There are some foods that you shouldn't eat when you’re pregnant:
to avoid exposing yourself to the risk of food poisoning, or
because they’re potentially harmful to your unborn baby.
Listeriosis is a flu-like illness, which you can get from food that contains listeria bacteria. Although it’s rare in the UK, listeriosis can cause stillbirth, miscarriage or severe illness in newborn babies.
You should avoid foods where high levels of listeria are occasionally found. For example:
Soft and blue-veined cheeses, such as camembert, brie and stilton. There’s no risk of listeria from hard cheese such as cheddar, or from cottage cheese or processed cheese.
Pâté – all types of pâté, including vegetable pâté.
Some prepared salads, such as potato salad and coleslaw.
Ready-prepared meals or re-heated food, unless they’re piping hot all the way through.
Campylobacter and salmonella
Campylobacter and salmonella are bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Campylobacter is found in:
raw meat and poultry,
unpasteurised milk, and
Food poisoning from campylobacter can cause miscarriage and early (premature) labour.
Salmonella is found in:
raw meat and poultry,
unpasteurised milk, and
raw eggs and raw egg products.
Although salmonella food poisoning is unlikely to harm your baby, it’s advisable to avoid foods that may contain salmonella.
You can reduce your risk of getting campylobacter or salmonella food poisoning by taking the steps below.
Avoid foods containing raw or partially cooked eggs, such as home-made mayonnaise, and some mousses and sauces. You should only eat eggs if they’re cooked until both the white and the yolk are solid.
Avoid unpasteurised dairy products.
Avoid drinking from a contaminated water supply.
Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly. Take extra care with products made from minced meat, such as sausages and burgers – make sure they’re cooked until piping hot all the way through and no pink meat is left.
Take extra care with meat at barbeques, parties and buffets. Bacteria breed quickly on food that’s left uncovered in a warm place.
Make sure that raw meat doesn’t come into contact with other food (for example, in the fridge), particularly food that’s already cooked, or food that will be eaten raw.
Also, always remember to wash your hands after:
handling or touching raw meat, and
contact with animals.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in cat faeces. It can also be present in:
raw or undercooked meat, and
soil left on unwashed fruit and vegetables.
Although rare, toxoplasmosis can occasionally pass to the unborn baby, which can cause serious problems.
To reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis, you should avoid the following foods:
unwashed raw fruit and vegetables,
raw or undercooked meat, and
unpasteurised goats' milk or goats' cheese.
You should also avoid contact with soil or faeces that might contain the toxoplasmosis parasite. Always wear gloves if you’re gardening or changing a cat litter tray. If possible, ask someone else to do it for you.
While you're pregnant, make sure your diet doesn't include too much vitamin A. You do need some, but if too much vitamin A builds up in your body, it can harm your unborn baby. Eating a normal, well-balanced diet should give you all the vitamin A your body needs.
Liver contains high levels of vitamin A, so you should avoid:
liver products such as pâté.
Check with your GP or midwife before you take any high-dose multivitamins or cod liver oil supplements – these may contain vitamin A.
Fish to limit
When you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t eat too much of some types of fish.
Oily fish is good for your health. However, you should limit how much you eat because it contains pollutants, such as dioxins and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
Pregnant women should eat no more than two portions of oily fish a week. Examples of oily fish include:
fresh tuna (not canned tuna, which doesn't count as oily fish),
Tuna also contains a high level of mercury (see below). You shouldn't eat more than two fresh tuna steaks, or four medium-sized cans (about 140g per can) of tuna a week. This works out at about six rounds of tuna sandwiches or three tuna salads.
Fish to avoid
You should avoid eating some types of fish while you’re pregnant.
Some fish contain a high level of mercury, which can damage your baby's developing nervous system. You should avoid eating:
You should also avoid eating raw shellfish. This will reduce your chances of getting food poisoning, which can be particularly unpleasant when you're pregnant.
The Department of Health advises that pregnant women, and women who are trying to conceive, should avoid drinking alcohol and should not get drunk. Heavy drinking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, and more serious problems such as foetal alcohol syndrome.
However, if you do decide to drink alcohol while you are pregnant, you should limit the amount that you drink. The Department of Health and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advise that pregnant women should not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week. Binge drinking (drinking several units of alcohol in one session) should be avoided.
You should limit the amount of caffeine you have each day. Caffeine affects the way your body absorbs iron, which is very important for your baby's development. High levels of caffeine can result in a baby having a low birth weight, or even miscarriage.
Caffeine occurs naturally in a range of foods, such as coffee, tea and chocolate. It's also added to some soft drinks and 'energy' drinks.
It's important not to have more than 200mg of caffeine a day. 200mg is roughly equivalent to:
two mugs of instant coffee,
one mug of filter coffee,
two mugs of tea,
five cans of regular cola, or
four (50g) bars of plain chocolate (milk chocolate has less caffeine in it than in dark chocolate).
Some cold and flu remedies also contain caffeine, so always check with your pharmacist before taking any medicines while you’re pregnant.
Gosh, lots for me!
I was still smoking until the MS kicked in and I realised I was PG.
I drank half a litre of Malibu between Hogmannay & Burn's night before I knew I was PG - which annoyed me as it's the only time I drank since a wedding last april!
I had really bad sciatica over Christmas so lived on Ibuprofen and Dicolfenac. I took so much I wore away my stomach lining and had to have special tablets.. and when the Doc asked if I was pregnant I said "no" because I didnt know!!
Thankfully since my BFP the only things I am guilty of is not drinking enough because it makes me sick and not washing fruit & veg before I eat it (and eating that whole Aunt Bessie's Apple pie the other night) lol
*I was drinking at xmas, oops (although I didn't fancy it much funnily enough) (bfp 27th dec)
*Had the odd glass of coke since finding out
*Had 2 small glasses of wine with a meal
*Had a tiny glass of Baileys
This make me sound like an alchie, but im not! lol
- i got drunk on our christmas work night out - before i knew i was pregnant
- i ate lashings of wensleydale over christmas - before i knew
- i still drink at least one cup of caffeinated tea a day in work when someone else is making it, and occasional diet coke to keep me sane.
- i've missed the occasional folic acid tab.
nothing too hair-raising.
I am so glad it isnt just me - until I read this post I wasnt aware you couldnt have caffeine.
My bad things are:
To much chocolate
Regular tea & coffee (ave. 5 cups a day)
Diet coke (ave. 1 ltr a day)
Cold meds every day for first 2 weeks in Dec (all sorts)
Paracetamol when needed
Cleaned kitty litter before I knew I was pg
Eat feta cheese (may be pasturized will check)
Dont always wash fruit & veg (dep on how it looks)
My good things are:
Not missed any vitamins
Drink lots of water (ave. 2 ltr a day)
Eat lots of fruit & veg
Have not drank since BFP
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