Extra care about food is required during all the stages of pregnancy. Some foods contain toxins and food borne bacteria which are capable of weakening the immune system and could lead defects in the unborn baby. So it is crucial for the proper health of mother and development of baby that safe and clean food with enough nutritional value is consumed in the diet particularly during pregnancy.
10. HERBAL TEAS
In order to keep the baby safe from all kind of birth defects, it is good for a pregnant woman to eliminate the use of herbal supplements especially herbal tea from her diet. Though they are caffeine free but still contain some newer and specialty nutrients which are not safe to be consumed during this delicate period. Two herbs, red raspberry leaf and stinging nettles present in the herbal tea develop contractions. Herbal teas contains chemicals of plants so when consumed in large quantities affect hormone levels and stimulate menstruation which can lead to miscarriage.
9. UNWASHED VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of nutrition for the body so it is important to make sure that all raw fruits and vegetables in use are properly and thoroughly washed. Lots of veggies may have sprays or agricultural insecticides on them which are very poisonous. Moreover the risk to toxoplasmosis increases because plants from the grounds can be contaminated with it. So as to remove all the traces of toxoplasma contaminated soil, it is safe to wash all fruits and vegetables and then eaten so that neither the mother faces any kind of bacterial infection nor the baby has any birth defects.
8. RAW MEAT
All kind of meats, if not cooked well, pose serious and harmful risks for bacteria. Raw meat or sassy uncooked meat may cause mental retardation and blindness to unborn babies. Sometimes the parasites present in them are responsible for illness called toxoplasmosis. The intake also increases the risk of salmonella and coliform bacteria which are alone so powerful to react and infect mother and baby child. So keeping in mind all the hard effects, raw meat must be avoided at all costs during the pregnancy. Taking extra special care with mincemeat and sausages, meat must be thoroughly cooked until the traces of pink or blood get totally removed.
The intake of all forms of pate made from meat, fish or vegetables during pregnancy makes more susceptible to listeriosis. Pate contains higher levels of listeria bacteria than other foods. All mild flu-like symptoms in the mother which as a result affect the developing baby are caused due to listeriosis. More of its consequences include still birth, severe illness, miscarriage or loss of baby at the time of birth. Canned pate or shelf-safe meat spreads can be eaten but it is good to avoid while you are pregnant.
6. UNPASTEURIZED MILK
Milk is one of the best complete foods doctor recommends to be mandatory in the diet of a pregnant lady as it contains all nine essential nutrients and vitamins. More specifically pasteurized milk is mentioned because during the pasteurization process when milk is heated or boiled to a particular temperature, all the germs and micro-organisms kills off without changing the product. Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, and Escherichia coli are life threatening bacteria’s some of which are generally present in unpasteurized milk. So to avoid food poisoning, miscarriage, birth defects, risk of toxoplasmosis; pregnant woman should evade drinking unpasteurized milk of cow, buffalo, goat or sheep.
5. HIGH MERCURY SEAFOOD OR FISH
Consuming food with high levels of mercury during pregnancy is considered unsafe both for the mother as well as child. Developmental delays, harm to baby’s nervous system, brain damage are all consequences of intake of high amount of mercury. Seafood mainly including fish such as Spanish mackerel, marlin, tile fish, sword fish, shark, and Tuna fish is the biggest source of mercury. In addition to mercury this kind of food also contains some amount of bacteria and parasites and is exposed to industrial pollutants which are again very dangerous during pregnancy.
4. RAW EGGS
Raw eggs contain high potential of salmonella which further contains salmonella bacteria. A salmonella bacterium infects the stomach and causes extremely severe food poisoning. The infection caused to mother is then carried on to new born infant. Though some homemade items like ice-creams, mayonnaise, cakes, Hollandaise sauce, custards, Caesar dressings may be made with raw eggs so exposure to salmonella increases. A woman during pregnancy should avoid the raw eggs despite of high protein content in them and must make sure that they are consuming a thoroughly cooked egg that is until whites and yolks become solid.
Caffeine is a mild diuretic and stimulant which is if taken by a pregnant woman increases the risk of miscarriage, and is very much responsible for high blood pressure, low birth weight, and increased heart rate. Our daily life drinks like coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks as well as chocolate contain sufficient amount of caffeine. The study of doctors states that if caffeine intake limit of a pregnant lady exceeds 300 mg per day, the chances of damage to the baby’s development in utero increases to a great extent. As caffeine is capable of driving water and eliminate fluids from the body, the extreme use of it result in calcium and water loss.
Listeria is a kind of dangerous bacterium which is generally present soft cheese and whose intake cause listeriosis. Listeria causes severe infection and poison the baby blood as it is able to penetrate placenta. Soft cheese being less acidic contain more moisture and hence more harmful. Printed surface cheese like camembert, brie or hard cheese like parmesan, cheddar and wax coated cheese as Gouda; Roquefort, gorgonzola a kind of blue cheese are all very effective if consumed during pregnancy period. Even the mild form of the infection produced by it may lead to still birth, miscarriage, premature birth, or worse than it.
Total avoidance t alcohol is highly recommended especially while planning a baby or in the early stages of pregnancy. Consumption of alcohol during the pregnancy period leads to fetal alcohol syndromes along with some development disorders. Prenatal exposure to alcohol affects learning ability of child throughout the life which is commonly termed as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. If a woman takes alcohol before the pregnancy is established, the infant is more prone to suffer birth defects, mental retardation, heart defects and many other dangerous harmful risks. Generally the addicted ones are warned to limit the drinking to 1 or 2 units only once a week. Moreover, it is also recommended to avoid alcohol while breastfeeding because it reach to baby in some manner.