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Bad Foods During Pregnancy

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Most of us know what’s good for our bodies when we are expecting – fruits, veggies and whole grains. We’re reminded to always take our prenatal vitamins and improve our lifestyle choices too. But what are some foods that should be avoided during pregnancy?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as foods unsafe during this time:

Seafood high in mercury – this doesn’t mean skipping all seafood. Seafood in general is a great source of protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. So which kinds are bad? Swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish are pegged by the Food and Drug Administration as high in mercury, and thus, should not be eaten at this time.

Raw undercooked and/or contaminated seafood

Undercooked meat, especially poultry and eggs – This type of meat carries a high risk of bacterial food poisoning and since your immune system may be compromised during pregnancy anyway, it is even more important while with child.

Unpasteurized foods – these products may cause food-borne illnesses. That means no cheese made with unpasteurized milk such as brie, feta and blue cheese.

Unwashed fruits and vegetables – wash all raw fruits and vegetables to destroy all harmful bacteria.

Raw sprouts of any kind – sprouts contain disease-causing bacteria.

Large quantities of liver – too much liver is not good. Liver contains vitamin A, and an overload of vitamin A causes birth defects.

Excess caffeine – caffeine has been shown to affect the baby’s heart. You will be encouraged to cut down caffeine to a minimal.

No herbal tea or alcohol – large amounts of some herbal teas (red raspberry leaf) may cause contractions. If you just have to have some tea, ask your doctor for permission and suggestions on what kind. Lastly, alcohol in any amount is dangerous to the unborn child. Even moderate amounts can impact your baby’s brain development.

Resource: Mayo Clinic

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer and an avid Jane Eyre fan. A new Jane Eyre movie is coming out early 2011 and don’t you know she will be front row and center!

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.