Avoiding some foods and beverages ensure that both you and your baby are healthy and protected. As some food may harm your baby as well as making you sick, so food safety must be a priority.
Here are the list of foods and beverages to avoid or minimize during pregnancy.
Caffeine, the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world. As psychoactive substance will increase your heart rate and it may increase stress to baby and potentially increase your risk of miscarriage.
If you really need your daily caffeine fix during pregnancy, please limit it to 200mg of caffeine a day – equivalent to 2 cups of regular coffee or tea. Caffeine absorbed quickly, and passes smoothly into the placenta and fetus.
Undercooked, Raw and Processed Meat
Eating undercooked, raw meat and poultry, such as pink or raw meat that is bloody, can cause toxoplasmosis and also increases the risk of infection from several bacteria or parasites.
Undercooked meat contains injurious bacteria salmonella, which increases the risk of food poisoning.
Pregnant women should not consume processed meat products unless they’ve been reheated. Those bacteria may threaten the health of the unborn baby, possibly leading to severe neurological illnesses, including mental retardation, blindness and epilepsy.
Raw eggs contain harmful salmonella bacteria, which may cause food poisoning. You may experience diarrhoea, headache, severe vomiting, abdominal pain, and high temperature. These symptoms are unlikely to affect your baby, but will affect your immune system as it will become weaker, which may impact the baby’s development.
Raw shellfish contain harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins that will make you ill. As they will cause food poisoning and have a higher risk of listeria contamination.
Unwashed fruits and vegetables
Unwashed fruits and vegetables contain toxoplasma parasite that will harms the development of baby. Toxoplasmosis contaminates the soil where fruits and vegetables are grown and you may ingest the harmful microbes if you eat them unwashed.
Cheeses contain listeria, a type of bacteria that can harm your unborn baby.
Fish containing mercury
Mercury is an element found in oceans, streams, and lakes, converts into methyl mercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin and is linked to brain damage and developmental delays in babies.
You could choose salmon, catfish, cod, and canned light tuna, which have low mercury levels.
Unpasteurised or raw milk has no nutritional advantage, and contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E.coli, and cryptosporidium that can be dangerous to you and unborn baby.
Alcohol may affect the development of the fetus and lead to slower physical growth and mental problems, also increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Fresh juices may contain harmful bacteria as it pose a risk if the fruits or vegetables are not washed well. If you really want juices, opt for the pasteurised option in the supermarket.