Foods you should avoid during pregnancy

If you are pregnant, there are plenty of things that you can still enjoy doing that you would be able to do if you weren’t pregnant; however there are certain things which you should be wary of doing and certain foods to avoid when pregnant. Some of the foods to avoid whilst pregnant are usually perfectly safe to eat, but may carry certain risks to your unborn child if they are consumed whilst you are pregnant. Below is a list of some of the main foods to avoid whilst pregnant. This list is not comprehensive, as different schools of medical thought suggest different foods to avoid.

Foods you should avoid during pregnancy

Blue Cheese

Mould ripened cheeses and soft cheeses which have been made with unpasteurized cows’ or goats’ milk are foods to avoid whilst pregnant, because they carry the risk of being infected with listeria. Although listeria is rarely found in these cheeses, if an infection occurs in a pregnant woman, the symptoms can include stillbirth, miscarriage or severe illness in the fetus. All types of pâté, including vegetable pâté should be avoided during pregnancy, because these foods also have an increase possibility of the presence of listeria bacteria.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs are another one of the foods to avoid whilst pregnant. Whenever you are eating eggs, you should ensure that they are cooked thoroughly, because raw eggs are more likely to contain the salmonella virus, which can induce severe vomiting and diarrhea. Foods which contain raw eggs, such as mayonnaise, are also a risk.

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Raw Meats

Raw, rare and undercooked meats are all foods to avoid whilst pregnant. Undercooked meat can contain toxoplasmosis bacteria, which could be very harmful to you or your baby whilst you are pregnant. If you are cooking for yourself, make sure that all meat is served piping hot, and that there are no traces of pink juices or blood in the meat after it has been cooked. If you are eating out, you should take particular care when ordering steak, lamb or duck dishes, which are often served rare. You should also be aware that some burger establishments serve their burgers pink in the middle. Meals which contain cooked liver, such as liver sausage should be avoided, even when they are completely cooked, because the vitamin A content is too high. Too much vitamin A can be harmful to an unborn child.

Shellfish and some types of fish

Some shellfish or other larger types of seafood are considered foods to avoid whilst pregnant, because they can accumulate large quantities of Mercury or other impurities. Animals which filter seawater, as many shellfish do, can be affected by any pollution in the waters where they lived, and may be full of harmful impurities. Mercury can harm the development of your baby’s nervous system so foods which may contain higher levels of mercury should be avoided. The fish which contain the most mercury are the ones at the top of the food chain, such as shark, marlin and swordfish. Tuna can be eaten in limited quantities.

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