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No matter whether it is your first child or fourth, pregnancy is a special moment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Eating for two, moms to be have to be cautious of whatever it is they eat which may adversely their health and that of the baby.
Therefore, it is very important to have a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy so as to deliver a healthy new born. This is the period when you need to pay the most attention to what you eat as some foods and beverages can be harmful.
While some foods should be cut out completely, some need to be taken minimally. Here are eight foods that you should avoid when pregnant. ESTHER MUCHENE
Any soft blue-veined cheese should be avoided when pregnant. This is due to the fact that they are made using mould and could contain listeria bacteria. These bacteria cause listeriosis and infection by it could lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or delivery of a severely ill new-born baby. Hard as it may be especially if the cravings kick in, avoid goat’s cheese, brie and camembert.
You need to avoid eating certain types of fish such as tuna, shark, tile fish and swordfish. It is generally best to avoid any oily fish. This is because they contain high levels of mercury and can lead to severe food poisoning and be harmful to your baby. Any raw fish such as oyster, crabs and prawns should also not be eaten during pregnancy.
The higher the amount of caffeine you take during pregnancy the lower the birth weight of your baby will be. Due to this, avoid any caffeine intake while pregnant. Caffeine has also been known to lead to miscarriages. If you have to, take some tea but do not exceed 150mg per day. It is advisable to go for organic tea instead.
- Raw or undercooked eggs
The only way to take eggs when pregnant is when they are thoroughly cooked. If raw or undercooked, eggs can cause food poisoning to you or your baby. Mayonnaise lovers should avoid it altogether because it contains raw eggs and should opt for eggless mayo.
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- Vitamin A
Taking all types of Vitamins is great when pregnant as they will do your unborn baby a lot of good. You however have to be careful with your intake of Vitamin A. Too much of it can be harmful to your baby’s growth. Avoid taking Vitamin A supplements when pregnant as well as liver products unless advised otherwise by a doctor.
- Raw or undercooked meat
If you are shopping for processed or canned meat products, always read the label to see if they are ready-to-eat or will need to be cooked. For any ready-to-eat products, make sure to first freeze them for a minimum of two days before eating so as to kill any bacteria. When cooking your meats, make sure there is no blood or pink left, cook it thoroughly.
In case it is not already obvious, alcohol consumption during pregnancy will harm your baby. This will affect your baby’s growth and development. It can also cause your baby to be born anaemic and with low blood pressure.
- Unpasteurized milk
Unpasteurized milk especially from goats and sheep still has germs and bacteria in it. Make sure to only take pasteurized milk when pregnant and if only raw milk is available, always boil it first before drinking.
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