Consuming certain food and beverages can harm or lead to undesirable consequences to the unborn child. This could be due to toxins or food infection consumed by the mother. Find out which foods you should avoid as well as foods and drinks to be mindful of during your pregnancy.
What to avoid during pregnancy?
As well as being unpleasant for you, food poisoning can put your little one’s health at risk1. For this reason, it’s important to pay close attention to your diet when you're pregnant, taking extra care with food preparation and avoiding foods associated with the risk of listeriosis – a type of food poisoning2.
Listeriosis is caused by listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium found naturally in the environment, and present in soil and water2. It can be found on products that may have been exposed to soil or water, from animals carrying the bacteria like meat and dairy products, as well as in processed foods like soft cheeses and cold cured cuts of meat2.
The following foods should be avoided during pregnancy1
Despite the well-known health risks for the little one, it is advisable to abstain from alcohol, even if someone proposes a toast to you. Although there is no clear recommendation on alcohol intake for pregnant women and there may be voices within your social circle that claims that a glass of alcohol might not serve any harm to your children, but it is definitely the best decision to entirely refrain from alcohol. The reason behind is that alcohol is a form of cytotoxin that could attack the brain and nerve cells of your little one at any time during pregnancy.
Habits die hard; some women may simply abandon their vices overnight during their pregnancy. Remember that every cigarette will lead to your little one taking in “passive smoke”. It would be a good opportunity to become a non-smoker and remain thereafter, even after the birth of your little one.
Dairy products and eggs
- You should avoid all dairy products made from raw milk during your pregnancy as they could contain listeria and trigger food poisoning caused by bacteria. Ensure that you make a shopping note to ask if the open products at the counter or at the weekly market are “made with raw milk”, as a form of precaution. Avoid the following products: soft cheeses even though they are made from pasteurised or heat-treated milk, as well as all blue cheese and cheese with lubricated surface. Firm, ripened hard cheese made from heat-treated milk may seem harmless but you should always cut off the rind before consumption.
- You should only consume hard-boiled eggs. Raw or semi-cooked eggs could contain salmonella, and it is safer to avoid all foods that are made with raw eggs such as desserts, mayonnaise sauces and baked goods.