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Food to avoid during pregnancy

Updated on November 17, 2014

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

This is the type of cheese you need to avoid with the blue veins or mould running through it.
This is the type of cheese you need to avoid with the blue veins or mould running through it.

Some Types of Cheeses

There are some foods that you will need to avoid during pregnancy as they may contain Bacteria's or Viruses that can cause you illness and may harm your baby.

These are the ones with the blue veins (or mould-ripened soft cheeses) such as brie or Danish blue cheese, also camembert or similar ones with a rind. These cheeses are made with mould and can contain Listeria which can make you seriously ill and affect your unborn baby. Although Listeriosis is extremely rare even a mild form of this can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects and severe infection or illness of your baby, so it it imperative that you totally avoid these.

  • Cheeses that are safe to eat are hard cheeses such as cheddar or Parmesan or soft cheese that had been processed and made with pasteurised milk such as cheese spread, mozzarella and cottage cheese


Food to Avoid during pregnancy

This may look and taste very nice but for a pregnant woman don't eat it!
This may look and taste very nice but for a pregnant woman don't eat it!

Fish

Some types of Fish especially Shellfish carry viruses and bacteria especially undercooked or raw fish.Others contain high levels of mercury that can be harmful to an unborn fetus and its developing nervous system like Shark, Marlin and swordfish - Don't eat these!

  • Limit the amount of Tuna you eat per week as these contain smaller traces of mercury but not to the point are harmful to your baby unless you are eating huge amounts of tuna fish each week.
  • You can Eat no more than 2 tuna steaks per week, or
  • No more than 4 medium sized cans of tuna per week (approx 140g when drained)


Eggs

You can eat eggs as long as they are well cooked through until the whites and the yolks are solid. Avoid raw eggs such as in home made mayonnaise - shop bought versions are ok as they have been pasteurised.

Milk

Milk is fine to drink as long as it has been pasteurised or it is UHT milk. You will find that most shop bought versions are ok.

Anything that is Unpasteurised will need to be boiled prior to drinking if only that is available. This includes any Unpasteurised goats and sheeps milk and certain foods such as cheeses made from goats milk.

Make sure all meat and Poultry is well cooked through.
Make sure all meat and Poultry is well cooked through.

Avoid undercooked or raw meats

Make sure that you cook your meats and poultry all the way through and there are no pink areas left. It is ok to eat steaks and cuts of lamb rare as long as they have been sealed on the outside. When you prepare raw meats make sure you wash your hands before handling and as soon as possible afterwards to avoid any transmissions of Salmonella or any other harmful bacteria's.


Liver products - Avoid eating liver products such as pate's or liver sausage as these contain too much Vitamin A - this can harm your baby, also any kind of pate including vegetable pate has a high levels of listeria so do not eat them in pregnancy.

Supplements - Avoid fish liver oil supplements as this will be a derivative of liver containing vitamin A, you can take vitamin supplements but stick to the low dose versions, as the high dose multivitamins contain Vitamin A which can harm your baby.

Peanuts

If you have a known allergy to peanuts then Avoid!!

  • Pregnant women never really know whether they should be eating peanuts or not due to allergy scares in the past - women were avoiding eating them as advised by the UK government as if there was an immediate family history of any type of allergies such as eczema, asthma, hayfever or other food allergy then they were told to avoid eating peanuts. However up to date research have shown that there is no clear evidence that eating or not eating peanuts whilst pregnant affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy.

Alcohol

There are various opinions on alcohol over the past few years but the advice given now is to avoid it totally in pregnancy. The effects it has on the fetus can be devastating and I will be writing an article soon about alcohol in pregnancy.

Foods to Avoid during pregnancy

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