Foods During Pregnancy | What To Avoid 🚫

Foods To Keep Off Your Shopping List 📝

It is a very daunting task to cut out certain foods from your diet, whilst you are pregnant. That's why I have put together what you should and shouldn't be consuming, to protect you and your unborn baby from harmful bacteria that live in some foods.

Article Contents

 🧀 Cheeses To Avoid 

Not all cheeses need to be avoided during pregnancy but some soft cheeses with white rinds (Brie and Camembert) and soft blue cheese, should be avoided whilst you are pregnant. This is because they are less acidic than hard cheeses and contain more moisture, which is an ideal environment for harmful bacteria such as listeria to grow in. 

Despite not being able to eat some soft cheeses, all hard cheese such as cheddar, parmesan and stilton are all safe. 

Other than mould-ripened soft cheeses, all others are safe to leave in your day to day diets such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, cream cheese and halloumi. Which means yes, you can still have that tasty pizza 🍕

Top Tip

If you are a pizza lover like myself and are unsure about getting a ready-made pizza. A fun idea is to try design your own homemade pizza with safe cheese and meat options that you know won't harm you or your baby.

Cheese To Avoid In Pregnancy

🥚The British Lion Code Of Practice 

As the advice is ever-changing, you may be uncertain whether it is safe to eat eggs whilst pregnant. As eggs are a good source of protein in anyone's diet, it is especially important for women to have a varied diet with a good source of protein whilst pregnant. 

You should avoid raw or partially cooked eggs unless they are produced under a food safety standard, called British Lion Code Of Practice. These eggs are normally identified with a logo stamped on their shell, showing a red lion. 

These types of eggs are said to be a very low risk of containing any salmonella and are therefore considered safer for women to eat raw or partially cooked. Salmonella is unlikely to harm your baby, but it can give you a severe bout of diarrhoea and vomiting which can persist for multiple days.

It is always best when dining out and if you are considering eating a meal with eggs in, to ask a member of staff if their eggs come under the British Lion Code of Practice. 

🐟 What Fish To Avoid?

Eating most fish while pregnant is considered safe, as it is good for you and the development of your baby. However, you should avoid some types of fish as some have more mercury in them than others, as it may affect the development of the baby's nervous system.  

When you are pregnant you should avoid eating shark, swordfish or marlin.

If you are a big lover of Shellfish for example mussels, lobster, crab, prawns, scallops and clams, it is advised you stay away from them during pregnancy. A safer option would be to always choose a cooked option, rather than raw shellfish. 

Top Tip

You can eat as much cod or haddock during pregnancy as you like, that means fish and chips from your local chippy is still on the list.

Safe Fish to Eat During Pregnancy

🥩 Safest Way To Eat Meat During Pregnancy

All types of pate including vegetable pate should be avoided in pregnancy as it contains listeria. 

It is important not to eat raw or undercooked meat, which includes meat joints and steaks that are cooked rare, as it has the potential risk of toxoplasmosis. 

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by parasites that are found in raw and undercooked meat. It is very rare that you will contract Toxoplasmosis during your pregnancy, but if you think you may have, it can cause infection which may be passed onto your baby. 

To make sure you are on the safe side, cook all meats and poultry so it is steaming hot and without any traces of pinkness or blood. 

Be cautious of cold cured meats

Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni and chorizo are not cooked meats. They are just cured and fermented, this means they have a higher risk of carrying Toxoplasmosis parasites. 

It is always best to check the label of any of these products, to see whether they are ready to eat or need to be cooked first and if you are unsure to avoid completely.

Cured Meats to Be Careful Eating While Pregnant

Liver-

You should not eat liver or products containing liver such as liver pate, haggis or liver sausage as they contain a lot of Vitamin A, which can be harmful to your baby. 

If you need more advice on what vitamins you should be avoiding or taking throughout your pregnancy, please head over to the blog I have done with all your questions answered. 

🥜 Is it Safe to Eat Peanuts?

Previous recommendations on eating nuts were that pregnant women should avoid consuming them. 

The current guidelines are that peanuts and products containing them, such as peanut butter are indeed safe. It was recently changed, as studies showed that eating nuts will not cause your baby to develop a peanut allergy. 

If you do have a peanut allergy yourself, it is recommended you do not consume peanuts for obvious reasons. 

🥛 Milk And Yogurt

Milk and yoghurt are normally fine providing they are pasteurised.

Do not drink unpasteurised goats' or sheep's' milk, or eat foods made from them, such as soft goats' cheese. 

Pregnant Women Eating Unpasteurised Yoghurt

☕️ 🍷 What You Should Know About Caffeine And Alcohol

Caffeine

Drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks can result in your baby having a low birth weight, which can then increase to health problems later on in their life. Having too much caffeine has also been linked to miscarriages. 

There is a lot of misunderstanding about drinking caffeine when pregnant. You do not have to cut it out completely, but do not have more than 200mg a day, which is about 2-3 cups per day. 

If you are worried about your caffeine intake, try keeping a food/drink diary. It's not only good for watching what you eat but it will put your mind at ease. 

Top Tip

If you can't say goodbye to coffee for the 9 months you are pregnant, as said previously you don't have to cut caffeine out completely. A good alternative is trying decaffeinated coffee. Taste exactly like coffee, just without the risk of harming your baby.

 Alcohol

Alcohol is an absolute no go during pregnancy! If you are trying to conceive or think you may be pregnant, you should immediately stop drinking alcohol as this can have long-term effects on your baby such as foetal alcohol syndrome. 

🤰🏼Staying Safe During Pregnancy

Food hygiene is so important during your pregnancy. Always making sure to follow the correct hygiene\cooking practices. Avoiding or cutting out these certain foods as much as possible will give you the best chance of delivering a healthy baby. 

If you do have any more concerns about what you should and shouldn't be eating, please consult in your GP or Midwife for further information. 

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