So, you are now pregnant and although eating well is hugely important for you and Junior there are certain types of food that can either cause food poisoning or can harm your little one. It is important to know this information as soon as possible in your pregnancy to give your bundle of joy the best start.
Can I Eat Meat When Pregnant
Protein is vital in these next few months for both yourself and your bambino but there are certain types of meat that are best to avoid.
Firstly, most meat is safe to eat but it has to be cooked thoroughly so I am sorry but no more rare steak for you until your baby arrives!
Always check that chicken, beef, sausages etc are thoroughly cooked through – no pinkness, as undercooked meat can cause toxoplasmosis. Highly dangerous to you and your little one. Experts estimate that about half of all toxoplasmosis infections are caused by inadequate cooking of meat products and the parasite involved can affect yourself and be passed through the placenta to your unborn baby. If you love your steak still mooing you may find it hard to have it well done during your pregnancy but the sacrifice will be totally worth it.
Listeria is another kind of food poisoning that can be found in lightly cooked meat, especially chicken and also in all Pâté so avoid these totally throughout your pregnancy
We all know how important vitamins are during this time but even your bun in the oven can have too much of a good thing. Liver and kidneys may not be to everyone’s taste but if you enjoy them then this is another sacrifice you will have to make. Liver contains high amounts of Vitamin A so it needs to be knocked on the head whilst you are carrying.
Can I Eat Cheese When Pregnant?
It might surprise you to know but not all cheeses are good for you during your pregnancy period. Whilst lots of newly pregnant mums think ‘soft cheese’ means the stuff you can spread on your sandwich, it actually represents the mould ripened soft cheeses. They include brie, camembert, and those with a similar rind such as goats cheese – so give them a wide berth as well as one of my favorites, Stilton. This and its family of blue cheeses as with the brie family are made with mould and can contain our old friend listeria. Even a mild form of this type of food poisoning can cause miscarriage, still birth or severe illnesses in your newborn baby so please don’t risk it.
Can I Eat Eggs When Pregnant
As with meat, eggs are safe providing that you cook them thoroughly. If you like dippy eggs with your soldiers then time to put them to one side until after the bambino is born as runny eggs are a massive no-no, due to the potential of salmonella food poisoning. As well as avoiding the culprits themselves watch out for foods containing raw eggs such as homemade mayonnaise. Commercial mayonnaise such as that found in supermarkets is okay, but check the labels – pasteurized egg in the ingredients is fine, deli mayonnaise is usually made with fresh egg.
Keep those yolks hard and the whites cooked until solid and you can still enjoy them for breakfast.
UPDATE Oct 2017 The Food Standards Agency now advises eggs stamped with the British lion can be considered safe to eat runny.
Can I Drink Milk When Pregnant
Yes…….and No!, Even milk has to be monitored. Whilst carrying your precious bundle do not drink un-pasteurized goat’s or sheep’s milk or eat food made with them such as the goat’s cheese we talked about above. If you have no choice then make sure you boil them first.
Can I Eat Fish When Pregnant
Fish is very good for both you and junior but as with everything you should know the ones to avoid and what the limits on eating safe fish are.
Seafood and fish are a great source of nutrients like omega -3 fatty acids and protein and they are also low in fat. Add to this the high content of zinc and calcium and you can see why they are good for both of you but as always there is a caution flag flying.
If you are into more exotic types of fish then avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish as these contain high levels of mercury which can cause harm to your unborn little one. It is best to limit your fish intake to about 12 ounces of fish a week and make sure as always that it is well cooked before serving. Tuna for example cannot be eaten in vast quantities, so limit it to just an occasional treat. Raw fish and shell fish should be cut out, as should sushi meals – they are essentially raw fish!
Can I Eat Nuts When Pregnant
Most nuts are a good source of vitamins and minerals and low in cholesterol but care should be taken when pregnant. Generally avoid peanuts as some studies show that there is a link between mummies consuming them and babies being born with a nut allergy. However some studies say the complete opposite. As you can see there are mixed opinions on this so it is best to steer clear to be on the safe side.
Should I Drink Alcohol & Caffeine When Pregnant
Alcohol and caffeine can be drunk in small amounts (Small glass of wine with a meal for example) but if you want to be extra cautious then abstain from them until after the birth. Check soft drinks and some food as caffeine may be on the list.