One of the most important and wonderful times in motherhood is during pregnancy. Most mothers know what to eat during this period. But are you aware of what foods to avoid during pregnancy?
Mothers are happy about the new life that they will be bringing forth, and the feeling that a baby is growing inside them is heavenly.
Consequently, pregnancy come with responsibilities that are sometimes ignored, especially when it comes to nutrition.
It is not news that mothers crave for weird delicacies that may be harmful, not only to them, but also to the growing fetus.
However, it is important to have a good knowledge regarding the best foods and those to avoid.
Typically, food is an essential part of a smooth pregnancy.
An appropriate pregnancy diet should contain generous amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, folic acid, fats and minerals.
Diet containing such combination ensures normal fetal growth, healthy placenta, adequate amniotic fluid and healthy working of the uterine organs.
The diet also gives the mother enough energy for moving around, and gain the energy required for child birth.
On the other hand, there are certain foods to avoid during pregnancy. Specifically, the inadequacy of crucial dietary requirements during pregnancy increases the possibility of birth defects.
In addition, diet plays a crucial role in enabling the mother to maintain the body’s hormonal balance and control her moods.
The consumption of unhealthy foods increases the chances of low birth weight, disabilities, abnormal fetal development and other birth defects.
While there is a whole list of foods that a pregnant mother needs to consume for a healthy journey, there is also a number that she should avoid at all cost or take the minimum amounts.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Some sea food, despite being is an essential source of proteins and fatty acids (omega 3), is among the top 10 pregnancy food to avoid.
Cell development is augmented by proper intake of proteins while nerves, visual development and fetal brains are enhanced by fatty acids.
Nevertheless, pregnant women should be careful with the types of sea foods that they take.
For instance, some fish, such as mackerel, shark, swordfish, and marlin may contain elevated amounts of heavy metals such as mercury that are harmful to fetal nervous system development.
Additionally, raw fish foods like mussels, clams, and oysters can contain infectious sea microorganisms, such as sea-borne bacteria and sea-borne algae.
Some raw fish may also contain harmful bacteria that expose pregnant women to the risk of food poisoning.
Parasites found in raw sea foods also consume essential nutrients from the mother, which may lead to weight loss during pregnancy and deprive the baby of vital nutrients.
- Dairy products
Evidently, dairy products are generally important for complementing a healthy diet.
However, not all dairy products are healthy for pregnant mothers and are among the pregnancy food to avoid.
Specifically, unpasteurized milk is unhealthy for both the mother and the child growing in her womb as it may contain dangerous bacteria.
- Alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol may be consumed directly from liquor while caffeine is present in coffee or chocolate.
These two substances are dangerous as they prevent iron and folic acid absorption.
They are also important for fetal growth and prevention of future developmental problems.
While dietary fat intake is about 35% in developing countries, the recommended consumption is 20% for normal weight people.
Women should also watch these proportions since fats are definitely pregnancy food to avoid.
A matter of fact, weight gain should be in the least of worries for a pregnant woman.
Almost all foods contain fats, including fruits, vegetables and proteins.
However much a pregnant woman should avoid excessive fat intake, the body still require it but in regulated amounts.
- Raw meats
Raw meats including liver, sea foods, poultry, and sushi among others are dangerous to mother and child health as they contain harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella, while other foods, such as hotdogs, may cause food poisoning.
Moreover, animal liver is one of the pregnancy food to avoid because it contains high amounts of vitamin A whose excessive intake may cause birth defects.
Consequently, liver should be eliminated from pregnancy diet or consumed in moderation.
In some cases, raw meat may also cause incidences of brucellosis, which is a dangerous microorganism that is also present in raw milk.
- Artificial sweeteners
Saccharin and aspartame are the common types of sweeteners, and the top pregnancy food to avoid.
A research conducted on rats revealed that saccharin causes birth defects and cancer.
However, there is no proof of aspartame poisoning.
Sodas and other soft drinks are the main ways through which you may consume artificial sweeteners.
Lastly, these sweeteners increase the mother’s blood sugar, exposing her to the risk of diabetes.
The fetus may also grow unusually big, making it difficult for the mother to have a normal delivery.
- Raw or undercooked eggs
A pregnant mother should avoid consumption of raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs.
In most cases, eggs contain salmonella bacteria that are associated with a number of diseases, including gastroenteritis and typhoid fever.
When a pregnant mother has fever, it is a sign of infection that can be passed on to the baby.
In addition, infections may cause vomiting and diarrhea that results to dehydration.
Consequently, nutrients in the body are lessened yet the unborn baby requires them for normal growth.
For a pregnant woman with eggs craving, it is better to take them pasteurized and avoid eggs whose status is unknown.
A pregnant mother should always be concerned with the well-being of the unborn child. this means being aware of the pregnancy food to avoid, among other things. Accordingly, a mother’s diet during pregnancy is crucial since whatever she ingests affects fetal health and development. Mostly, pregnant mothers are allowed to eat whatever they want since pregnancy comes with cravings that, if not satisfied, may lead to tantrums. Therefore, it is important for mothers to eat consciously and in moderation especially during the first trimester (the first three months) of pregnancy. As a responsible mother, it is important to choose wisely what to eat and foods to avoid during pregnancy. In one way or the other, healthy foods provide the baby with a safe environment for growth and development. More importantly, it is best to seek advice from a reliable nutritionist regarding a balanced diet and come up with a meal plan. Moreover, prenatal visits also offer a platform for getting answers regarding pregnancy, nutrition, and diet.