Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences felt by a woman, during her life time. Not that it is not accompanied by a lot of pain, on the contrary child birth is known to be the most painful experience ever.
To ensure a smooth daily functioning during those nine months, the mother-to-be has to take a set of precautions so that the mother and the baby can be safe and not incur any health hazard.
As the well-being of the mother, both physical and psychological determines the health of the baby in her womb, she has to take good care of herself. Especially she should be careful about her food intake.
There are some food items, which are a complete no-no during the term of pregnancy. Pregnant women are known to have sudden cravings for food, but some of them must be avoided at all costs.
Some of the foods, which are to be avoided, have been mentioned below in this article.
The fishy affair to avoid:
It is not mandatory to ignore the cravings for fish and give up seafood altogether for the period of nine months. But caution is suggested and it is preferable to avoid certain kinds of fish like swordfish, mackerel and sharks which have a high content of mercury in them.
So should the varieties of fishes which are usually available at the deli’s, be avoided, as they are known to have a high content of Listeria bacteria, like jerky or lox.
Fishes like salmon and trout which are often contaminated by their exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls should also be avoided.
The Raw Factor to be Avoided:
Ensure that the food that is prepared for your consumption is properly cooked. Consumption of under-cooked eggs should be strictly avoided as they might be contaminated with salmonella bacteria, which can further induce nausea and diarrhea.
While under-cooked meat may contain strains of Listeria bacteria or the presence of toxoplasma Gondi parasite can lead to food poisoning, which in turn may lead to nausea, fetal damage or miscarriage.
Best to Avoid Unpasteurized Dairy Products:
A severe bout of food poisoning can be incurred by the ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products. Pregnant women are advised to drink lot of milk because of its rich content of proteins, minerals and calcium.
But the consumption of unpasteurized milk tends to cause health issues. Only those dairy products should be consumed which are produced with pasteurized milk.
There are other substitutes for milk, especially for those who are lactose intolerant like soy milk, oat milk, rice milk and almond milk. These varieties are much safer and at the same time, they possess the same amount of nutrients.
Do ensure that, they are organic and fermented. Consumption of other dairy products like soft cheese variants of brie, freta and the likes could be detrimental for the health of pregnant women, as they might contain Listeria bacteria.
These bacteria would incur severe repercussions like birth defects, premature births or even result in miscarriage. So, it is better to consume hard cheese like cheddar or swiss during the months of pregnancy.
Unpasteurized juices should also be passed over for pasteurized ones, which are packaged and can be refrigerated and stored properly.
Otherwise, unpasteurized juices might be contaminated with strains of the salmonella bacteria which can prove to be immensely detrimental for both, the mother and the baby.
Cut Down the Consumption of Caffeine:
Caffeine addicts will find it very difficult to completely cut off caffeine from their daily diets and avoid it completely. Therefore, the daily intake of coffee must be gradually reduced to around 200ml of instant coffee every day.
Caffeine works like a diuretic in the system and induces low birth weight. Sometimes caffeine can also be found hidden in other products like soft drinks, energy drinks, tea and chocolates.
So, it is pertinent to be careful about the intake of caffeine as excess consumption of caffeine might result in a higher risk of miscarriage, death of the foetus, stillborns or accidental abortions.
Herbal tea is generally good for pregnant women, provided genuine herbs are used. Make sure that herbs like Senna, saw palmatto and wormwood are avoided.
Avoid Salads from Restaurants and Delis:
The salads provided by restaurants and delis are often stale and unwashed. During pregnancy, it should be taken care of, that the vegetables and fruits, which are consumed are fresh and washed perfectly.
Unwashed fruits and vegetables will lead to the ingestion of unwanted and harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Also, the skins could contain toxoplasma gondii parasite as well as listeria.
Both of these bacteria are known to be detrimental for the well-being of the foetus and might end up causing irreparable damage to the foetus. Raw sprouts and, unwashed lettuce and cabbages should be avoided.
To ensure hygiene and cleanliness, the salads must be made at home and kept in clan utensils. It is best to avoid those foods which have been left in the fridge for a long time.
Therefore, leftovers are a big no-no. The ingestion of raw sprouts can also cause food poisoning.
Most importantly, it is best to evade the street food stalls during pregnancy, they are highly unhygienic and it would be better for the mother and baby duo to have well cooked food in hygienic circumstances.
Try to Evade Allergy Inducing Nuts:
The mother can consume the variants of nuts as long as they aren’t allergic to them. It must be noted that if a distant member of the baby has allergy from nuts, then it is not necessary that the allergy would get passed onto the child, if the mother consumes them during the term of her pregnancy.
Other Kinds of Foods to Avoid:
Some of the nitrate-rich food items like sausages, bacons, artificial sweeteners should be avoided during pregnancy, as their low nutrient quantity makes them unhealthy; and high amount of consumption of these kinds of food may lead to foetal abnormalities.
Try not to consume too much sugar related food too, as over consumption of sugar might be unhealthy. Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided. Curb the excess amount of vitamin intake.
Consumption of too much of vitamins cannot be good, just like too much of anything else. Carbs and fatty food should be tried to evade as much as possible.
Most importantly ensure that the diet followed is the proper one. Consult a gynecologist and a dietician before adding or subtracting from the daily diet.