7 Foods to Avoid during Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Unplanned pregnancies bring forward quite a few sudden changes. Some bring morning sickness, fatigue or new or unusual cravings. However, a change that is very important to make consciously is a new diet. Many misuse the expression “eating for two” to mean that you must eat more; but really, it means that your baby requires certain nutrients from you so that he or she can grow healthy and strong. That, and knowing what foods to avoid can help prevent any potential complications throughout your pregnancy.
Adoption Choices of Florida has put together a resource of some foods that are not recommended for pregnant women to eat. Please note that the information in this blog post is meant for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about the foods to avoid during your unplanned pregnancy.
Best Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy:
Consuming many of the items on this list doesn’t mean that anything bad will happen to you or your child. However, there are risks involved, which will be explained further down the list.
When consuming meats, it is important for them to be cooked all the way through, due to the risk involved of an infection, such as: E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, among others. Some possible issues that the baby may have from an infection caused by these bacteria are learning disabilities, neurological disorders and epilepsy. The meats where the issues are more common are burgers, minced meat, poultry and pork. However, other meats that are undercooked still have a risk of having these bacteria.
Eating foods such as raw fish (especially shellfish) may contain viruses, bacteria or even parasites that can cause food poisoning or an infection. Salmonella and Listeria are among the most common infections from eating raw fish. Some infections may only affect you, the birth mother, while others may be transmitted through the placenta to the baby.
3. High-mercury Fish
Even though consuming fish is very beneficial for your pregnancy, you should be cautious of which ones you eat. Some fish such as swordfish, king mackerel, tuna and shark contain the highest amount of mercury. These types of fish can be found in polluted waters, which explains the high level of mercury. The excess mercury is not just harmful towards you because of its toxicity, (if consumed in high amounts) but may also interfere with the development of the child. It is recommended that pregnant women limit their consumption of this selection of fish to 1-2 times per month.
Caffeine is one common drink for pregnant women to avoid. Research for caffeine consumption in expectant mothers can be controversial, but it’s important to consult with your doctor about what’s best for you and to know the potential risks. For instance, some studies state that caffeine intake may lead to a baby being born underweight or a miscarriage. However, other studies claim that this is false.
Not much is known for the effects of caffeine intake during pregnancy, but experts recommend to limit the consumption of caffeine, because it can be transmitted to the baby via the umbilical cord. The recommended amount of caffeine is 200 milligrams daily, which is usually around 12 oz of coffee (depending on the kind of coffee you’re having of course). Also, remember that caffeine is found in other products such as sodas, energy drinks, tea and chocolate.
Unpasteurized Dairy Products
If you look closely at dairy products, you can notice how they either include the terms “pasteurized” or “unpasteurized.” Pasteurized means that the product went through a procedure to kill any potential bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli, whereas unpasteurized, does not undergo that process. It is recommended that pregnant women consume their products pasteurized to minimize the risk of any infection that can potentially harm the baby. You can also see the pasteurized and unpasteurized indication in fruit juices.
Another widely known drink for women to avoid during pregnancy is alcohol, and for good reason. According to the CDC, consuming alcohol during pregnancy can cause an array of disorders to the unborn child, including but not limited to: learning disabilities, hyperactive behavior, poor memory, low body weight, small head size and speech delays. There is also no known alcohol intake level for an expectant mother to consume, so experts advise to avoid it all together.
7. Processed foods
Having a diet high in processed foods (aka. junk food), can be detrimental for several reasons. For one, processed foods have little to no nutritional value, so your baby won’t get the nutrients it needs to grow healthy. Another reason is that it may lead to excessive weight gain, which can complicate your pregnancy. Babies born to a mother with a diet heavy in processed foods have been reported to increase the chances of having an overweight child at birth, or increases the risk of the child becoming overweight in the future.
Foods to Avoid during Your Unplanned Pregnancy
As a final note, be sure to wash all your fruits and vegetables (that is, if this habit isn’t already incorporated in your household), due to the possible presence of bacteria or parasites. A very common parasite to linger in your produce is called Toxoplasma. When infected with Toxoplasmosis, the mother and the baby may not have symptoms; however, the baby may experience effects later in its life such as blindness or learning disabilities.
Remember to take good care of yourselves during your pregnancy in order to protect yourself and your baby. Hopefully this list becomes a useful resource for you as you walk through your pregnancy journey, and encourages you to be mindful of both your health and that of your baby’s.
If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108.