One of the first things people notice when pregnant is what they can and cannot eat, which may be an enormous disappointment if you enjoy sushi, coffee, or rare steak.
As there’s more that you can eat than there isn’t, all it takes to stay healthy is finding ways to explore low mercury waters. Take extra care in choosing food and drinks for optimal nutrition and wellbeing.
Certain food varieties should only be consumed occasionally while others should be eliminated completely from one’s diet during gestation. Here are five food and drinks to avoid or limit during pregnancy.
- Undercooked Or Raw Fish
This issue will be particularly unnerving to sushi fans, yet nonetheless important. Raw seafood such as shellfish can contain several pathogens including norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella and Listeria that could put people’s health at risk.
One or more of these diseases could directly impact you, resulting in dryness and weakness. While other contaminations could potentially spread to your child with potentially devastating, or even lethal, effects.
Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to Listeria contaminations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pregnant Hispanic women are at an especially increased risk for infection during gestation.
Microorganisms that cause contamination are found in soil, polluted water sources or plants. Raw fish may become infected during processing such as smoking or drying processes.
Listeria microorganisms can be passed from mother to baby through their placenta and cause unexpected labor, unnatural birth cycles, stillbirth and other serious health issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Of course it is wise to avoid raw fish and shellfish dishes such as sushi dishes until after childbirth has taken place, when eating safely may become easier and safer again. But take it easy; after your little one arrives you’ll appreciate these things much more.
- Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can contain salmonella microorganisms that cause disease.
Salmonella contaminations may result in fever, sickness, heaving, stomach issues and loose stools.
However, in rare instances the contamination could cause cramping of the uterus which could result in untimely or stillborn birth.
Food Sources That Generally Contain Raw Eggs Include:
- lightly scrambled eggs
- poached eggs
- hollandaise sauce
- homemade mayonnaise
- some homemade salad dressings
- homemade ice cream
- homemade cake icings
homemade ice cream or cake icing. Many commercial items containing raw eggs are produced from purified egg products and are safe for consumption; however, to be safe always read and check the name to confirm.
Make a point of always fully cooking eggs or opting for purified ones to ensure maximum safety, saving any runny yolks or homemade mayo until after child makes presentation.
- Organ Meat
Organ meat is an abundant source of essential vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients include iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, selenium and copper – which are all excellent choices during gestation. However, eating too much animal-derived vitamin A (preformed vitamin A) should not be done so frequently.
Consuming excessive preformed vitamin A during early gestation, particularly in the first trimester, has been shown to lead to birth abnormalities and premature delivery.
Although usually associated with vitamin A supplements, organ meats like liver should only be consumed occasionally – just one or two ounces at most each week should suffice.
Perhaps you are one of the millions who savor their daily cups of coffee, tea, soda pop or cocoa; certainly you are not alone when it comes to our passion for caffeine!
Pregnant individuals are generally advised by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to limit their caffeine consumption to below 200 milligrams each day.
Caffeine can quickly enter the placenta and be retained rapidly by infants without proper use catalysts for caffeine to metabolise it effectively, potentially leading to substantial amounts becoming present at birth.
High caffeine intake during gestation has been shown to hinder fetal development and increase the chances of low birthweight at delivery.
Low birthweight (defined as being less than 5 lbs, 8 oz or 2.5 kg) increases both the chances of neonatal mortality and long-term illness in adulthood.
Be careful when sipping on coffee or soda to ensure your child does not gain access to too much caffeine.
Alcohol While pregnant, it’s best to abstain completely from alcohol use as this increases your risk of miscarriage and stillbirth; even small quantities can have detrimental effects on a child’s mental wellbeing.
Alcohol abuse during gestation may result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, including facial deformities, heart defects and intellectual disability.
Since no amount of alcohol can provide protection during gestation, it is recommended to avoid it completely.