during the second and third trimesters should be enough. An optimal pregnancy diet should mainly consist of whole foods, with plenty of nutrients to fulfill the needs of the mother and growing child. Processed junk food is generally low in nutrients and high in calories, sugar and added fats,” writes Healthline.com.
1 but you can eat: Lots Of Greens
If you like greens, you are in luck! And if you don’t like them, luckily you can easily hide them in delicious smoothies. “Cooked spinach has high levels of folate and iron, and kale and turnip greens are both good calcium sources. Increase the nutrient value of your salads by passing up traditional iceberg in favor of darker-colored lettuces (the deep colors signal higher vitamincontent). You can also add greens to a sandwich or stir them into soups and pasta dishes,” shares Parents.com. Folate and iron are both very important nutrients, especially while you are pregnant, so it’s best to start eating them as soon as you find out you are pregnant, or even earlier if you are actively trying to conceive.
References: www.healthline.com, www.thebump.com, www.americanpregnancy.org, www.mommeecoffee.com, www.momjunction.com, www.pinterest.com, www.sparkpeople.com, www.babycenter.co.uk, www.babycenter.com, www.news-medical.net, www.parents.com, www.livestrong.com