Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

By Maria T. Pepin

It’s important to eat well-balanced meals and take prenatal vitamins during your pregnancy so that your developing baby can get all the essential nutrients it needs to grow strong.  You should consume about 300 additional calories a day during this time. Many women wonder which foods are safe and which foods could potentially be harmful to their baby. Here is a helpful list of some common foods to avoid while pregnant:

Raw Meat: Uncooked seafood (say goodbye to sushi) or undercooked beef and chicken should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with bacteria, toxoplasmosis and salmonella.

Deli Meat: Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with harmful bacteria called Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. If you are craving a turkey sandwich, turkey off the bird is perfectly safe or you can thoroughly reheat deli meats to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Fish with Mercury: Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. Steer clear from shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury. Canned, chunk light tuna has a low amount of mercury, but still should only be eaten in moderation.

Soft Cheeses: Avoid soft cheeses such as blue cheese, feta, brie, camembert and Mexican-style cheese. These cheeses are usually unpasteurized and may harbor Listeria as well. Hard cheese, processed cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt are ok to eat.

Raw Eggs: Raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella. Some Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream and Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs, so take caution.

Alcohol: You should stop consuming alcohol as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Prenatal exposure to alcohol has been linked to premature delivery, mental retardation, birth defects and low birth weight babies. 

Caffeine: Caffeine intake in moderation is ok, but you should avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the chance of a miscarriage. Caffeine should be limited to fewer than 300 mg per day during pregnancy. Make sure to drink plenty of water, juice and milk instead.

Average: 4.4 (99 votes)


By rupal on 10/10/13 at 11:26 pm

Nice advise. No doubt these foods should be avoid during pregnancy.

By SelinsMom on 07/09/13 at 9:30 pm

Wow, some of these foods I didn't avoid. Thankful, my baby turned out okay. Next time around, I'll stay away from them.

By childtocherish on 07/09/13 at 3:59 am

Thanks for sharing such a informative blog on foods to be avoided during pregnancy. Though many of us may be well aware of the above restrictions but th  ...

19 comments so far » read more

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

Lice: Safe& Effective Ways to Treat

At some point in his or her school career, your child will come home with the dreaded "lice exposure" letter.

Dealing with Your Child's Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a normal part of a baby's development, and nearly all children will experience it to some degree

4 Ways to Get Your Kids to Do Their Homework

Getting your kids to do their homework is a battle that has been waged for as long as homework has existed.


From the Message Boards

Due Date Club of April 2014

Appointments this week (April 21-27)

What appointments do you have this week? We have Dorian's one month well visit on Friday. How is...

Due Date Club of May 2014

Sad stuff

So restless and fidgety with my phone but lousy at doing anything productive so I've wormed my way u...

Due Date Club of May 2014

oh ya, I almost forgot...

How much breast feeding SUCKS! The every 2 hours thing is just so draining because its hurts me so...

Due Date Club of November 2014

I don't think I can justify it but i want a Bushka!

I am not a shoe or purse person so this really isn't a me thing to spend $$$ on a diaper bag but it...

Due Date Club of April 2014

What a wonderful Easter!

My sister and BIL announced at dinner tonight that they're expecting baby #2 in December!! They used...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!