Pregnancy is a time when most mothers to be are concerned about their health, and about how what they eat, will affect their unborn baby. Public health agencies make many recommendations and one of those, in fact the most important one, is for women to avoid foods that have a high potential for disease causing bacteria or that are dangerous to the fetus.
Here’s a list of foods that public health agencies recommend you avoid during your pregnancy.
- Alcohol – It is recommended that you completely stop drinking alcohol during your pregnancy as it is directly linked to fetal alcohol syndrome and other conditions.
- Caffeine – You should limit your consumption of coffee, tea or cola to no more than 0-1 per day. Caffeine is linked to low birth weight as well as miscarriage.
- Freshly caught fish – this includes tuna, swordfish, shark, marlin, etc., which may contain unsafe mercury levels. You should limit your intake to 150 grams per month. Canned white tuna and albacore tuna contain some mercury, so you should limit your consumption to no more than 300 grams per week.
- Herbal tea, such as sage tea, Chamomile tea, pennyroyal, parsley tea, lobelia, coltsfoot, teas with aloe, juniper berries, comfrey, Labrador tea, buckthorn bark, and sassafras should all be avoided during pregnancy. There are others so make sure to read the packaging before purchasing.
- Non-dried deli meats – cold cuts, refrigerated pate, hot dogs, refrigerated smoked seafood and fish, and meat spreads
- Raw fish – clams, oysters and sushi. Avoid smoked fish that is kept in the fridge such as smoked salmon.
- Raw or undercooked eggs – this includes foods that are made with raw eggs like Caesar salad dressing. Raw eggs can potentially contain salmonella and therefore should be avoided throughout your pregnancy.
- Raw sprouts – especially alfalfa sprouts
- Undercooked meat or rare meat, seafood and poultry
- Unpasteurized juices
- Unpasteurized milk products – also foods that are made from using raw milk cheese, especially soft and/or semi-soft cheeses. This includes Bria and Camembert. All unpasteurized cheeses have the potential to be infected with Listeria bacteria, which can be harmful to your baby.
If you are unsure about a certain food, it is best to avoid that food until you can find information regarding it. You should feel free to ask your doctor about any nutritional concerns you might have.