Both what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy are valid concerns for pregnant women. The delivery of a healthy baby depends on the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy. The growth and development of the fetus is critical and should be treated with care and precaution. However, managing the diet during pregnancy can be tricky since pregnancy requires many changes to the mother’s diet.
Most pregnancy apps and pregnancy experts specify what foods a pregnant woman should eat, and most importantly, what foods she should avoid to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
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Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
Here is a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy in order to prevent complications and give birth to a healthy baby.
- Fatty foods and snacks. Avoid foods high in saturated fats, especially processed foods and takeout foods. Foods high in saturated fats are known to cause pregnancy complications, such as early labor, heart problems, and excessive growth of the fetus. Instead, choose healthy options that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Soft drinks and caffeine. A high intake of caffeine increases the risk of miscarriages and low birth weight in babies. Alcohol and soft drinks also lead to premature births. Opt for beverages with low caffeine and freshly made juices.
- Meat, poultry, and eggs that are raw or undercooked. Undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs affect the development of the fetus and may lead to food poisoning for the mother, causing detrimental effects for both the mother and child. A weakened immune system directly affects a baby’s growth. Therefore, make sure that all meat, poultry, and eggs are well cooked.
- Fish high in mercury. Fish from oceans and lakes, such as sharks, contain high levels of mercury, and they have been exposed to industrial pollutants. Eating them will harm the health of a pregnant woman and cause developmental delays and brain damage in the fetus. Tuna, salmon, and other fish low in mercury and rich in omega-3 fatty acids are better options for pregnant women.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables. Germs and parasites found in unclean fruits and vegetables are threats to a growing baby. The dirt and germs may harm the mother as well. Infections can cause pregnancy complications and even miscarriages.
- Foods with allergens. Choose foods that do not cause allergic reactions to avoid harming the development of the baby’s immune system. Avoid salads, juices, and foods that are canned or leftover or bought from restaurants. Also, avoid milk that is unpasteurized since it increases the risk of low birth weight and malnourishment in babies.
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Mothers should be choosy about the foods they eat while pregnant, especially because their dietary choices impact the baby’s growth directly. Making most meals at home will ensure that the food is better prepared. Eat warm or hot food and fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink adequate amounts of water. In short, mothers should make a conscious effort to eat well in order to promote the birth of a healthy baby.