5 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Eating during your pregnancy involves a little common sense, a basic understanding of good nutrition, and an awareness of which foods to avoid during pregnancy. 

During certain times in your pregnancy you might experience nausea, indigestion, constipation and other problems.  Those can be countered by a variety of natural foods or changes in your eating patterns. 

There are however foods to avoid during pregnancy because they are potentially dangerous, or because they can add to your discomfort.

Which Fish You Should and Shouldn’t Avoid During Pregnancy
On the one hand, wild caught fish such as salmon, sardines and albacore tuna provide excellent protein and heart healthy fats.  They also help develop the nervous system and brain of the baby.  On the other hand, fish such as shark, king mackerel and ahi tuna contain a lot of mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Your best bet is to stay on top of the list posted by the Seafood Watch Program.  It is regularly updated.  As long as you choose fish that are listed in the “safe” portion of the list you can enjoy fish throughout your pregnancy.  Completely avoid those considered unsafe and minimize those in the middle.  You can do both the planet and your baby a good deed this way.

Raw Produce Only
Although raw milk products are usually acceptable, you need to avoid them during pregnancy.  Raw milk, meat and fish can all contain certain types of bacteria that can cause you to get very ill and some that can even cause miscarriage. 

Even raw produce should be well washed, just to be sure.  There will be plenty of time to introduce your little one to the joys of sushi, steak tartar and other such dishes when your pregnancy is over.

The list of foods to avoid during pregnancy also  includes undercooked eggs, unpasteurized raw milk cheeses, and even that glass of fall cider, unfortunately.

Should You Eat Fried Foods when Pregnant?
While this isn’t a danger, it surely can make for a very uncomfortable experience.  Remember that as your baby grows there is little room in your stomach.  Fried foods are notoriously hard to digest, and with the restricted environment, they are very likely to cause indigestion.  Are they dangerous? No.  Are they any fun? Usually, they are not!

Eating Liver while Pregnant
While it is always questionable to eat the filtration organ of another animal, pregnancy is definitely not the time to load up on liver.  The high levels of vitamin A can actually lead to birth defects.  If you didn’t like liver before, this is the perfect excuse to eliminate it from your diet completely.  Lean, grass-fed meats are a much better bet, and they pose no hazard.

How Much Caffeine can You Have when Pregnant?
While it is usually ok to enjoy one cup of organic, black coffee in the morning when you are focusing on good nutrition, it might be a good idea to give it up when you are pregnant. 

Caffeine crosses the placenta affecting the baby’s heart rate.

Excessive caffeine consumption is cited as a cause for low birth weight and an increased incidence of miscarriage and still birth.  Most doctors recommend you stay under 150mg a day–about the amount in one cup of coffee or two cups of black tea.

Eat Well and Feel Great
It should go without saying that skipping the candy aisle, stocking up on plenty of whole grains, organic produce, poultry and eggs, lean meats and raw nuts should be your goal.  While it is always our goal to eat well, when pregnant, it is even more important, and not just for the baby. 

Creating an entire human being takes a lot of work.  Women who eat well, exercise moderately and maximize their good nutrition feel better through their pregnancies.  While you should know which foods to avoid during pregnancy, it’s even better to hone in on those foods that will help you feel great the whole 9 months long.

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