The foods you select during your pregnancy affect not only your health, but your baby’s health. You’re probably well versed on various foods that are considered healthy, but you may be unaware that seemingly healthy choices can affect the long term health of your child.
When you know what foods to avoid, you’ll be able to make even healthier choices.
Under normal circumstances, seafood is a healthy choice. After all, it’s a very good protein source and contains copious omega-3 fatty acids. These can help promote your infant’s eyes and brain.
However, some varieties of seafood contain high levels of mercury. As a general rule, the bigger the fish, the more mercury it can contain. So, according to the FDA, if you’re pregnant, you should avoid:
- King mackerel
- Tile Fish
You can safely consume tuna, but make sure it’s no more than six ounces per week.
Undercooked poultry, eggs, and meat
Food poisoning is bad. It’s extra bad when you’re pregnant because your reaction may be even more severe. Sometimes (although this is rarely) food poisoning can also affect your baby.
To prevent getting sick, use a meat thermometer and double check to make sure the center of the meat reaches the correct temperature. (Follow the guidelines on the thermometer.)
If you eat processed meats like hot dogs, make sure they’re steaming hot. Better yet, avoid them until the baby arrives.
Cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and whites are firm. Avoid anything containing raw eggs like eggnog, cake batter, and Caesar salad dressing.
Many people find raw food amazing. They often avoid pasteurized foods in the hopes of preserving vitamins and nutrients. Now is not the time to do this.
Any dairy product that is unpasteurized can lead to foodborne illness. Avoid drinking unpasteurized juice as well.
Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables
It’s obvious that you should wash anything grown outside. But the modern food distribution system creates such clean looking produce that sometimes it’s tempting to dig in before giving it a good scrubbing.
Bad idea. It’s important to remove harmful bacteria by thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables.
Also, it’s prudent to avoid raw sprouts of all kinds. They could contain disease causing bacteria due to their tremendous surface area. If you eat them, cook them thoroughly.
Caffeine and Herbal Teas
Caffeine can affect your baby’s heart rate. Also, it can possibly increase your risk of miscarriage. If you drink coffee, speak with your health care provider to establish a healthy rate of consumption.
Herbal teas are unregulated by the government. Because of this, and because it’s difficult to tell what herbs are actually in that little white tea bag, it’s prudent to skip tea until after the baby arrives.
Keep these tips handy, avoid troublesome foods, and enjoy this special time in your life. With just a little prudent action, you can enjoy a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.