Many women go through different cravings during pregnancy and usually are at the luxury to enjoy those cravings in moderation. While most foods are okay to eat there are certain foods that pregnant women should avoid. Here is a look at some of those foods and why they could be harmful to the expectant mother and unborn child.
Mercury: Although most people hear that eating fish is healthy, pregnant women will want to avoid fish with lots of mercury. Mercury has been known to cause certain conditions such as developmental problems and even in some cases brain damage. While most canned tuna’s are considered safe for expectant mothers as long as they are eaten in moderation fish such as swordfish and shark should always be avoided as their mercury levels are very high. In addition to fish that are high in mercury, pregnant women should also avoid fish that were caught in areas where there is a large amount of pollutants found in the water. These fish are usually caught in waters that are considered local to the area. Most states have their own websites which will tell what fish are safe for pregnant women and which ones are not.
Shellfish: Also on the list of seafood that are not safe for pregnant women are raw shellfish. These typically included clams, mussels and oysters. Though some think that cooking the shellfish will help prevent some of these illnesses it still does not help prevent some infections that can be brought on from red tides. It is safer for pregnant women just to avoid these foods all together.
Soft Cheeses: Soft cheeses are next on the list of foods pregnant women should avoid. The reason being is that soft cheeses are known to contain bacteria known as listeria. Listeria is very dangerous to pregnant women and unborn babies as it poses the risk of being able to cross the placenta which would lead to blood poisoning or infection. Feta and brie are just a couple of these soft cheeses that should be avoided. To be certain pregnant women will need to check the packages and ensure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk.
Unpasteurized Milk: Unpasteurized milk is also a no-no for expectant moms for the same reasons the soft cheese is on the list. It can contain the listeria bacteria so all pregnant moms should be sure to drink pasteurized milk.
Deli meat: Deli meat also poses as a potential carrier for listeria and should be avoided. If a pregnant woman wants to have some she should always heat the meat up till it is at a steaming temperature.
Vegetables: Last but not least, although all pregnant women should be sure to partake in lots of vegetables they should be sure to wash them thoroughly first. Unwashed vegetables such as lettuce could pose as a risk of toxoplasmosis. This can cause serious issues such as blindness and brain damage to the unborn baby.
Sources Cited: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/foodstoavoid.html