Eating well during the pregnancy is essential for the baby development and also for the mother’s health. However, women should be careful when pregnant and be aware that not everything that looks healthy is actually good for you and some inoffensive fruits can bring you some serious problems in the future.
During pregnancy, the mother’s body immune system slows down, so it won’t attack the baby. What is great, but on another hand, that makes the body more vulnerable to some illness, infections, and bacterias. That is why a simple foodborne illnesses can cause serious problems such as miscarriage or a premature birth. Some foodborne illness can harm the baby in the womb, even if the mother doesn’t feel sick at all.
To avoid problems, women who are pregnant have to be twice more careful with food: avoid raw meat, raw fishes ( yes, you can say goodbye for sushi for a while), recipes with raw eggs at any cost. They should also pay attention to juices and some fruits and vegetables before eating. The same goes for cheese and sauces.
We prepared a list of 15 foods and beverages you should avoid while you are expecting. Some of them will really surprise you!
14 Chicken Salad
In a day that you are really tired, not in the mood to cook or just don’t have the time, getting a salad at a deli in a grocery store sounds a reasonable idea and time-saving. However, you should be careful, since they can be contaminated with listeria. Even if it looks harmless and the place looks clean, there are still chances that it isn’t prepared properly. It is just not worth the risk. Of course, you should also avoid sandwiches made of those salads.
You can prepare those salads at home and you will be sure that the meat will be cooked in a proper temperature. Also use industrial mayonnaise, since it doesn’t contain raw eggs. That way you will know that it’s safe to eat.
13 Smoked Food
Everything is better with bacon! Unless you are pregnant. Not only bacon, but all types of smoked meat, such as hot dog, salmon, ham or jerky should be avoided. This type of meat can be contaminated with listeria and cause complications during pregnancy.
Some specialists say that it is ok to eat them when they are cooked since the heat kills the bacteria.So you can use them as an ingredient in a casserole, for example.
However, others specialists advise that the amount of sodium and fat on them is very unhealthy for you and your baby. They are also poor in nutrients. So if you decide to eat them anyway, be aware they should not be part of your daily life even if cooked.
12 Caesar Dressing
Just like the homemade ice cream, there are a range of sauces that contain raw eggs and should be avoided by pregnant women. The popular Caesar sauce is one of them, especially if they are homemade. Sometimes you can find an egg-free version in some shops.
And you if you love Hollandaise sauce on your benedict eggs, you should think twice if you are pregnant. That is another sauce that demands a lot of raw eggs, so it can also be another risky food.
Another thing you should avoid when you are pregnant are the blue cheese dressing, since they can contain Listeria. The cheese is in those sauces are not pasteurized, what causes the contamination.
But there are still a lot of options available like tomato sauce, pesto, teriyaki and barbecue sauce to name a few.
11 Dipping Your Finger In Cake Batter
Raw eggs have the potential exposure to salmonella, so you should avoid it when you are pregnant. Although it is less damaging and rare than listeria, salmonella can give you a hard time with chills, fever, abdominal pain, headaches, diarrhea, muscle pain, among other symptoms.
It is unlikely that it will cause permanent damage to the baby, but there are still some cases. In rare situations, it can get into the bloodstream and in extreme situations cause miscarriages and preterm delivery.
You should avoid not only raw eggs but foods that use it as an ingredient ( and the list is huge!). However, of the recipe is cooked it will reduce the chances that the food contains salmonella. In industrial products, the eggs use to be pasteurized.
10 Alfalfa Sprouts
If you are pregnant you might be aware that you should avoid processed and junk food as much as you can. So many types of vegetables are healthy and good for you and your baby, right? Wrong. And alfalfa sprouts are a proof of that and are well known for causing outbreaks of foodborne. They are easily contaminated with salmonella and E. Coli. Actually, they are ok to eat if you are not pregnant, but you should skip a plate of salad Alfalfa sprouts if you are expecting.
However, there are plenty of options if you want to have a salad. You should go for greens like spinach, arugula and radicchio and romaine, that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Make sure to wash them very well before preparing your dish.
There is nothing more refreshing than a slice of cantaloupe on a warm day or in a fruit salad. It is healthy and has very few calories. However, what many people don’t know is that this inoffensive fruit is responsible for several foodborne illness outbreaks because they are often contaminated with E. Coli and Listeria.
There is an explanation for that: Cantaloupes are ground-growing fruits and the soil is the perfect home for those bacterias. When you cut the fruit, the knife will bring the bacterias from the rip to the inside part, that you are about to eat.
So should you avoid cantaloupe while pregnant? Not really. Many people suffer from foodborne illness, because, since people don’t eat the rip, they don't hygienize it properly before eating. So just make sure you wash it very well at home and avoid eating the fruit in restaurants and from buffets.
8 The Baby Will Scream If You Eat Ice Cream
Craving for ice cream? So it is better when you decide to buy an ice cream pack at the grocery store.
When it comes to food, there are just a few things in life that are better than ice cream. However, if you are pregnant that is another food that you should avoid, but just if it is homemade.
Since most of recipes include raw egg yolks, responsible for giving the creamy texture to the ice cream, there is a potential risk of exposure to salmonella, as we explained before. If you decide for a homemade ice cream, make sure it is egg-free. If it has cookie daught, avoid it too, since it also contains raw eggs.
Another option, if that you can also prepare your ice cream using only fruits.
7 The Bag Of Salt
We all know someone who couldn’t stop eating junk food while pregnant. It can be because they were craving or just because they were allowing themselves a period of not really caring for it. However, the outcome can last a lifetime.
According to a research published in 2013, eating too much junk food will increase the chances the child will enjoy it too, even if they never tasted it before. While in the womb, this type of food will affect the brain and they will develop a preference for fatty food.
When you eat it during pregnancy, you are also increasing the chances that your child will suffer from allergies and heart diseases.
Of course, eating it once in awhile is ok, but don’t make it a habit.
6 Put The Chopsticks Down
Now you have learned that you should be careful with fish and you should avoid those that contain high-mercury level. But that is not all: you should avoid at any cost raw fish since it can contain coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.
Those infections can lead to dehydration, but also to more serious outcomes. The bacteria and infections can cross the placenta, cause blood infections and put its life in risk, even if the mother is feeling ok.
So, while you are pregnant, you should pass that invite for eating sushi ( unless it is veggie) and delicious dishes like ceviche. But always ask for meals where the fish is properly cooked.
But you can have it all after the pregnancy.
5 A Cup Of Joe
If you are addicted to coffee, you don’t have to give up on it during the pregnancy. But, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should be aware that you can’t have more than 200 ml per day.
There is a good reason for that: while your body is mature and ready to deal with caffeine, your baby’s body isn’t. In fact, the caffeine is able to cross the placenta, go into the amniotic fluid and bloodstream. The baby’s body is still developing and will take much longer to get rid of coffee’s effect than you.
There are studies that prove that excess of caffeine can lead to miscarriages or babies born with low weight.
4 The Subway Sandwhich
They help us to make a perfect sandwich for breakfast or lunch. A bread filled turkey, chicken, ham and other types of meat is always a practical solution for your meal. However, that is another food that pregnant women should avoid. When the neat is undercooked, it is exposed to several bacterias and parasites: toxoplasmosis and salmonella are two of them.
Some types of bacterias on those meats can still grow even if they are properly refrigerated. You can slow the process if you set your fridge on 40 F. Even then, Pregnant women should only eat deli meat even they are heated until steaming hot.
In fact, you should take this advice to all types of meat you eat in the coming months. Avoid raw meat at any cost when you are pregnant.
3 Leave The Shells Alone
It is hard to resist to a table full of oysters, mussels, shrimps or clams. They are delicious! But if you are pregnant, you should skip those dishes. The main reason for poisoning by seafood is the consumption of undercooked shellfish. For a pregnant woman, it can result in a blood infection that can harm the baby and the mother.
According to Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, pregnant women should only eat fish and shellfish if it is cooked to 145F. The heat will vanish the possible bacterias and parasites that can harm the mother and the baby’s health.
However, some experts also say that the heat isn’t able to get rid of algae-related infection
2 The Baby Wont Be Happy With Cheese
You might have heard from your mother that you should avoid soft cheese now that you are pregnant. She isn’t completely wrong. Many of those cheeses are unpasteurized, so they can have dangerous bacterias and also Listeria, that is especially dangerous for pregnant women, and can harm you and the baby.
However, you don’t have to let go of that small pleasure if you are pregnant. Before buying it, check the label out and you can go ahead if it the milk is pasteurized. Most cheese produced in the United States are pasteurized, so you don’t need to spend 9 months without it.
You can include mozzarella and cottage cheese in your diet, but check the label when it comes to brie, goat or feta cheese.
1 Choose Water Over Juice
Of course, it is important to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits when you are pregnant. Fresh juices are great for your health, but you must be careful with hem if you are pregnant. If unpasteurized, the juices may cause food poisoning, what is very dangerous if you are expecting. It happens because they may contain bacterias from the fruits and vegetables used. Luck for us, more than 90% of juices in the United States are pasteurized.
Pasteurization is the process that involves heating the food at a certain temperature, during a precise amount of time to kill bacterias that can harm your health.
If you want to prepare the fresh juice yourself, always remember to wash it very well, even those that you won’t use the rip.