Pregnancy Nutrition - Foods To Avoid

Pregnancy nutrition is of utmost importance for the health of the mother and the baby. It is very important for the mother to eat a well balanced diet and remain healthy so that adequate nutrients are available to the baby growing inside her. Eating properly is good; however there are certain foods that should be avoided during pregnancy.

Pregnancy information is incomplete without outlining the food that is not good for the mother or the baby. Pregnancy nutrition should be carefully planned. Sliced fruits added to a fortified cereal make an ideal breakfast. Similarly, extra vegetables mixed with normal dishes and yogurt for dessert balance the meal. But pregnancy nutrition should also inform the mother about what shouldn’t be eaten.
Certain food should be avoided by pregnant women. This information would help in deciding what is best for the baby.

  • Seafood – This is a good source of protein and iron. Omega-3 in the fish can help in brain development of the baby. Certain sea foods contain high content of mercury which can cause damage to the baby’s nervous system. Still others can cause deficient verbal skills and pose behavioral problems in the baby. Big fishes contain more mercury. Thus, the FDA recommends that pregnant women must avoid shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish. It is best to avoid raw fish and shell fish during pregnancy. It is advisable to eat fish that’s properly cooked.

  • Meat and poultry – Cook meats and poultry very well to avoid bacterial poisoning. Try to skip burgers, sausages and hot dogs. The meat in them might not be properly cooked. These are sources of listeriosis. Bacterial food poisoning can show aggravated symptoms in pregnant women.
  • Dairy products – Avoid unpasteurized milk.. Cottage cheese, skim milk and mozzarella are fine but blue cheese, camembert, feta and brie are best avoided.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine is one ingredient that can travel through the placenta and affect the heart rate of the fetus. Increased intake of caffeine can lead to decreased birth weight, increase in miscarriages and even cause still births. Even 200mg of caffeine a day can reduce fetal growth. It is not worth taking caffeine if your baby is being affected and therefore you must try to avoid it.
  • Herbal tea – Herbs are confusing and most of them have no scientific evidence of the effect they might cause. Do not take any chances with your pregnancy by taking herbal teas, even the ones that are specifically for pregnant women.
  • Alcohol – There is no safe limit for alcohol. It can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and fetal abnormalities. Women should avoid alcohol for the entire pregnancy term if they want to give birth to a healthy baby.
  • Pregnancy nutrition information is passed on to all women who are carrying by their doctors and health providers but food to avoid should also be listed so that they do not get infected or affected by the harmful and damaging effects of some such items. Care should be exercised while eating out and home made food should be preferred.