Being extra-cautious during pregnancy comes almost naturally, after all, you have a little person inside of you to care about now. Having a healthy diet is an important part of a healthy pregnancy but apart from knowing what you must be eating, keep an eye out for things you shouldn’t be, too.
1. Raw or undercooked eggs
Eggs are packed with nutrients in the form of proteins, fats and minerals making them an essential part of a healthy diet during pregnancy. But make sure they are cooked properly. Raw, runny or undercooked eggs might have organisms called salmonella bacteria which are disease-inducing. It can cause vomiting, fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Well-cooked omelets or hard-boiled eggs are always a safe bet.
Also avoid dishes that are made at home containing raw eggs like chocolate mousse, mayonnaise sauce etc..
2. Caffeine products
Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, cocoa and soft drinks. Having more than 200mg of caffeine in a day will increase the chances of miscarriage and the baby being born underweight. Caffeine is easily absorbed and will hence pass into the placenta and fetus.
If you’re a coffee addict and even the thought of living a coffee-free life for 9 months terrifies you then limit your daily intake of coffee to 1 to 2 cups.
3. Processed foods
You often hear that you’re eating for two when you’re pregnant. This isn’t just about the quantity of the food but about the quality. What you eat is what your baby gets. So if your food is filled with healthy nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates then your baby will get the right kind of nutrition required for its growth and development.
Avoid processed foods that are high in calories, sugar and unsaturated fats. These type of foods might lead to excess weight gain which will result in a lot of birth complications.
4. Unpasteurized milk and dairy products
Calcium-rich foods like milk and dairy products have many benefits for a pregnant woman. They’ll make your’s and your baby’s bones stronger and will significantly reduce the chances of giving birth to an underweight baby.
However, milk and the dairy products you consume must be pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process of killing the harmful bacteria in the milk by heating it to a certain temperature. This doesn’t change the nutritional value of the milk. Consuming unpasteurized milk has been linked with certain infections so keep raw milk out of the equation when you’re pregnant.
5. Undercooked meat
Raw meat will contain several bacteria and parasites like Salmonella, E.Coli, Listeria and Toxoplasma. These increase the risk of infections in pregnant women. It could lead to birth defects like blindness, neurological illnesses, epilepsy and so on.
Make sure to check if the meat is cooked all the way through and not just on the surface. It’s best you avoid processed meat unless it’s served hot.
While consuming seafood, avoid fish that have high levels of mercury like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and so on..These can lead to brain damage and developmental delays in babies.
6. Unwashed vegetables
Fresh fruits and veggies require a thorough cleaning before you eat them. They are contaminated with several bacteria as they are produced, harvested, fertilized, stored and transported. It affects both the mother and the baby.
Raw sprouts also contain Salmonella which will be impossible to wash off completely because they can get inside the sprout seeds, unlike other vegetables. So best to cook your sprouts before you have them,
7. Raw Papaya
Raw or unripe papaya is known to cause uterine contractions. This is because of a latex substance that is present in the raw papaya. However ripe papayas are completely safe and are usually recommended to deal with constipation and heartburn. Some pregnant women even blend papaya, honey and milk together to form a highly nutritional mix.
8. Fatty foods
When you have cravings, don’t restrict yourself from binging on some greasy foods. But having foods that are high in fats like junk foods and canned foods will add on weight apart from the pregnancy weight. Chances of gestational diabetes and cholesterol are also on the higher side. After giving birth, it’ll become difficult for you to lose all of this weight.