When you are expecting, what you drink and eat can affect the health of your child, possibly forever. Your dietary intake takes on new meaning, because some may cause a danger to the growth and development of your baby during pregnancy. There are a lot of advices about the healthiest and unhealthiest foods during pregnancy. And if you are still confused with these issues, here are pieces of helpful information.
Lightly processed foods and whole foods (such as low-fat dairy products, fruits & vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and legumes) should form the basis of your appropriate diet during pregnancy. On the other hand, there are some foods that you need to avoid in your pregnancy diet, the following are some of these foods.
Foods that may trigger allergy
If you are pregnant for the second time, and your first child has certain allergy, your new baby tends to also have food allergies.
You should avoid eating food allergens (such as peanut products) during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This idea may effectively help lower allergy in susceptible children – according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
To keep safe and for more advice, ask your doctor about your personal /family history of asthma and allergies before trying to change your diet!
Undercooked /raw foods of animal origin
Homemade eggnog, cake dough /raw cookie, clams, raw oysters, rare meat, and sushi are some undercooked or raw foods you need to avoid when you are being pregnant. These foods may have some parasites, bacteria, and even viruses that can be too harmful for your pregnancy. Moreover, if you want to eat foods of animal origin (such as egg, poultry, or meat), make sure that they are completely cooked.
These raw vegetable sprouts (particularly such as radish, alfalfa, and clover) may contain harmful bacteria that are ‘almost-impossible’ to wash out – according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not only ‘not recommended’ for pregnant women, but also for some people who have certain digestive problem.
Certain fish and seafood
Any seafood that is high in mercury can be harmful for you and your baby. Fish such as king mackerel, shark, tilefish, and swordfish must be avoided, because they contain higher concentrations of mercury compared to others!
Mercury that accidentally enters into your body can be a serious threat for the development of the brain & nervous system of your baby. If you love eating fish or seafood, choose some that are low in mercury such as salmon, sardines, tilapia, canned light-tuna, and shrimp. However you still need to eat them in moderation. For pregnant women, it’s safe to consume about 12 ounces of seafood a week, according to the recommendation from FDA.
Beverages you need to limit or avoid!
There are some beverages that can contribute to cause some pregnancy complications, particularly if consumed too much. The following are some of them:
- Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and even some soft drinks. Some studies found that caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage. But the consumption of caffeine for about 200 mg / day may be pretty safe for pregnant women, according to a report from the March of Dimes.
- If you want to purchase cider in stores or from roadside stands, make sure you read the label carefully - choose one that is pasteurized. Unpasteurized juice products are prone to unfriendly bacteria and germs, such as E-coli.
- Spirits, beer, and wine also should be avoided since they are high in alcohol. They can rob developing cells of nutrients & oxygen which then can be potential to affect the normal development of your baby (particularly for the physical growth and intellectual abilities). And in fact there is still no exact answer of how much you can consume alcohol a day safely during pregnancy. Therefore to keep safe, it’s much better to avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
What else you should know?
Once you are pregnant, you now eat for two. But this often leads to misperception that a pregnant woman needs twice calories. You may need more calories, but don’t go too much! Gaining weight excessively during pregnancy can threat your health - even it may also increase your risk of having child with overweight problem.