Pregnancy is a time of great change for a woman's body. As her baby grows, she needs to make sure she is getting the nutrients she needs to stay healthy and support her baby's development. However, there are also some foods that women should avoid during pregnancy, as they can pose a risk to her or her baby's health.
Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, or seafood
These foods can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Unpasteurized milk or dairy products
These products can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Some soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, and goat cheese, can contain Listeria bacteria, which can cause serious illness in pregnant women and their babies.
Deli meats and hot dogs
These meats can be contaminated with Listeria bacteria.
Raw eggs can contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.
Some fish, such as shark, swordfish, tuna, and tilefish, contain high levels of mercury. Mercury can harm a developing baby's brain and nervous system.
Alcohol can cross the placenta and reach the baby, and can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASDs are a group of conditions that can cause physical and mental birth defects.
Too much caffeine
Caffeine can cross the placenta and reach the baby, and can cause problems with sleep and weight gain in the baby. It is recommended that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day.
Too much sugar
Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems for both the mother and the baby. It is recommended that pregnant women limit their added sugar intake to 25 grams per day.