It might seem a little silly to tell a pregnant woman she can’t eat certain things while
she’s pregnant, however, there are certain foods you really should avoid throughout
your pregnancy, but mostly during those first few weeks.
Foods to Avoid During Early Pregnancy
Sadly, this is a hard and fast rule. Trust me, as an avid wine drinker and someone
who attended many a function that provided free refills of very good and expensive
wines; this was a difficult pill to swallow (something else you can no longer do
unless advised by a doctor, even for allergies or a bad migraine). But, when it comes
to the health of your baby, you’ll make all the sacrifices necessary to avoid certain
foods (and drink) during early pregnancy.
In the later months, you actually can have a single glass of wine daily (only one, and
no not those glasses that hold an entire bottle of wine), which equals out to about
50z of wine per day. And really, that’s only advisable for the expectant moms who
previously drank 1-2 glasses a day or every other day on a regular basis. Otherwise,
doctors do recommend avoiding all alcohol.
For some, this will be as difficult to give up as a glass of wine or a beer. Sliced deli
meats are to be avoided due to listeria. This is a hazardous bacterium that tends to
live in those previously delicious slices of meat. Your unborn baby doesn’t have the
germ defenses you do, and so cannot combat the bacteria that’s laced into the
sandwich meats, which is why it is most definitely a food you should avoid during
Foods to avoid during pregnancy: Sushi
Ugh. This was another tough one for me, personally. I’m a huge fan of sushi,
particularly the raw fish kind. And that’s where the problem lies for pregnant
women, of course. Raw fish, if not prepared immediately after being pulled from the
water runs the risk of bacteria, a no-no for your new fetus.
All is not lost though; you can have California sushi rolls – those that are made with
only vegetables/rice and seaweed wraps. I made do with those for the first few
months, until I was able to go for dinner at a high-end sushi restaurant where I
knew the sushi was prepared fresh, and not sitting in a plastic container for hours
on end before I got to it.
And it’s not just raw sushi you have to avoid, but there are certain high-mercury
fishes you should also try not to eat while you’re pregnant; like swordfish, shark,
king mackerel, and tuna. While ingesting these types of fish 1-2 times per month is
fine, eating them in excess could seriously harm your nervous system, kidneys and
immune system, which in turn could harm the baby and has been known to cause
developmental issues with children.
Seriously, from the very beginning, these kids of ours make everything very difficult
and harder for us moms! Case in point: No more caffeine. Wait, that’s not entirely
true. Studies have shown that excessive consumption (3 or more cups of coffee or
tea per day) can lead to lower birth weights, higher incidences of miscarriages, and
(just like in adults) an increase in baby’s heart rate. On the flip side, there are
studies that suggest limiting your caffeine intake to about 200mg per day (or a 12oz
cup) is OK and won’t harm the baby, if you must have that coffee hit.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy: Heavily processed Foods
This is pretty straightforward, really any time in your life (pregnant or not).
Constantly eating process, boxed or fast-food options will not be healthy for you or
your baby. Avoid high-sugar snacks as well, as that can put you at risk for
gestational diabetes. While there are other factors that can come into play (a topic
for a later blog), spiking your glucose level causes your body to need to produce
more insulin. When you’re pregnant, your hormones are all over the place and you
might already be struggling with insulin production.
So, try not to add any more hormonal stress to your pregnant body by avoiding
heavily processed foods, and stick to a clean, raw, protein- and vegetable-rich diet.
Eating for Two
It might seem like a good excuse to eat all the things. Trust me, there are times you
will feel like that! But, I want you to remember that everything you put in your
mouth is also being shared by your wee one. If you want them to stay healthy, you
have to stay healthy. Be smart about your meal choices, and try and keep your daily
intact as balanced and clean as possible. Sure, you can cheat occasionally, but overall
avoid the above foods when you’re in the early stages of pregnancy and you’ll be on
your way to growing a happy, healthy baby.