One of the first things women are recommended to ask their doctors during their first prenatal appointment is what they can and can't do for the next nine months. Of course, this includes the types of foods they can consume because not everything is safe for their unborn child. Unfortunately, a mother-to-be can often feel confused due to the fact that there are so many conflicting statements made over what's safe and what isn't. But Insider has cultivated a list of things that pregnant women should avoid for a number of different reasons- including food poisoning, high mercury levels, and not sitting well in the stomach.
In regards to food consumption during pregnancy, the things that doctors worry most about is food poisoning. That's because it can put both the mother-to-be and her unborn child at risk. The foods a pregnant woman should avoid at all costs include all deli meat, raw or unpasteurized dairy products (both hard and soft cheese), raw or partially cooked eggs, raw/uncooked shellfish and other types of seafood, as well as unwashed or potentially contaminated fruits and vegetables. On that note, it's always important for a pregnant woman to wash all produce due to the possibility of cross-contamination. The bacteria found in food-borne illness is called listeria, and this can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
Next on the list are things that are also not recommended for pregnant women to eat, even though the consequences of consumption are less severe than foods contaminated with listeria. These can still cause harm to the baby. Any food with high levels of mercury can actually cause damage to the central nervous system in the unborn child. Different types of fish that have dangerous levels of mercury include ahi tuna, bigeye tuna, king mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, and tilefish.
The last things on the list are items that should be avoided because of the discomfort it may cause the mother-to-be. It's always recommended to cut out greasy and/or spicy cuisine whenever possible, as well as anything with highly potent smells. Cooking with garlic and onions is another thing to avoid. If a pregnant woman is experiencing nausea while eating certain types of foods, it's suggested to integrate some bland foods to counteract the unsettling feeling.