Foods to avoid during pregnancy

We all know that it is important to eat healthy foods during pregnancy but there are also some food that can be potentially harmful to an unborn baby that is still developing in the womb. So here is a list of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy and the reasons why:

Vitamin A – this includes liver and liver products. You will need some vitamin A during pregnancy but too much can cause serious problems for a developing baby especially in the first few months of having a baby.

Raw or undercooked eggs – this can cause food poisoning and potentially cause miscarriages and early labour.

Food containing Listeria – these include cheese that are soft and blue veined such as Brie, Stilton and Camembert, Pate, readymade salads such as coleslaw and potato salad and also ready meals or preheated food that isn’t piping hot when served. The reason behind this is because Listeria is said to cause stillbirth, miscarriage or severe illness in newborn babies.

Fish – two fish meals are the maximum recommended intake for pregnant women. This is because some fish like tuna contain a high level of mercury which can damage a developing baby’s nervous system. Oily fish that are encouraged to eat are fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout. Marlin, shark and swordfish contain high levels of mercury and should be avoided.

Meat – make sure all meat is cooked properly. When cut it shouldn’t be pink or bleed. Cured meat such as Parma Ham and salami should be avoided.

Raw shell fish – some contain bacteria and can cause food poisoning so refrain from eating if possible.

Unpasteurised products – such as milk from goats, cows and sheep. This can cause infections usually found in animals.

Caffeine – not just from coffee but some foods such as chocolate also contain caffeine as do some over the counter medicines. Caffeine has been linked to low birth weights and miscarriage. Limit to 300mg a day that is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee.

If you take all these things into consideration when pregnant, you should have a healthy baby with no problems at all and if you have found all this out later in pregnancy don’t worry too much.  Just take precautions and avoid anything that can potentially harm your unborn baby.

Remember when preparing food to use different utensils, chopping boards and knives for meat and vegetables. Clean all surfaces while cooking to prevent bacteria spreading from uncooked meat touching kitchen worktops.