In our free pregnancy guide, Mama You’ve Got This, we worked with author Melissa Schweiger Kleinman (mama, dermatologist and all-round expert) to answer some of your biggest questions related to pregnancy. We’re aiming to give you the honest truth, guiding you through your pregnancy so that you feel as confident and prepared as possible.
In chapter nine, we’re talking all things nutrition. Navigating the world of food during pregnancy can suddenly feel a little daunting – there are a lot of rules, and sometimes opinions, that can completely vary depending on who you ask. But you want to make sure your diet during pregnancy is healthy, balanced and nutritious.
Here’s an extract covering one of the biggest pregnancy diet questions:
What not to eat during pregnancy?
I had such a love/hate relationship with my smart phone during my pregnancy. The temptation to verify the safety of every morsel of food before I put it in my mouth was real. The reality is that there really aren’t that many foods you need to avoid, but for someone like me who literally lives on sushi and turkey and brie sandwiches, the “Do Not Eat” list made me rethink my entire diet.
If you learn the general rules of what not to eat during pregnancy it won’t feel as though you need to carry a cheat sheet around with you. On the other hand, it’s okay if you need a reminder and if you do, there’s an app for that! Just a quick visit on your app store, you’ll find a number of options to help guide you through the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy eating.
Here are most of the foods you’ll need to say goodbye to for nine months. For a complete list of must-avoid foods, confer with your doctor or midwife.
What foods to avoid during pregnancy:
- Raw animal of any kind: including meat, poultry, shellfish and fish. You’ll want to ask for your burgers and steak well-done and avoid undercooked chicken or fish. With any uncooked meats, there’s a risk of toxic bacteria, such as salmonella toxoplasmosis and coliform.
- Deli meats: These are off the list due to the risk of listeria contamination. Since listeria has the potential to cross the placenta and cause miscarriage, you don’t want to mess around with deli meats. This was a hard one for me, as it basically meant no sandwiches for nine months, at least not the kid of Italian heroes I was used to! I trained myself to eat grilled vegetable sandwiches instead and boatloads of avocado toast.
- Raw eggs: If you’re thinking raw cookie batter would be the perfect pregnancy food, you’re in for a rude awakening. Raw eggs are a definite no-no. Again, there’s the possibility of salmonella exposure. But cookie dough isn’t the only culprit; also cross off homemade Caesar salad dressing, homemade ice cream, mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce. As always, ask your doctor to be sure if in any doubt!
- Soft cheeses: Will have to take a back seat during pregnancy. This includes blue cheese, brie, Roquefort, feta and Gorgonzola. The rule of thumb is that unless it’s clearly stated they are made from pasteurised milk, soft cheeses are to be avoided.
- Unwashed vegetables: Could present a possible hazard thanks to something called toxoplasmosis, which is a disease caused by parasites. If you don’t have immunity to this disease, there’s potential for it to affect the baby.
- More to avoid: Other random foods you might not realise are risky include: pâté, smoked fish and raw (alfalfa, clover and radish) sprouts.
Want to read more?
Plus, get the rest of the guide delivered directly to your inbox each week. From skincare to sex, telling your boss you’re pregnant to maternal mental health, Mama You’ve Got This will help you arm yourself with the knowledge you need to feel confident in all aspects of your pregnancy.
You’ll also receive exclusive offers & gifts, get expert advice and be the first to know about our newest products.
Here are a few of the other questions answered in the nutrition chapter:
Should I really be eating for two or do I still need to watch my weight?
Can I drink any caffeine?
Are these crazy pregnancy cravings normal?
What can I eat to help alleviate my nausea?
Will one glass of wine do any harm?
Is it true that what I eat will affect my baby’s sense of taste?
Should I only be eating organic foods?
Plus many more…