foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy

Foods & Drinks To Avoid During Pregnancy

Finding out that you are going to become a mother is one of the most exciting moments of your life. It may take a few weeks for things to really sink in. It will no longer just be you. You will have another life to think about and care for. Things are changing, permanently. Where you vacation. Where and when you go out with friends. What you eat and drink. 9 months may seem so far away. However, the change begins the moment you find out you’re pregnant. It’s time to really evaluate your diet, exercise, and overall health for your baby’s sake. Here are a few types of food and beverages that you should avoid during your pregnancy.

 

Raw Meat

raw meat

 

During your pregnancy, it’s not recommended to eat raw meats such as sushi or rare steak. While these dishes may be quite scrumptious, they can put you and your baby at risk for coming into contact with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. The raw meat can be contaminated with these bacteria, and can make you and your baby really sick and may even require hospitalization.

 

Furthermore, fish can contain high levels of mercury depending upon where it was harvested from. Research has confirmed that ingesting mercury during pregnancy can lead to developmental delays and even brain damage. Furthermore, be smart in your protein choices and make sure that meats are fully cooked in a sanitary kitchen or prep area during your pregnancy. 

 

Alcohol

alcohol

 

Alcohol has been proven to cause severe damages to a baby during pregnancy. There are rumors that have surfaced saying that small amounts of alcohol during a pregnancy are tolerable and don’t provide a real threat to the baby. Sources have claimed that beer and wine with a lower alcohol volume is less dangerous than hard liquor. This is simply not the case.

 

Aside from developmental delays, consuming alcohol during your pregnancy can cause your baby to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “The effects of FAS include mental retardation, malformations of the skeletal system and major organ systems (specifically the heart and brain), inhibited growth, central nervous system complications, poor motor skills, mortality, and difficulty with learning, memory, social interaction, attention span, problem solving, speech and/or hearing.”

 

So if you enjoy drinking alcohol, make a conscious, responsible decision for your unborn child and avoid drinking during your pregnancy.

 

Unwashed Vegetables

unwashed vegetables

 

Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals during a pregnancy. However, these vegetables should always be washed thoroughly before they are eaten. If the vegetables are not washed, you put yourself and your baby at risk for exposure to toxoplasmosis. 

 

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite known for being directly connected to low birth weights, retardation, fever, and several other significant disorders and development issues in babies. So be sure to wash your vegetables before you eat them during your pregnancy.

 

Caffeine

caffeine

 

Countless arguments and discussions have tossed around the question of having caffeine during pregnancy. While caffeine doesn’t pose as large of a threat as alcohol, it should still be limited or avoided if possible while you are pregnant, especially during your first trimester.

 

Caffeine is a diuretic. Diuretics provoke your body to expel fluids which, in excess, can cause dehydration. Dehydration can lead to hospitalization and damage to other parts of your body including to your unborn child.

 

If you are going to have caffeine during your pregnancy, be sure to keep your daily intake under 200 mg. Just to give you an idea of how much that really is, a Starbucks Pike Place coffee has 310 mg of caffeine in a 16oz drink. Moderation is key if you choose to have caffeine while you’re pregnant. 

 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us here at Ocoee Pediatrics of Cleveland, TN. We would be happy to help in any way possible. Congratulations on becoming a new mother.