According to an online publication by the American Pregnancy Association, most foods are safe for consumption during pregnancy, but mommies to be should use discernment and take precaution to avoid certain foods and beverages during pregnancy.
Below is an outline of foods to avoid:
–Raw Meat: Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided to reduce the risk of consuming harmful bacteria.
–Deli Meat: Deli meats are known to be contaminated with listeria that can permeate the placenta and infect the baby, which could be fatal for your unborn child. Deli meats consumed while pregnant should be heated until steaming.
–Fish with Mercury: Mercury consumed during pregnancy is linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Fish high in mercury content include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and tuna.
–Smoked Seafood: Refrigerated, smoked seafood often labeled as lox, nova style, kippered, or jerky should be avoided as these may contain listeria.
–Fish Exposed to Industrial Pollutants: Avoid fish from contaminated waters altogether. These fish are typically from local lakes and streams which include bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout, and walleye. You can contact your local health department or Environmental Protection Agency to learn which fish are safe to eat in your area.
–Raw Shellfish: Oysters, clams, and mussels should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.
–Raw Eggs: Some homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custards, and Hollandaise sauces may contain raw eggs and should be avoided.
–Soft Cheeses: All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat. You should avoid soft cheeses such as brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorganzola, and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco unless the label clearly states it is made from pasteurized milk.
–Pate: Refrigerated pate or meat spreads should be avoided because they may contain the bacteria listeria. Canned pate or shelf-safe meat spreads are safe.
–Caffeine: Consuming large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy is linked to miscarriage and should be avoided, however one cup of coffee per day is permitted (Yay!).
–Alcohol: Despite some reports, there is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy.
Healthy eating during pregnancy is a great way to improve overall health and provide your little one with a great start to life! Healthy nutrition doesn’t end after pregnancy and breastmilk is the best way to sustain optimal nutrition for baby after birth.
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