There is so much information on what to eat and not eat while you are pregnant, and often times recommendations can be confusing or even contradictory. This post aims to clear that up as we go through the absolute do-nots, and the reasonings behind them:
Alcohol: There is no amount of alcohol that has been shown to be safe in pregnancy. It is recommended to completely avoid it while you are pregnant
Raw or undercooked meat: All meat products should be cooked, including seafood (so no raw oysters, clams, or mussels). This is due to risk of bacteria contamination such as salmonella or toxoplasmosis, which could cause harm to your baby
Raw eggs or products with raw eggs: All egg products should be cooked to avoid salmonella. The egg white should be completely cooked and the yoke firm. Avoid homemade products with raw eggs (like mayo, Caesar dressing, and ice cream) and stick to store-bought versions of those.
Deli meat: Deli meat could contain listeria, a bacteria that crosses the placenta and can cause harm to your baby. Although it is rare, the risk of eating deli meat outweighs the benefits. You can consume deli meat if you cook it on the stove prior to eating it
Smoked seafood: Similar to deli meat, smoked seafood can contain listeria, and should be avoided. Cooked salmon is safe to eat
Sprouts: Raw sprouts such as clover, alfalfa, radish, and mung bean sprouts can contain Salmonella. They are safe to consume if cooked
Soft cheeses or raw milk (imported, non-pasturized): Some soft cheeses are made with unpasteurized milk, which can contain (you guessed it) listeria. This includes Brie, Camambert, Feta, Gorgonzola, and Cotija. You can consume soft cheese that is made with pasteurized milk
Fish high in mercury: Top predator fish can contain unsafe levels of mercury for your baby. These include shark, swordfish, tilefish, big eye tuna, marlin, and king mackerel. Although tuna is a top predator, canned light tuna has been shown to be safe in moderation (about 3x a week or less).
Unwashed vegetables: Make sure to thoroughly wash all vegetables to prevent toxoplasmosis
Have questions about other foods that you have heard may not be safe in pregnancy? Ask your provider at your next prenatal appointment!