Pregnant? Stay Away From These 4 Kinds Of Foods

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A new pregnancy is a time to reflect on the miracle of a new life growing inside you, completely dependent on your body for life. This is truly a time of joy and wonder, but don't let it also be a time to wonder if the meal you just ate is good for your unborn baby. Just as important as what you eat for your baby, what you avoid eating should be too. Here are a few foods to stay away from and why, at least until after delivery.

Soft Cheese

Many soft cheeses are imported, like feta, Gorgonzola, Camembert, brie, queso blanco and Roquefort. They may carry the germ listeria, commonly found in raw milk. While listeria normally may only make you feel mildly ill, it's dangerous for a fetus. You could have a miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth. If a non-imported soft cheese clearly states it is made with pasteurized milk, go ahead and enjoy.

Raw Eggs

Salmonella likes to hang out in raw eggs. Everyone should be shy of eating raw eggs, but more so if you're pregnant. Salmonella food poisoning can make you dehydrated. It could lead to bacteremia, or bacteria in the blood, which leads to meningitis. Also, you may get Reiter's syndrome, where you experience swelling and pain in the joints of your knees, ankles, and toes. Salmonellosis can be passed to your baby, who will have diarrhea and fever at birth. Your baby will also be at risk for meningitis.

Make sure your eggs are fully cooked. These homemade foods sometimes contain raw eggs:

  • mayonnaise
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Custard and ice cream
  • Egg nog

Fortunately, the commercial versions use pasteurized eggs.


Many types of fish are safe to eat during pregnancy, but there are some that are known to contain high levels of mercury. Shark, marlin, tuna, tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish are the worst. The same goes for the fish used in sushi. Unfortunately, you should probably cut back on how much canned tuna you eat. Mercury will damage your baby's brain and nervous system. If you want to eat fish, here are some better choices:

  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Catfish
  • Pollock
  • Canned light tuna

Raw Meat

Skip the rare steak and go for one that's well-done instead. Rare and undercooked beef and poultry may contain a host of germs like coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. If you become infected with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy you might pass the infection to your unborn baby, who could be born with eye or brain damage. Later, your baby could suffer from blindness or a mental disability.

Coliform bacteria is harmless to an unborn baby, but if you are infected it could make you dehydrated. You might be at risk for miscarriage or premature birth if you have a severe infection. For more information about which foods you should stay away from, visit a clinic such as Advanced OB-GYN Services.