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31st May 2021

‘None for the bump thanks’ – The main foods to avoid during your pregnancy

I know when I was pregnant I had a love/hate relationship with food.

On the one hand I had all these new cravings and wanted to eat everything. On the other hand I had severe morning sickness and some days even the small of an apple would set me off.

It can be hard to know what to eat during pregnancy but there are certain foods that medical professionals advise against consuming.

Caffeine and Alcohol

Don’t panic if you’re someone who needs a cup of coffee in the morning, while doctors recommend cutting back on your caffeine intake you don’t have to cut it out completely.

Medical professionals suggest reducing your caffeine consumption to around 200mg a day, which depending on how strong you take your coffee is approximately one to two cups per day or between two to three cups of tea.

Alcohol is different in that doctors prefer if expectant mums avoid it completely as there is no way of knowing what amount is safe to drink.

Certain dairy and egg products

Soft cheeses with a high water or mould content can contain a bacteria called listeria. Although infection with listeria (listeriosis) is rare, it can be serious and can even potentially lead to miscarriage, so it’s best to avoid eating anything that may contain this bacteria. When I was pregnant I assumed soft cheeses included spreads such Philadelphia Cream Cheese but it doesn’t as those products are pasteurised.

Milk is safe to consume as long as it’s pasteurised and eggs are fine to eat as long as they are thoroughly cooked. Pregnant women are advised to avoid runny eggs or food products that contain uncooked eggs.

Some fish and meat products

While fish is good to eat while pregnant, fish containing high levels or mercury and some shell fish can be unsafe.

Avoid marlin, swordfish and shark, oysters and any shellfish that has not been thoroughly cooked. It is also recommended to reduce your intake of tuna to 140g per week.

Uncooked or under cooked meat should also be avoided as it can contain toxoplasmosis.  You should also cut out meat products such as pate as it contains high levels of vitamin A which can harm your baby’s development, and may also contain listeria.