When a woman is pregnant, she needs to pay extra care to what she consumes as it not only affects her health but also the development and wellbeing of the baby. There are certain foods and beverages that can pose potential risks to her health and the baby’s health. These include certain types of fish, alcohol, raw or undercooked food, high caffeine beverages etc.
It is always advisable to consult with your doctor to understand your dietary needs during pregnancy.
Seafood High in Mercury
Seafood can be an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, some types of fish and shellfish contain high levels of mercury, which can damage the developing brain of the fetus.
Foods to Avoid:
Shark, Swordfish, King mackerel, Tuna (especially Bigeye tuna)
Light canned tuna, Shrimp, Salmon, Catfish
Raw or Undercooked Food
Consumption of raw or undercooked food is risky as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause food poisoning. Some of these illnesses, like toxoplasmosis, can harm the fetus.
Foods to avoid:
Raw or undercooked meat, Raw eggs, Unpasteurized juice, Raw sprouts
Well-cooked meat, Cooked eggs, Pasteurized juice, Cooked vegetables
Alcohol in the mother’s bloodstream can pass to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong disabilities known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).
In general, consumption of alcohol in any form and quantity is prohibited not only for pregnant women, so leave these harmful drinks behind.
Beverages to avoid:
Any form of alcohol
Water, Fruit Juice, Milk, Non-alcoholic beverages
High Caffeine Beverages
High intake of caffeine during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental delays.
Beverages to avoid:
Coffee, Tea, Energy drinks, Soda (excessively)
De-caffeinated coffee and tea, Water, Herbal tea, Lemon water
|Foods or Beverages to Avoid||Safe Alternatives|
|Seafood high in Mercury||Light canned tuna, Shrimp, Salmon, Catfish|
|Raw or Undercooked Food||Well-cooked meat, Cooked eggs, Pasteurized juice, Cooked vegetables|
|Alcohol||Water, Fruit Juice, Milk, Non-alcoholic beverages|
|High Caffeine Beverages||De-caffeinated coffee and tea, Water, Herbal tea, Lemon water|
A healthy diet during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby’s wellbeing. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet.