Pregnancy is an enormous milestone for any woman. Can you imagine how it feels to carry another human being inside of you? It’s a bit of a daunting task, isn’t it? To ensure that no harm comes to your baby, you have to be extra careful about everything that you do. What you eat will also be eaten by the baby, what you expose yourself to will also affect the baby… everything has to be taken into consideration.
However, it doesn’t all have to be scary and difficult. All you need to do is tweak your diet and make some lifestyle changes for just about nine months – or longer if you choose to breastfeed (but at that point everything should be easy).
Here are five food items that you need to avoid while pregnant:
Not all cheese should be avoided. Only those that are soft such as brie, camembert, chevre, Danish blue, and Roquefort, to name a few. The reason is because the softer the cheese is, the less acidic it is. Soft cheese contains a lot of moisture. Any food item that has less acidity and moisture is a haven for harmful bacteria, like listeria.
Listera is a bacteria that causes listeriosis. Although rare, it can cause a miscarriage, stillbirth and severe illness to the baby.
Vegetable pates, liver pates, fish pates… all kinds of pates should be avoided. In addition to the fact that it contains listeria, the liver in a liver pate isn’t good for the baby. Liver contains a lot of retinol, which is a form of vitamin A – this can harm a developing fetus.
• Raw, undercooked meat and eggs
Say goodbye to steak dinner dates. You shouldn’t have your steak medium rare while pregnant, nor should you have grilled meat that isn’t cooked through and through. The risk for toxoplasmosis is high with uncooked meat. You should ensure that there aren't any portions that are uncooked or even a small trace of blood. You should also avoid cold cuts, as these meats aren’t cooked, just cured.
Eggs that are not thoroughly cooked may increase the risks of salmonella and food poisoning. Though salmonella won’t cause harm to the baby, you can’t really afford to experience diarrhea and vomiting on top of any other side effects you are already experiencing. This will dehydrate you and lower the nutrients in your body.
• Fish, but not all kinds
Sushi and other raw fish can be eaten, but make sure that they’ve been frozen before they were served. Freezing can kill any bacteria residing in fish. You should avoid eating shark, swordfish or marlin. Tuna consumption should be restricted because it contains mercury. Try to stick to less than 140g cooked tuna steak, or 170g raw. Oily fish should also be avoided, such as salmon, mackerel, herring. This is because they contain sea pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
• Unpasteurized milk
You should only drink pasteurized or ultra-heat treated milk. If you’re offered homemade or unpasteurized milk, make sure to boil it first.
It doesn’t seem that difficult, does it? If you are unsure about what you should and should not consume while pregnant, it’s still best to consult your physician to avoid harming your baby.
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