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what to avoid while pregnant

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Top 6 Foods Not to Eat When Pregnant

Diet is undoubtedly important for a pregnant woman. It affects not only the normal development of the fetus, but also the physique and intelligence of the infant after birth. Here, we list some foods pregnant women should avoid, so that these mothers will be mindful when they see these foods.

1. Seafood high in mercury

Seafood is rich in protein, and the omega-3 fatty acids in many fish help to promote the development of your baby's brain and eyes. However, some seafood contains potentially high levels of mercury, which could harm your baby's developing nervous system. Large marine fishes tend to accumulate high amounts of mercury since mercury is found in polluted sea, so you should avoid Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel, Albacore Tilefish, Tuna and other large marine fishes.

High-mercury seafood can be very harmful while low-mercury one is very healthy for mother to eat during pregnancy, such as Shrimp, Salmon, Pollock, Catfish, Anchovies, Trout, Cod, Tilapia.

foods to avoid during pregnancy

2. Raw, undercooked or contaminated seafood

Seafood like raw fish, shellfish are also foods to avoid while pregnant. They can be viral, bacterial or parasitic, and then lead to several infections caused by Norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella and especially Listeria. Some of these infections only affect the mother, making her vulnerable and dehydrated, but some may be passed on to the unborn baby and lead to serious or even fatal consequence. Sea foods to avoid when pregnant: Sushi, Sashimi, and Raw Oysters, Scallops or Clams.

foods to avoid while pregnant

3. Raw, undercooked and processed meat

Raw or undercooked meat is one of the foods pregnant women should avoid. Make sure you cook the meat thoroughly especially sausages and minced meat until there is entirely no pink or blood. Eating undercooked or raw meat may cause you to infect from bacteria or parasites like Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Pregnant women should also avoid processed meat products unless they've been reheated until steaming hot.

foods to avoid when pregnant

4. Raw or undercooked eggs

Pregnant women should also cook eggs thoroughly or use pasteurized eggs.  Raw eggs are likely contaminated with Salmonella which may cause the mother fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. What's worse, the Salmonella infection might cause cramps in the uterus, leading to premature birth or stillbirth. Raw eggs are commonly found in Poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, salad dressings,  homemade mayonnaise, etc. Most commercial products containing raw eggs are made with pasteurized eggs that are safe to consume. But it would be better to read the label for sure.

 foods not to eat while pregnant

5. Caffeine

Caffeine is mainly contained in tea, coffee, cola, soft drinks, chocolate and so on. Drinking too much caffeine during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage, fetal growth restriction and low birth weight at delivery. You should limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day when pregnant. Check the caffeine content of some foods/drinks before you consume them.

Caffeine Content List:

A can of cola – 40mg

A bar of plain chocolate – 50mg 

A mug of tea – 75mg

A cup of instant coffee – 100mg

A mug of filter coffee – 140mg

 foods pregnant women should avoid

6. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Even a small amount can impact the development of your baby's brain negatively. It can also lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which involves heart defects, facial deformities and mental retardation. So pregnant women are suggested to avoid drinking alcohol completely, especially in the first three months of pregnancy. If you just can’t quit drinking alcohol, try your best to keep alcohol in a low content. Don’t drink alcohol more than once or twice a week.

 beverage to avoid when pregnant

Aside from noticing what to eat during pregnancy, a mother has to know what not to eat while pregnant as well. If you keep well maintaining the nutrition both you and the baby need and prevent yourself from not-supposed-to-eat foods correctly, you will tend to have a healthier and better-physique baby than others, even after the baby is born, because the nutrition baby gets when he is in the womb will effect his later development in the long run. 

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