With all of those pregnancy cravings, it can be hard to stay away from the "bad" foods. And no, we're not talking donuts and cookies, but rather foods that could harm the health of you and your unborn baby.
The American Pregnancy Association suggests staying away from raw meats. Uncooked seafood, like sushi, and under cooked beef, should be avoided due to the risk of e coli, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis.
Deli meat and certain soft cheese like brie, feta, or queso blanco, have been known to be contaminated with listeria- which could lead to a miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and potentially poison your child's blood. In order to make sure you are safe, simply reheat the deli meat until it is steaming.
Types of fish that also contain mercury should be avoided. Shark, swordfish, and mackerel all contain high levels of mercury which has been linked to development delays and brain damage. Smoked seafood is also a no-go if you are uncertain they've been cooked above 165 degrees.
If you need to satisfy your seafood craving, eat canned tuna. It is important to note, however, that you should not consume more than 6 ounces per week.
The Food Safety Department recommends steering clear of raw eggs or any food that could contain raw eggs like eggnog or cookie dough. Eggs that are not fully cooked can carry salmonella. Check the label on Caesar dressings, ice creams and custards, to make sure they are made with pasteurized eggs.
Along with these foods, it is wise to avoid caffeine during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association says, "there are [studies] that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages... As a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 200mg per day during pregnancy."
And as far as alcohol goes? There is no safe amount that could be consumed, at any point in your pregnancy, without the possibility of harming your child.
While this list may seem overwhelming, we promise the benefits of eating safe, healthy foods for you and your baby, far outweigh the risks. Enjoy your pregnancy and pregnancy cravings without having to doubt if they are safe. Besides, no one said pickles and ice cream were off limits!