Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

It’s perfectly natural to have cravings during pregnancy. After morning sickness subsides, many moms-to-be find themselves with an appetite for a variety of foods. You’ve likely heard stories of strange pickles and ice cream cravings, or maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself! Whatever cravings that you’re dealing with, it’s important to keep in mind that certain foods can harm your developing baby and should be avoided.

Avoid seafood high in mercury.

While seafood is a great source of protein and omega fatty acids, it can also be a source of mercury, which can be damaging to developing brains and nerves. Many women have heard that canned tuna is high in mercury, but the FDA has actually approved up to 12 ounces per week for pregnant women. So, while you don’t have to cut seafood out of your diet entirely, it’s important to monitor your intake.

Cook everything completely and thoroughly.

Raw and undercooked seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs are more likely to harbor harmful bacteria. So, thoroughly cooking your food is a no-brainer. You’ll just have to keep that sushi craving at bay for a few more months! Some less obvious sources of undercooked foods to avoid include eggnog, hollandaise sauce, oysters, and clams.

Stay away from unpasteurized foods.

Soft cheeses may be just what you’re craving, but they are another common cause of foodborne illness. Consider buying pasteurized eggs and avoid any unpasteurized juice. On the plus side, ice cream is typically made with pasteurized ingredients. So, feel free to enjoy it in moderation!

Keep these things in mind and do your best to incorporate a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies for both you and your baby. And, if you’re looking for new foods to try, check out our Recipes board on Pinterest.

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Jennifer Brown is a mama and an MD who enjoys finding fun in the chaos that comes with being a working mommy. Balancing the effort it takes to raise two adorable boys and juggle a thriving medical career, Jennifer also loves baking cookies, taking photos, reading fiction, and drinking coffee.

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