When you’re expecting, everything you eat and drink gets consumed by your child around an hour later. Some food can damage Your Child’s development and cause complications later in life.
Things to avoid during pregnancy include:
Raw meat and shellfish: Uncooked seafood such as oysters, mussels, clams, and raw or undercooked beef, pork, or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
Certain seafood and fish: Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. A sample of these types of fish includes shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and other big fish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna but should only be eaten in moderation.
Some sushi: It’s fine to eat raw fish in sushi when you’re pregnant, as long as any raw fish used to make the sushi has been frozen first. Freezing kills the small parasitic worms and makes raw fish safe to eat. However, the safest way to enjoy sushi is to choose fully cooked or vegetarian varieties.
Deli meat: Deli meats can be contaminated with listeria, bacteria that can cross the placenta and infect your developing baby. Infection in utero could lead to blood poisoning and could be life-threatening for your baby.
Raw eggs: This also includes foods that contain raw eggs. So, be wary of homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, ice cream, and custards. Raw eggs can pose a risk of salmonella.
Unpasteurized cow milk: Unpasteurized cow milk may contain listeria. Make sure that any cow milk you drink is pasteurized, or switch to plant-based options. Besides milk from soy, other alternatives are rice milk, oats milk, almonds milk, or pistachios milk.
Caffeine: High doses of caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy beverages, and other sources may increase the risk of miscarriage, reduced birth weight, and stillbirth. However, there is no conclusive research result to date. So as a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 200 mg per day – around 2 cups of coffee.
Unwashed Vegetables: Vegetables are a necessary part of a balanced diet. However, it is essential to ensure they are washed under running water to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown. Better avoid raw sprouts altogether because bacteria inside sprout seeds are nearly impossible to be washed out.
Alcohol: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Alcohol should be strictly avoided at all times.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (5 July 2020)