So you’re going to be a mom! Congratulations
If you’re reading this blog, you probably are interested in optimal food for you and baby. It’s important to nourish your unborn with the best possible nutrients, and also to avoid foods that may cause problems for you and unborn child.
1. Soft mold ripened cheese such as Brie and Camembert – soft cheeses contain moisture, which means they can be an ideal environment for harmful bacteria, such as listeria, to grow in. Listeria can lead to miscarriage, birth defects, or stillbirth.
2. Raw or partially cooked eggs – make sure your eggs are fully cooked to avoid the risk of salmonella. This means that the yolk should be completely solid.
3. Raw or undercooked meat – Leave the rare steaks for now. Make sure your chicken, sausages and burgers are completely cooked to avoid the risk of toxoplasma, a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis.
4. Pâté made from undercooked liver – it may be too risky when pregnant.
5. Big fish accumulate mercury in their bodies, which is transferred to you and your baby. Mercury causes damage to a baby’s nervous system. Stay away from swordfish, marlin, and shark. Limit tuna consumption too.
6. Raw fish and shellfish - may contain bacteria and viruses that will cause food poisoning. Sushi can be OK if the fish was previously frozen. Freezing kills off problematic parasitic worms.
7. Unpasteurized milk – raw milk is a very controversial issue. When you know what you are buying and from whom (local farmer), some people find it to be tastier and more nutritious. But when pregnant, why take even the smallest chance?
8. Limit Caffeine to no more than 200 mg per day. Yes, we know this is painful. Experts debate how much caffeine is acceptable during pregnancy. Evidence suggests than even a small amount may have an effect on your baby. Caffeine passes through the placenta to the baby whose organs cannot process caffeine as effectively as an adult. The caffeine is this stored in the baby’s body and can accumulate to dangerous levels. Caffeine can also increase your baby’s heart rate and movement in utero.
Caffeine’s diuretic properties can have an effect on nutrient absorption by your baby, lessening iron an calcium intake. This could have detrimental effects on fetal development. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it can cause you to lose fluid as well, increasing your fatigue.
Here are some caffeine data point for you:
Cup of coffee – 65-175mg
Decaf coffee – less than 5mg
Cup of black tea – 70mg
Green Tea – 15-50mg
Chocolate!!! (1 bar) – 20mg
Coke Classic (12 fl oz) – 34mg
Diet Coke (12 fl oz) – 45mg
Iced Tea (12 fl oz) – 70mg
Red Bull (12 fl oz equivalent) – 115mg
9. Alcohol is not a good idea while pregnant. It is linked to various health issues you want to avoid such as premature delivery, low birth weight, birth defects, and mental retardation. A little sip here and there is probably fine, but again, why take a risk?
A few more suggestions:
- Eats lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Make sure to thoroughly wash them to remove traces of dirt and soil that may contain a parasite – toxoplasma.
- Store raw foods are separately from ready-to-eat foods
- Use a separate chopping board for raw meats
- If you eat them, heat ready meals until they are well done.
Pregnant? Nursing? What tips can you share with the community?