You’ve waited so long to hear those words come out of your doctor’s mouth, “You’re Pregnant!” Now that it has happened, you want to do everything right. You want to make sure you follow all of your doctors orders, make all of your appointments and blood tests. You don’t want to do anything that could harm you or your baby that is now growing inside of you. Everything that you do and eat affects your baby and when it comes to eating the right kinds of food, you have to know what is a go and what is a no.
Eating healthy should be done by people whether they are pregnant or not, but if you are pregnant, it is even more of a must than a maybe. There are certain vitamins and minerals that your developing baby needs to grow. Being pregnant does a lot to your body, it affects your immune system. That makes you and your baby more susceptible to viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can cause food born illnesses. The thing is that you won’t always know if something is wrong, some bacteria can cause serious health problems in your baby, yet not affect you in anyway.
Some imported soft cheeses can contain the Listeria bacteria which can cause a miscarriage. Listeria can be life-threatening because it has the ability to go through the placenta that may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning. The soft cheeses made from un-pasteurized milk is the ones you want to avoid. Such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco and queso fresco. You can eat hard cheeses such as cheddar or swiss or any other ones that are made from pasteurized milk.
Fish with Mercury
Although some fish have good properties for you to eat, other fish contain high levels of mercury. Those are the ones you want to avoid. Mercury has been linked to brain damage and developmental delays. The types of fish you want to avoid is shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. You can eat up to about 12 ounces a week of fish that are lower in mercury such as salmon, Pollock, and catfish. You should also limit your consumption of albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week.
There is NO safe amount of alcohol consumption that is safe during pregnancy. It can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or developmental disorders. You should also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while breastfeeding. An infant that is exposed to alcohol can pose harmful risks. If you think that it doesn’t go through your breastmilk, think again, it does!
Raw shellfish poses a risk for everybody and should definitely be avoided during pregnancy. Raw shellfish may contain vibrio bacteria, it is found in raw or undercooked shellfish such as oysters, clams, and mussels. Shellfish should be cooked to 145 degrees F.
Raw foods have a higher chance of harboring bacteria that could make you and baby very sick. Raw eggs along with anything made with raw eggs such as Caesar dressings should be avoided so that you don’t get exposed to salmonella. Raw meat and seafood shouldn’t be consumed also because of the risk of contamination with salmonella, bacteria, and toxoplasmosis.
Drinks such as cider or juice that has not been pasteurized may contain E. coli. Milk is also another one that has to be pasteurized for it to be ok for you to drink. Un-Pasteurized milk may contain bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria.
If drank in moderation, it is ok. It should, however be avoided during your first trimester to reduce your risks of having a miscarriage since some studies relate caffeine to miscarriages. If you can limit your caffeine intake to 200 mg per day, it is ok to drink it. If you are unable to limit yourself, it should be avoided as a whole during pregnancy. Large amounts of caffeine have been associated with premature babies, low birth weight, and caffeine withdrawal symptoms in infants.
Other items should be made sure they are cooked thoroughly and properly. Poultry should be cooked to 165 degree F. Meats such as beef, veal, lamb, and roasts should be cooked to 145 degree F. Pork and ground meats cooked to 160 degree F. Other things like hot dogs, luncheon meats, sausages, and deli meats should be cooked to 165 degree F.
Although this list may seem overwhelming, just think, it will protect you and your baby. You are now not only responsible for your well being, but also a little baby that will rely on you to do the right thing. Pregnancy is just the first step to becoming a mother, while your baby is still in your tummy, you have the control to protect and choose what comes in to contact with her. Once you give birth, she will be out in this world where you have less control over things. So enjoy your pregnancy and take care of yourself as well as your baby inside.