The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to a Proper Diet: Part I

Congratulations, you’ve just found out that you have a new bundle of joy on the way. There are plenty of changes in store for you now, from adjustments in your lifestyle after birth to visible physical differences during pregnancy. Your first thought after receiving the news that you’re expecting probably has nothing to do with the foods you can or cannot eat while your baby is in utero, but nevertheless, your diet during pregnancy should be high on your list of concerns.

It is well known that a mother’s diet during pregnancy has a strong and direct influence on the well-being of her baby. In order to prevent several types of complications from occurring and to help ensure that your child is born healthy and happy, you should learn what foods and drinks are not okay to have during pregnancy. 


Foods and drinks to avoid:

Fish. Most pregnant women are aware that the sushi they were able to enjoy pre-pregnancy is a definite no when you are with child. There are certain types of fish that can be eaten during pregnancy in moderation, such as salmon, trout, and other low mercury fish. Shellfish and fish that are high in mercury should be avoided. Any fish consumed during pregnancy should be heated through thoroughly.

Unpasteurized milk. While it’s perfectly fine to drink milk while you are pregnant, make sure that the milk is pasteurized. Listeriosis, an infection which can result from unpasteurized milk consumption, can be life threatening for your unborn baby. Several cheeses including Brie and Feta are occasionally made with unpasteurized milk, so unless you can be sure that your cheese was made with pasteurized milk, it’s best to avoid those foods as well.

Cold or uncooked meat. Meat in general is okay to consume during pregnancy, in fact meat can deliver some key nutrition to you and your unborn child. However, any meat eaten during pregnancy should be heated all the way through, meaning refrigerated lunch meats and similar food options are off limits.

Caffeine. Okay so you don’t have to completely avoid the drug most often found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks, but it is necessary to limit your caffeine intake. 200 mg is the suggested daily limit of caffeine for pregnant women.

Raw eggs. Like with most other foods during pregnancy, eggs need to be cooked all the way through to be safe for a pregnant woman’s consumption. Keeping to scrambled eggs might not sound like such a difficult feat, but any food products made with raw eggs should also be avoided. Fresh mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, and some ice creams contain raw eggs, and therefore should be eliminated from your diet throughout pregnancy.


Limiting yourself to one cup of coffee a day, or keeping away from the sushi bar while all of your friends enjoy their fix of spicy tuna rolls might be a real challenge for some women, but it is important to keep in mind that you are sacrificing for the health of your baby. Also keep in mind that in less than a year, after you’ve given birth, you can once again enjoy all the oysters, runny eggs, and bologna sandwiches that you want.