- Stages of Pregnancy Slideshow Pictures
- Slideshow of Early Pregnancy Symptoms
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms Quiz
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
- Pregnancy diet plan definition and facts
- Is there a pre-pregnancy diet plan?
- What is a healthy pregnancy diet plan?
- What foods are part of a pregnancy diet menu plan?
- How much weight is OK to gain during pregnancy?
- Is it OK to diet during pregnancy?
- Low carb diet menu plans during pregnancy
- Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet
- Holistic diet menu plan during pregnancy
- Vegetarian and vegan diet menu plans during pregnancy
- Protein needs during pregnancy
- Iron needs during pregnancy
- Folate needs during pregnancy
- Calcium during pregnancy
- Iodine needs during pregnancy
- Zinc needs during pregnancy
- Vitamin D needs during pregnancy
- Are supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications safe to take during pregnancy?
- What foods and exercise help morning sickness and heartburn symptoms?
- What about a post pregnancy diet?
- What foods, drinks, or medicatons should be avoided during pregnancy?
Quick GuideWhat Not to Eat When Pregnant Pictures: Alcohol, Fish, Fruit Juice, Sushi
What about a post pregnancy diet?
- After delivery, the best diet is one that meets the nutritional needs of breastfeeding and helps the mother gradually return to her pre-pregnancy weight.
- Breastfeeding requires about 500 calories per day, so many women lose excess weight quickly. The nutritional needs of breast feeding require extra calcium and protein.
- Women also should be prepared for irregular meal patterns as they may be sleeping and awake at odd hours over the first few months as the baby's needs for nursing and sleeping evolve.
- New mothers shouldn't be focused on weight loss through calorie restriction while breastfeeding. Instead, they should continue the nutrient-dense diet recommended during pregnancy, and focus on increasing physical activity to accelerate a return to pre-pregnancy weight.
What foods, drinks, or medicatons should be avoided during pregnancy?
Pregnant women should stay away from several categories of unsafe foods:
- ones that have a higher likelihood of being contaminated with bacteria,
- ones that are toxic to the fetus, and
- ones that simply add calories without adding nutrition.
Common bacteria pose a greater risk to pregnant women and their fetus, so extra precautions should be followed.
- Listeria, salmonella and toxoplasmosis are examples of bacterial infections that should be prevented in pregnancy. These infections can increase the risk of miscarriage, damage to fetal brain development and other organs. Infections also put the mother at risk with symptoms like diarrhea, dehydration, and fever. To minimize risk, make sure meats are fully cooked and stay away from raw or undercooked meat and seafood. No sushi during pregnancy! Deli meats, meat spreads, and smoked lox are also questionable and should be heated to steaming hot in order to kill any bacteria.
- Dairy products can also be a source of bacterial contamination. This is why pregnant women are encouraged to stay away from soft unpasteurized cheeses. The important part to remember is that pasteurizing (flash heating) foods kills bacteria; for example, pasteurized Brie would be fine.
- Vegetables and fruit aren't immune to bacterial contamination that occurs during the harvesting or preparation process. Toxoplasma is present in the soil and can contaminate vegetables. Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. Washing them with a water and white vinegar mixture can be more effective then a pure water wash.
- Alcohol, in any amount, should be avoided. There is no known safe amount of intake, and drinking alcohol puts the fetus at risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and associated developmental problems.
- Caffeine, whether from coffee, soda, or tea, has been associated with decreased birth weight4.
- Some fish, such as tuna, are high in mercury and should be avoided. Mercury is neurotoxic and can impede fetal brain development. Pregnant women should avoid fish that are potentially high in mercury. Some fish are known to be low in mercury (for example, salmon and sardines). In general long lived fish, high on the food chain will contain higher mercury levels. A guide to selecting safe fish can be found at Natural Resources Defense Council's Sustainable Seafood Guide.5
Other consumables to avoid during pregnancy
Man-made food additives
Some of the man-made food additives are known to cause problems and should be avoided. For example, trans fats cross the maternal/fetal barrier, and are absorbed by fetus and may cause adverse effects on cellular membrane structure.6 Although limited research is available to quantify the risks of artificial sweeteners in pregnancy, they are able to cross the placenta into the fetal circulation and are typically found in nutrient-poor, processed foods that should be limited regardless.
Drugs (illicit, OTC, and prescription)
Illicit drugs, some over-the-counter (OTC), and many prescription drugs should also be avoided. If you are having trouble stopping taking illicit drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, talk to your midwife or obstetrician to get help specifically for pregnant women right away. There is help.
Medications, either OTC or prescription, can be harmful to the fetus; double check with your health-care professional or look up the "Pregnancy Class" of the medication before taking it.
In summary, avoid these foods or products:
- Uncooked/undercooked animal products (like sushi and rare meat), including eggs
- Unpasteurized dairy products (like soft cheeses)
- Tuna, lake fish, and other high mercury fish
- Caffeine (in coffee, tea, or soda)
- Trans fats (anything labeled hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Certain drugs
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