Pregnancy is a time of great joy and excitement, but it can also be a time of worry. You want to do everything you can to keep yourself and your baby healthy, but there’s so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
One of the best things you can do for your pregnancy is to avoid certain foods, drinks, and activities. These things can harm your baby or increase your risk of complications.
What to Avoid Eating and Drinking
Here are some foods and drinks to avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, and seafood: These foods can contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
- Unpasteurized milk and dairy products: Unpasteurized milk and dairy products can contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria and Salmonella.
- Soft cheeses: Soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, and camembert, can contain Listeria bacteria.
- Deli meats and hot dogs: Deli meats and hot dogs can be contaminated with Listeria and Salmonella bacteria.
- Raw eggs: Raw eggs can contain Salmonella bacteria.
- High-mercury fish: Mercury is a neurotoxin that can damage the developing nervous system of a fetus. High-mercury fish include swordfish, shark, marlin, king mackerel, and tilefish.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the developing fetus. It’s best to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day or less.
Other Things to Avoid
In addition to avoiding certain foods and drinks, there are other things you should avoid during pregnancy, such as:
- Smoking: Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.
- Certain medications and herbal supplements: Some medications and herbal supplements can harm the developing fetus. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any medications or herbal supplements while you’re pregnant.
- Excessive heat and sun exposure: Excessive heat and sun exposure can increase your risk of dehydration and overheating. It’s important to stay hydrated and cool during pregnancy.
- Contact with certain chemicals and toxins: Some chemicals and toxins, such as lead, mercury, and pesticides, can harm the developing fetus. It’s important to avoid contact with these chemicals and toxins as much as possible.
- Strenuous physical activity: Strenuous physical activity can increase your risk of complications during pregnancy. It’s important to talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity is safe for you.
- Stress: Stress can harm the developing fetus. It’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress during pregnancy.
Avoiding certain foods, drinks, and activities during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and your baby healthy. Talk to your doctor about any specific concerns you have.