5 Food "Don'ts" during Pregnancy

Pregnancy really is a time when you’re eating for two, and there are just some things you don’t want your baby eating. Here are 5:

  1. Don’t drink alcohol. Even one drink can poison your baby, a condition known as fetal alcohol poisoning. That one drink can cause birth defects, leaving your baby to live a life of disability. Don’t drink; it’s just not worth it.
  2. Don’t eat raw fish or seafood known to contain high levels of mercury. This includes shark, swordfish, King mackerel, and tilefish. It’s OK to eat other fish 2 to 3 times per week. Salmon, catfish, tilapia, shrimp, and canned tuna are all considered safe. Avoid raw fish, even sushi, throughout your pregnancy.
  3. Don’t eat unwashed fruits and vegetables unless you have removed the skin. Wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them. This removes any pesticides or bacteria that could make you or your baby sick. Don’t eat raw sprouts during your pregnancy. They also may contain potentially harmful bacteria, and it’s much harder to wash away.
  4. Don’t overdo the caffeine. Some researchers believe that caffeine can affect your baby’s heart rate. This can increase the risk of miscarriage. If you’re a coffee drinker, limit your java to12 ounces (about 1½ cups) per day. Keep in mind that other foods and drinks contain caffeine. Take them into account when you’re tracking how much caffeine you’re consuming. Colas, some energy drinks, and some medications also contain caffeine.
  5. Don’t eat unpasteurized cheeses. They can contain food poisoning from bacteria. Studies suggest that these bacteria can increase miscarriages and even harm newborns. These cheeses include Mexican-style cheeses, such as queso blanco and queso fresco, feta, blue cheese, and brie. Unpasteurized juices create the same risk. Avoid them during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time when you should enjoy eating a variety of foods. Be sure to include lots of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, lean meats, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish.