Some foods can prove to be really harmful to your unborn child or nursing baby. Here are a few foods you should avoid eating when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Don’t eat:

  • Raw meat such as sushi, seafood, rare or uncooked beef, or poultry because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. These viruses are deadly to babies.
  • Raw eggs, or foods containing raw egg such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custard, unpasteurized eggnog, or Hollandaise sauce because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella.
  • Soft cheese such as blue cheese, feta, Brie, Camambert, and Latin-American soft white cheeses such as queso blanco and queso fresco because they may harbor harmful bacteria.
  • Fish containing accumulated levels of mercury in their fatty tissues such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish.

    When a pregnant woman consumes large amounts of mercury, her baby may suffer brain damage resulting in developmental delays (for example, delays in learning to walk or talk).

  • Fish containing high levels of an industrial pollutant called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their fatty tissues such as bluefish and striped bass, and freshwater fish such as salmon, pike, trout, walleye from contaminated lakes and rivers. Consumption of large amounts of PCBs by pregnant women is linked to decreased attention, memory, and IQ in their babies. Check with your local Health Department to determine which fish in your area are safe to eat.
  • Chocolate,cocoa, caffeine, coffee, cauliflower, cabbage, onions or garlic when breastfeeding as these foods cause a lot of gas which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Especially if you have a colicky baby.
  • Very acidic foods such as vinegar, oranges, wine, champagne etc, they can cause your baby to become uncomfortable. Their urine may burn them and they may develop rashes on their bodies, especially a nappy rash.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs while pregnant or breastfeeding.

I know it may seem like a long list but there are so many foods you can still enjoy or substitutes for the foods that you do enjoy. For example you can have cooked sushi instead of raw sushi, it can taste just as good or you can have vegetarian sushi which is just as tasty. And some foods are good to avoid for your own health to and your post-pregnancy figure, like chocolate! 🙂


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