‘The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new’ and so in you the child your mother lives on and through your family continues to live… so at this time look after yourself and your family as you would your mother for through you all she will truly never die.’ – Osho
Pregnancy! The word brings a new meaning to the world of women! It can be rarely described in words. The joyous feeling of carrying a living little one inside you is magnificent. Are you waiting for a little angel or a wonder kid to make their entry to this world? Well, in this article of foods to be avoided during pregnancy, given are a few that should not be consumed because they can cause harm to both you as well as the unborn child.
To facilitate a good birth and a happy pregnancy, there are certain food habits that you need to inculcate in your daily lifestyle. As a pregnant woman, you are bound to get advice from plenty of quarters, and some will make you confused. It is recommended that you seek advice (expert) on the addition and subtraction of certain food items in the diet.
Kindly note the foods that have to be excluded from the diet:
You should eat only those cheeses that are cooked. Feta cheese, the one used in salads as well as pasta, has been linked to illness such as listeriosis.
So do not settle for cheese that is unpasteurized as there are risks of miscarriage, illness and severe labour. Similar to this cheese is brie cheese which should be avoided at all costs. At any point, do not settle for unpasteurized cheese.
2. Avoid Raw/ Partially Cooked Eggs
Ensure the eggs are completely cooked till the yolks and whites are tough solid, for preventing salmonella-based illnesses. The poisoning has not been found to harm the baby but can induce symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea which might lead to discomfort in pregnancy.
It is also important to avoid home-made mayonnaise from undercooked eggs.
It is very difficult to learn the kinds of fish that has to be avoided in times of pregnancy. However, avoid fishes such as swordfish, shark, tile fish, king mackerel as they can possess mercury that can cause harm to the baby’s nervous system.
You can however opt for salmon, cod, shrimp or canned light tuna, however monitor your intake.
If there is a contaminated lake near your house, check the fishes sold in the locality. The fish might contain polychlorinated biphenyls.
When you come to shellfishes; mussels, oysters and clams can cause seaborne illnesses. Cooking can destroy bacteria but not some algae.
It is advised not to take supplements (fish oil), or any food containing high amounts of Vitamin A.
Also, avoid uncooked and refrigerated sea food. Some examples for you are lox, kippered, jerky or smoked.
4. Wash Thorougly All Fruits And Vegetables
It is essential to wash thoroughly all the fruits and vegetables.
It is one of the fruits to be avoided during pregnancy. It can bring on early labour as it can trigger uterine contractions. This fruit (both unripe and semi-ripe are dangerous) should be avoided in the 3rd and final stages of pregnancy. The enzyme called as papain (present in fruit latex) is responsible for miscarriage.
This fruit is rich in bromelain (protease) which can make the cervix go soft resulting in early labor. Its intake, as per physicians has to be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy.
There are pros and cons still going on in the medical world about having grapes in the diet during pregnancy. It is better, however, to have a chat with your doctor before including them in the diet. Many advise against, as grapes may be sprayed with pesticides to avoid harm by insects. The component is reservatrol, which can make the mother’s body toxic.
This fruit has been referred to as ‘Gift From God’ since the ancient times, but in case of pregnant women, it can cause uterine contractions. When taken in initial trimesters of pregnancy along with seeds, the percentage of miscarriage becomes high.
Any fruits or vegetables has to be carefully washed as it can contain the parasite toxoplasma gondii or listeria. Both are dangerous and can extensively damage the fetus. In case of sprouts, consuming them raw must be avoided.
The other fruits to be avoided are longan, plum, peach, cat apple etc.
Ancient medicine advises against the use of brinjal or egg plant in the diet. They contain phytohormones that have the properties of diuretics and can cause miscarriage to a pregnant lady. They can trigger menstrual flow resulting in miscarriage.
Ladies suffering from constipation or bloating should avoid including peas in the diet.
In case you are using sprouts, avoid mung bean, radish, clover and alfalfa as they can contain disease-causing bacteria and lead to illnesses.
Fenugreek seeds are to be avoided in pregnancy as they possess phytoestrogens that are similar to estrogen (female hormone) and may cause contractions of the uterus.
The others seeds to be used in moderation are mustard seeds. More than excess if used can cause side effects in the mother such as fatigue, irritation of the throat, blisters or damage of skin, coma and death.
5. Caffeine cum Coffee
Do you know the ingredient caffeine can move in the placenta and affect your loved one’s heart rate? Does your heart skip a beat after reading this sentence?
Then kindly do not use coffee during pregnancy. Too much of this drink may bring about miscarriage.
6. Avoid Herbal Tea
Unless you are advised by your doctor, do not drink herbal tea.
There are many herbs that can cause problems, when consumed during pregnancy such as sage, yarrow, mugwort etc. There are some herbals such as red raspberry leaves that are recommended only during the first trimester. Usually, physicians advise against using teas that have high components of caffeine such as black, green, Oolong, Lichee, Hong mao, Earl Grey, Darjeeling etc.
In case of green tea, kindly note that it also contains caffeine.
7. Avoid Alcohol
Avoid the attractive and yellow drink. To stay on the safer/best side, it is better to avoid alcohol completely.
A survey has indicated more risks in pregnancy if you drink alcohol. There are risks of stillbirth and miscarriage. In the baby it can cause: mental retardation, defects in heart and facial deformities.
8. Avoid Undercooked Or Raw Meat
There are cold meats such as chorizo, Parma ham, salami – cured and fermented. They can result in toxoplasmosis. It is vital to check the instructions on the label to see if the product can be eaten readily or it has to be cooked.
Toxoplasmosis – it is caused by a parasite and is located in meats that are not cooked.
You should refrain from eating liver containing products such as haggis, liver sausage as they can contain more vitamin A that can harm the baby.
10. Do Not Drink Unpasteurized Milk
Do not drink sheep milk or goat milk which is not cooked as they might contain pathogens that can cause illness. In case you need to drink milk, boil at the required temperature, allow to cool and then use for consumption.
In case of too much confusion, set up an appointment with the doctor to know what are the foods that you need to have during pregnancy. Mother Nature has designed human birth to happen simply without any hassles or restrictions.