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You just found out that you are pregnant, and that said congratulations! You have plenty of preparations to make in order to maximize your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. These particular preparations that this article is about has nothing to do with planning for the baby’s arrival. That means it is not time yet to worry about buying blankets, sleepers, clothing, diapers, furniture for the nursery, baby toys, and so on. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
What you need to be concerned about right now is making a decision on whether you want to be under the care of an OBGYN or a midwife. That will also depend on what your insurance covers. However, you don’t have to decide right away either. But, the one thing that you must do from this moment on towards the day you deliver your baby is avoiding certain foods that can increase the chances of your unborn baby being put at risk. And, if you are planning to breastfeed, then you will need to avoid the same foods as well until you stop nursing.
You already know what foods you need to consume during your pregnancy, and they are the same types of foods that you were eating to help you get pregnant. That means you still are going to need to stick to the fertility-friendly diet and the difference there is that once the second and third trimesters hit, you will need to increase your caloric intake from 300 to 500 more a day.
However, just keep in mind that quite possibly you had been eating some foods while you were trying to get pregnant that is not advisable to keep eating during your pregnancy. Listed below are foods you must toss out after making this discovery that you are pregnant:
Fish with high levels of mercury
You may already be aware of this rule considering you may have been concerned about eating fish during your pregnancy in general. The only fish that pregnant moms must avoid eating are those with high levels of mercury such as King mackerel, swordfish, tuna steaks, shark meat, and orange roughy. These high levels of mercury are detrimental to the baby’s developing nervous system.
However, don’t toss out all fish because the fish that are low in mercury levels are also high in essential fatty acids that your developing baby needs for proper brain and neurological development. Examples of these fish are salmon, canned light tuna, shrimp, halibut, trout, sardines, and tilapia. However, there are still some traces of mercury in these fish as well. That means it is best to stick to eating it in 12 ounces or 3 servings per week.
Even though there is no concrete evidence at this point that artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Nutrasweet), saccharin (Sweet-n-low), Acesulfame-K, and Stevia can cause damage to the unborn baby, it is best not to take a chance by consuming it. These sweeteners are heavily processed and are loaded with additives and chemicals.
Booze must be avoided at all costs. That includes beverages that are not high in alcohol as well such as beer and wine. It is not known that there are any safe amounts of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. It is unlikely that one cup of wine would cause any damage such as fetal alcohol syndrome. But, it is best not to take a chance and wait to enjoy the booze again after the baby is born – unless you plan on breastfeeding.
Stay away from anything raw, unpasteurized, and undercooked
If you have a craving for sushi during your pregnancy, then you will need to replace it with a small piece of well-cooked salmon or another fish that has low mercury levels. That is because raw fish and raw meat, in general, can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that can put your unborn baby at harm if they are consumed. The same applies to raw eggs meaning you will not want to eat any homemade mayonnaise and you will not want to drink eggnog either. The same goes for undercooked and unpasteurized foods. That means you must stay away from unpasteurized soft cheeses like feta, goat cheese, brie, and blue cheeses. However, if you really want to enjoy these cheeses during your pregnancy, then you can cook it up to the point that it is steaming. That will kill off any harmful bacteria.
Deli and smoked meats
If you want to eat some salami or bologna, then you must heat it up in the microwave quite well. These deli meats can contain harmful bacteria as well that can potentially harm your baby. But if you heat it up thoroughly, then the bacteria will be killed off and you can enjoy a hot and crispy salami sandwich. The same applies to any smoked meats.
Not all herbal products are dangerous for expecting moms such as peppermint, chamomile, ginger, and bird’s nest. But most herbal remedies such as St John’s wort, feverfew, juniper, black and blue cohosh, rosemary, dong quay, thuja, pennyroyal, and goldenseal are dangerous to consume during pregnancy. They can cause premature delivery, stillbirths, and miscarriages.
Food that is not fresh in general
The only food that can be eaten during pregnancy which excludes the ones above are foods that are fresh and stored well. Foods that have been sitting out of the fridge or freezer for a while collects bacteria which can be harmful to your unborn baby. The same applies to prepackaged foods like salads and sandwiches. They can be loaded with harmful bacteria so it is best to stay away.
Those are the foods to avoid, however, let’s briefly go over some foods to strictly limit but don’t need to completely avoid:
Coffee and caffeinated beverages and food
You can safely have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy as it will not affect your unborn baby which means one 12 oz cup of coffee, or you can have a 6 oz cup of coffee and enjoy some chocolate as well.
Foods that are processed and have sugar, trans fats, and have little nutritional value such as candies, pastries, and fried and fast food can be eaten once a week in moderation without having any ill effects on your unborn baby.
Nuts are incredibly nutritious and have the essential fatty acids that are excellent for your unborn baby’s brain development, but it is still not known if there is a tie between eating too many nuts during pregnancy and the baby having a nut allergy as a result. It is best to eat a small amount of nuts 3 times a week instead of daily. The same applies to peanuts.
Now, you know what foods to toss out during pregnancy, as well as foods to limit and to eat in moderation. With this knowledge, this is half of the battle right there when it comes to maximizing your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Good luck!