Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

There are certain foods that pregnant women are advised to avoid. It’s important to know which foods to avoid during pregnancy, so you can lessen any risk to you or your baby.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy include:

Soft Cheeses – Certain cheeses are considered unsafe to eat during pregnancy. Mould-ripened soft cheeses, and soft blue-vein cheese should be avoided due to the risk of listeria. Listeria is a harmful bacteria and, while rare, it can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth, and so pregnant women are advised to avoid any food with an increased risk of allowing listeria to grow. These include blue cheese, camembert, brie, and more.

Pâtés – Pâtés can harbour listeria, so pregnant women are advised to avoid all pâtés, including vegetable pâtés, for the duration of the pregnancy.

Undercooked Eggs – Pregnant women are advised to avoid raw or partially uncooked eggs because of the risk of salmonella poisoning during pregnancy. Salmonella poisoning would not harm the baby, but can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhoea. If you’d like to enjoy your eggs, eat them hard-boiled or over-well, rather than over easy or poached.

Undercooked Meat – Rare and undercooked meats could carry the infection toxoplasmosis, a serious condition that can harm developing babies. Be sure meats are eaten well-done.

Liver – Liver products contain high levels of vitamin A and this could harm your unborn baby, and should be avoided completely in pregnancy.

Vitamin and fish oil supplements – You should avoid fish oil and other supplements that contain high levels of vitamin A.

Some Types of Fish – Swordfish, marlin and shark are not advised during pregnancy. These fish may contain high levels of mercury which could harm your developing baby.  You should also be careful to limit your intake of tuna to just two steaks, or four medium sized cans, per week. Pregnant women advised not to eat more than two helpings of oily fish per week.

Shellfish – Pregnant women are advised to avoid raw shellfish which can contain harmful bacteria.

The above foods are to be avoided, but there are plenty of other things you can enjoy. For example, you can’t eat certain soft cheeses, but are fine to snack on cheddar. Raw shellfish should be avoided, but cooked shellfish is fine during pregnancy.

Make sure that you wash all food thoroughly before eating, and be careful to properly wash your hands before and after handling any food items. Though the risk of bacteria or food poisoning is low, these can be extremely serious if they occur during pregnancy.

Are any of your favourite foods on the banned list, and if so, how are you coping without them?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.