Foods to Avoid

While most women will experience food cravings and an increased appetite during pregnancy, food safety is very important during this time in a new mom's life. Pregnant women are more susceptible to certain bacteria strains, and should avoid high-risk products - after all, you don't want to be using that maternity insurance for anything other than routine check-ups!

Raw or Undercooked Meats

Raw chicken contains a bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni, which can lead to campylobacteriosis. This type of bacteria will not affect a pregnant woman herself, but can be transferred to her baby via the placenta. Fetal bacterial contamination can lead to unwanted abortion, stillbirth, or premature delivery, so avoid cooking with or touching raw chicken. Other rare or raw meats may be risk factors for toxoplasmosis, and deli meats and hot dogs can host Salmonella bacteria. In general, try to consume only well-cooked meats, and only when piping hot.

Sushi and Undercooked Fish

Once, fish was considered a high-nutrient, healthy food for pregnant women when properly prepared. Today, the sad truth is that environmental contaminants have rendered even cooked fish an unsafe food source for women who are expecting. Wild seafood like swordfish and mackerel generally contain high levels of mercury, which has been linked to brain damage and fetal development delays. Canned light tuna contains lower levels of mercury than many other fish, but should still be eaten infrequently and skip the sushi bar, as raw fish may contain the bacteria that cause listeriosis.

Unpasteurized Milk Products


Also capable of harboring listeria bacteria, unpasteurized milk and dairy products are never a safe bet when pregnant. Avoid raw cultured milk products such as keifer and yogurt, as they have the potential to contain dangerous bacteria as well as the beneficial variety. In general, stick to store-bought ice cream, Caesar salad dressings, and Hollandaise sauce homemade versions of these products often contain raw eggs, which should most certainly be on your list of foods to avoid due to potential salmonella content. All fruit and vegetable juices should be pasteurized as well.

Soft Cheeses

One of the most important foods to avoid during pregnancy, soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Feta, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola can contain listeria bacteria and should never be eaten unless they are specifically marked as pasteurized. Pregnant women make up 27% of listeriosis cases in the U.S., and developing fetuses are especially vulnerable to the effects of the bacteria even if a miscarriage or stillbirth is avoided, your baby may become infected with the bacteria and suffer developmental damage.

Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol has been known to cause birth defects for quite some time now, and absolutely no amount is considered safe during pregnancy, so don't touch the stuff! If you've had a love of margaritas or red wine in the past, consider the next nine months a loving, selfless sacrifice for the health of your new baby. While there is more flexibility in medical opinion when it comes to caffeine, pregnant women should still limit their consumption to 100 mg or less, as caffeine is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration.

While food restrictions during pregnancy may seem frustrating, nine months is not as long as it seems and with any luck, your pregnancy will inspire you to find new, baby-safe favorite meals and treats!

Article on Foods to Avoid

The health of you and your baby are certainly related to what you eat. It is important to make sure that you are eating well balanced meals. There are vitamins and nutrients that are essential to the well-being and development of your baby. The good news is that most foods are safe for you to eat; however, there are some foods that you should not eat while you are pregnant.

Although it is possible to eat some of these foods, there is still a risk. It is better to be safe than sorry. So, here is a list of foods that you should avoid during your pregnancy:

Raw Meat

Deli Meat

Fish with Mercury

Fish exposed to Industrial Pollutants:

Raw Shellfish

Raw Eggs

Imported Soft Cheeses

Unpasteurized Milk


Unwashed Vegetables