It is official, well it has been official just not to everyone out there in the blogosphere that I’m pregnant with baby number two. This time around I am determined to be calmer, a more Zen-like pregnant woman. Needless to say my first pregnancy and the “changes” that come along with it were not very welcomed. I’ll keep you updated on how my calmer approach to pregnancy goes, which will not be an easy task for a person with a high-strung personality. But for now, this is a nutrition blog so you are probably wondering where I’m going with this. I’m going to write a series of blog articles on nutrition issues during and after pregnancy. I’m starting with what the “experts” agree are the food and beverages that should be limited or avoided during pregnancy. There’s nothing like telling hungry and hormonal pregnant women that there are foods and beverages she shouldn’t be eating but in these cases ignorance is not bliss.
The reason I chose to start with this topic is because recently at my mother’s group I was surprised to learn that many of the other moms didn’t know that a pregnant women should avoid eating cold deli meat. Ready-to-eat meats (including deli meats), certain soft cheeses, and unpasteurized milk can cause a food-borne illness called listeriosis (see complete food list below). Pregnant women are 20 times more likely to suffer from listeriosis than someone that is not pregnant. When a pregnant woman is infected with listeriosis, she may have a miscarriage, premature delivery or still birth. I can’t think of a better reason to be careful about what I eat.
Most people are well aware that smoking and drinking alcohol should be completely avoided when pregnant. Other foods may not be as obvious:
Raw Meat (including Sushi): Uncooked seafood (including raw shellfish) and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.
Raw Eggs: Should always be avoided, even when not pregnant because of the potential exposure to salmonella.
Soft Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola, Queso Blanco, and Queso Fresco. Avoid these because they have been made with unpasteurized milk. Avoid any food that has not been pasteurized.
Deli Meats, Hot Dogs, Pate, & Meat Spreads: Should be avoided when pregnant because of the risk of listeriosis.
Fish with Mercury: Avoid fish high in mercury which include: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tile fish. From more information check out this web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-fish/PR00158
Alfalfa Sprouts: Can carry disease-causing bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli making them unsafe choices for pregnant women.
Caffeine: Most research studies agree that caffeine in moderation is okay to consume when pregnant. Caffeine is most commonly found in soda, coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. The most widely accepted found recommendation for caffeine is that caffeine should be limited to less than 300 mg. per day during pregnancy. Personally 300 mg. is way above what I am comfortable consuming pregnant or not. I would have to drink almost 6 (12 ounce) cans of soda to equal 300 mg. of caffeine. As with everything consult your doctor for what is safe and advised for your pregnancy.
Consult your doctor for more specific information related to your health and the health of your baby.
Next month I’ll discuss all the food that pregnant women can eat! As well as discuss pregnancy food cravings.