Pregnancies can present countless questions and concerns in your mind, ranging from baby names to making appointments with your OB–GYN. But, one of the last things on the minds of women who are pregnant is largely dietary needs. Many soon-to-be moms think that pregnancy is “business as usual”, and they continue with their morning coffee, and perhaps a sandwich around lunch time. But did you know that caffeine, and even foods like deli meat, can cause complications in your pregnancy? In today’s post, we will be discussing pregnancy diet “dont’s”, the risks of certain food and beverage choices, and alternatives to satisfy those cravings that you would not otherwise be able to indulge in for the next nine months!
Alcohol is a well-known pregnancy no-no, but one of the lesser known pregnancy beverage risks is caffeine. (Don’t worry, it’s only temporary!) You might have to say goodbye to your morning Starbucks runs before work, but this is with good reason! Women are largely encouraged to keep their caffeine intake during pregnancy to a maximum of 200 mg each day, but it would be in the BEST interest of the mother to avoid caffeine whenever possible. Did you know that ingesting caffeinated beverages can put your baby at risk of being born underweight? Doctors have found that you can, however, drink decaf coffee and tea during your pregnancy, but in moderation. Soda is another difficulty for women… As someone who could take a constant IV of Dr. Pepper, I know the struggle. But if you want to satisfy those soda cravings, try sparkling water, or even caffeine–free alternatives of your favorite soda (in moderation if they have a high sugar content)!
Another lesser known dietary choice to avoid is raw or undercooked fish. Sushi might have to take the backseat for these next several months, but your baby would thank you if they could! Raw fish contains harmful bacteria, which could result in severe dehydration for the mother, and possibly life-threatening consequences for the baby. You will also want to avoid fish that is high in mercury content, such as tuna. During your pregnancy, stick to fish that is thoroughly cooked in order to take precautions against contracting bacterial or parasitic infections. Raw and processed meats, such as deli meat, are also a red flag for your pregnancy diet, since they could also potentially harbor harmful bacteria. (Even if you are a kid at heart, no Lunchables…PLEASE).
Finally, we, along with doctors across the world, encourage pregnant women not to ingest raw eggs. This is a given, even if you are not pregnant, but ESPECIALLY when there is a tiny life counting on you! You might have to give up licking the spoon when baking cookies, eating salad dressings that could contain trace amounts of raw eggs, or even eating some cake icings. This may be tough for some of you, but I can guarantee you that Salmonella would be a much tougher obstacle to work through, especially when your baby could be negatively impacted through their mother’s sickness.
More Helpful Tips
Some other helpful tips include washing produce thoroughly after it is purchased! Even if you are not a “germaphobe”, certain precautions need to be taken for you and your precious new life in order to cut down on risks of sickness and infection. Also, pasteurized is always best! If a label says unpasteurized, put it back! While our current cravings may seem to outweigh future consequences in the moment, put your baby’s health at the forefront, and know you are doing this for them!
How AWPC Can Help
We truly have some of the most incredible counselors at A Women’s Pregnancy Center, and they would love to provide you with helpful resources in order to ensure nutrition not only for you, but your baby as well. Everything you do matters when it comes to your growing little one, especially what you put in your body. If you would like to talk with one of our counselors to get more information on this topic, feel free to contact us for an appointment!