What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?
Real Mom Problem
“I am pregnant with my first child and am currently 16 weeks along. My biggest fear is listeria. I have eaten certain foods and then obsessed in secret about the ingredients, how it was prepared, and if I should have avoided the food altogether. For me it is reaching an obsession that feels destructive. I just so want this pregnancy to be a healthy one. I love my child so much even at this early stage and want to do my best to be healthy.”
- 1. Most doctors advise staying away from fish that is high in mercury, raw or undercooked eggs, deli meats, and soft or unpasteurized cheese, and rare beef
- 2. Smoked fish and uncooked seafood carry the risk of listeria and other seafood-borne infections
- 3. Watch what you drink as well: Avoid unpasteurized juices and milk, too many caffeinated beverages, and alcohol
Real Mom Solutions
Are you confused about what foods are safe and what foods you should avoid during pregnancy? It's tough to keep up with the ever-changing news on what you should and shouldn't eat for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Some moms offer lists of foods to avoid, while others suggest it's best not to stress about food choices.
Steer Clear Of These
I've heard to avoid lunch meat (or microwave it before eating). There are specific kinds of fish you're told to avoid, plus unpasteurized cheeses.
Some salad dressings use raw egg yolk. The experts suggest staying away from raw egg yolk because of the risk of salmonella.
Uncooked eggs can carry salmonella. Deli meats that aren't heated prior to eating can have listeria (so can unpasteurized cheese or milk). Caffeine (above 200 mg/day) is associated with higher miscarriage rates. When you are pregnant, your natural immunity is down. While you could usually take medication to be rid of listeria, it doesn't work that way when pregnant.
Avoid: Fish with mercury in it (i.e. tuna, shark, sword fish), deli meats, raw eggs or meats, soft cheeses (brie, feta, and other cheeses of that nature), caffeine, alcohol, herbal teas (make sure you check with your doctor before drinking them; some are ok, but others are not), liver, and unpasteurized juices and milk.
Don't Stress About Food
Personally, I've never avoided any foods other than ones I don't like or that made me sick.
Everything in moderation is the rule I live by when pregnant or even in day-to-day life.
Only thing I dropped completely for baby is wine.
I do watch my fish/tuna intake but I don't stop eating it. I am one for being safe during a pregnancy, even more since my last one ended in a miscarriage, but I am not going to go in a bubble.
I tend to go with moderation for most things. Everything I avoid now -- with the exception of alcohol -- I avoid normally: high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners, etc.
I ate everything I ate before getting pregnant, with two healthy chubby babies (17 months and 3 week old baby) as a result. If you ate it before pregnancy, it's safe to eat during pregnancy in MODERATION, with the exception of predator fish and undercooked eggs.
Use common sense and don't stress over everything you eat.