10 Food Habits to Avoid When You’re Pregnant: Dietary Discipline

There’s no doubt that pregnancy is one of the most incredible and delicate times in a woman’s life. Your family goes to great lengths to ensure that the ideal conditions are provided for her and the process goes as smoothly as possible. For a soon-to-be mom, she has to do whatever it takes to ensure a safe and secure environment for the baby to develop. A lot of people don’t realize that it all begins with a healthy diet. (Information credit: getsavvi)

This article aims to educate readers about what foods to avoid during pregnancy.

1. Underprepared/ Raw Fish: Several types of raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause severe infection which can complicate matters. This is because they are often contaminated with bacteria and parasites which are invisible to the naked eye. Ingestion of these bacteria can result in adverse health effects, harming both the mother and the unborn child. 

Pregnant women are advised not to consume any raw fish or shellfish during pregnancy. This means foregoing delicacies such as sushi during that time.

2. Undercooked/ Raw Meat: Similar to raw fish, raw or undercooked meat can have several bacteria and parasites hiding in them. As a rule of thumb, any meat which is not cooked all the way through has a chance of getting contaminated with Toxoplasma, E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella among others. This increases the possibility of a stillborn child, or a child with severe neurological illnesses like mental retardation, epilepsy, and even blindness.

Pregnant woman are hence advised to not consume undercooked meat. This also includes processed meat of any kind, unless they are boiled or heated for a long time. 

3. Raw Eggs: Raw eggs are always at a risk of being contaminated with the Salmonella virus and the pregnant mother is always at a risk of developing diseases such as fever, nausea, vomiting tendencies, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Infections of any kind can cause cramps in the uterus of the pregnant woman, increasing the chances of premature birth or even stillbirth at worst. 

Women are advised to avoid all products which have raw eggs as an ingredient. This can include homemade mayonnaise, homemade ice cream, cake icings, salad dressings, lightly scrambled eggs, poached eggs and even Hollandaise sauce.

4. Caffeine: A psychoactive substance, caffeine is consumed widely all over the world, mainly found in commonplace beverages like tea and coffee.  Many people have a tough time staying away from coffee because of their existing working habits.  However, consumption should be limited to less than 200 mg per day, which adds up to only 2 – 3 cups per day. As caffeine is absorbed very quickly, it passes directly through the placenta and reaches the foetus. High levels of metabolized caffeine can build up since the foetus does not have the main enzyme required to break it down.  This results in foetal growth restrictions and increases the chances of low birth weight. 

Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake as per their doctor’s advice.

The above points are just few of the food ingredients to avoid while you’re pregnant. For a detailed list, your general physician can help you out.

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