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What Not to Eat While Pregnant

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A Quick Guide to What's Not Safe to Eat During Pregnancy

What to while pregnant is an important thing to get right so it's important to know what NOT to eat. There are certain foods the health authorities consider dangerous while pregnant and the list below acts as a guide of what not to eat when pregnant.

eating while pregnant

  • Any type of alcohol! Recent regulations recommended 0 units of alcohol for the entire duration of pregnancy. Getting drunk during pregnancy could cause permanent harm to the baby, such as the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, responsible for severe damage to the nervous system, mental retardation and major birth defects.
  • Specific types of cheeses such as brie, goat's cheese (chevre), blue cheeses and, generally, any cheeses that base their maturity on live bacteria.
  • Any type of pate: vegetable and especially liver are not allowed while pregnant. Although rich in iron, it's better to keep away from it. It contains listeria (a disease caused by some harmful bacilli) and a lot of vitamin A, not recommended in excess during pregnancy.
  • Uncooked or partially cooked meat: including burgers, and be careful with barbeques. Mince is not recommended. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and keep it covered in the fridge on the lowest shelf. Raw meat contains live bacteria that can harm your baby.
  • Oily fish in excess: such as tuna, mackerel and sardines, as it is very rich in vitamin A and mercury, which can harm your baby's development. However, it is agreed that no more than two servings of tuna per week is a safe quantity. Any type of marlin, swordfish and shark.
  • Raw sea food as it could cause food poisoning.
  • Undercooked ready meals.
  • Excessive coffee and tea. However, if you are a heavy coffee or tea drinker, it's advisable not to cut it all out, as this may cause you nausea and headaches, combined with a drop in energy levels. Some experts relate the excess of caffeine to higher risks of miscarriage, but this is to be analysed further. Excessive caffeine could lead to underweight birth. Try and stick to the maximum 300 mg rule for caffeine that is 3 mugs of instant coffee or 6 cups of tea or 4 cans of energisers or about 8 bars of chocolate.
  • Excessive peanuts: if you, your partner or anybody else in the baby's family suffers with any type of allergies, including hay fever, eczema or asthma, or there's a history of allergies in the family, it's safer to avoid nuts for the duration of your pregnancy.

Despite common myths, spicy foods are safe! Don't be frightened away by the old Indian or Chinese treat, as they are safe for you and your baby as long as they don't contain any ingredients from the above 'blacklist'. And always remember: a common sense and a moderate approach to everything are the two safest things for a pregnant woman.

Don't worry too much, there are lots of things that are safe and recommended to eat in pregnancy. Here's our guide to what to eat while pregnant. And we've collected a few tasty pregnancy recipes for you to try, too!