If you think morning sickness is bad, you definitely do not want to get food poisoning. Food poisoning is bad enough when you are not pregnant, but it is even worse when you are and can lead to premature delivery, infection in your newborn or stillbirth. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to food-borne illness, according to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, so you need to know what not to eat when you are pregnant.
Raw foods can give you salmonella, the coliform bacteria or toxoplasmosis. You should avoid raw seafood, rare beef and undercooked poultry. Undercooked oysters, clams and mussels cause a majority of food-borne illness, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Raw eggs or any food made with raw eggs can expose you to salmonella. Avoid Caesar salad dressing and homemade mayonnaise that is made with raw eggs. If the eggs are pasteurized, you can eat the foods made with them. If you are at a restaurant and you order a Hollandaise sauce or a Caesar salad, ask the restaurant if the eggs used are pasteurized.
Avoid fish that contain high mercury levels while you are pregnant, because mercury consumption can cause development delays and brain damage in your baby. Fish with high levels of mercury include shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. You can eat canned, light tuna in moderation.
Listeriosis is a serious infection, which occurs from eating contaminated foods. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to getting this. Symptoms you might experience with listeriosis are flu-like symptoms. This infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery, according to the Medic 8 website. Deli meats can be contaminated with listeria. If you have to have a deli sandwich, heat the meat first until it is steaming. Smoked salmon or other seafood can carry listeria. Soft cheeses can as well. You should avoid Brie, Camembert, feta, Roquefort, gorgonzola and Mexican cheeses, such as quesos. If the cheeses are made with pasteurized milk, they are OK to eat. Unpasteurized milk is not safe because it may contain listeria, as well. Avoid pate for the same reasons.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that can cause birth defects, miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women can get this from soil that is contaminated. For this reason, it is important to wash your vegetables before eating them, especially if you are eating them raw.
Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine in moderation should be OK, but during the first trimester, it could lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Have less than 300mg, which is about three 5-oz. cups of coffee, a day. Because coffee is a diuretic, drinking it can lead to too much water and calcium loss in your body.
You should avoid alcohol when you are pregnant. Alcohol can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a developmental disorder. Fetal alcohol syndrome can range from moderate to severe, according to the March of Dimes. The effects include mental retardation, learning and behavioral problems and defects of the heart and organs.
- pregnant woman image by TEA from Fotolia.com