It is important that expecting mothers choose their diet carefully. Choosing a nutritious diet is important, so is avoiding certain foods which might not work well during pregnancy. The fetus is especially vulnerable during the first trimester. It is vital to minimize or completely avoid a few food items to make sure both the mother and the fetus are healthy during the first month of pregnancy. Keep reading to learn which foods are best avoided during the first trimester.
1. Fish High in Mercury
Eating fish is one of the better things you can do for your health overall. It has omega-3 fatty acids which are good for neural development and it is a good source of protein as well. But fish also contains mercury which can be toxic for your nervous system, immune system and vital organs, such as the kidneys and liver. Mercury can also create developmental problems in children and harm the fetus. Some fish have extremely high levels of mercury, especially if they are caught in polluted waters.
While pregnant, avoid eating fish like:
- king mackerel
2. Raw Fish
Raw fish, like sushi and shellfish, is a true delicacy that can be quite delicious. The delicacies tend to be associated with fun and interesting dining experiences as well. Unfortunately, raw fish is just not good for pregnant women. Ingesting raw fish can cause a multitude of different infections, such as viral, parasitic, or bacterial.
3. Processed Meat
Processed meat like spam can be quite dangerous for any person’s health. It is prone to gathering bacteria like E. coli or salmonella which can be passed to the unborn fetus. This can cause the fetus to become stillborn or develop severe neurological illnesses. It is best to avoid processed meat in the initial few months of pregnancy.
This one may be difficult to give up, especially for all those coffee drinkers out there. If you are pregnant, and a daily caffeine drinker, your body will go through a withdrawal period after you quit where you may feel moody or irritable. The reason you want to give up caffeine as an expecting mother is that it is easily passed to the fetus, but unborn children don’t have the enzyme necessary to metabolize caffeine. If the fetus is exposed to high levels of caffeine, it will build up overtime. This can ultimately restrict fetal growth rate and increase the chances that the baby is born with a low birth weight.
5. Unwashed Produce
This is something everyone should make a point to avoid as a general healthy life decision. Produce is treated with a variety of fertilizers and pesticides. Even when the produce is organic it can acquire various bacteria or parasites through the soil. You shouldn’t want any of these things to be exposed to your developing child. One of the more dangerous parasites that you can contract is Toxoplasma, which if exposed to the child in uterus can cause develop blindness or intellectual disabilities later in life.
Most expecting mothers know to stay away from alcohol when they become pregnant. Some doctors say it is ok to drink a glass of wine occasionally, but it is better to be safe than sorry in this situation. Exposing a fetus to an excess of alcohol can cause severe neural development to occur, as well as facial deformities, and heart defects.
7. Raw Sprouts
If you enjoy sprouts such as mung beans, radish, alfalfa, or clover you can still eat them as a pregnant woman so long as you cook them. Sprouts are grown in a humid environment which tends to foster bacteria that does not wash off easily. Sometimes these bacteria can be dangerous like Salmonella.
8. Organ Meat
Organ meat is typically very nutrient dense; it has iron, vitamin A, B complex vitamins, and copper, just to name a few. But ingesting too much preformed vitamin A (vitamin A that comes from animal products) during pregnancy can lead to vitamin A toxicity which can cause birth defects to occur.
9. Junk Food
Typically speaking, junk food is bad for your health because it has very little actual nutrients that your body can use. It is empty calories for the most part; something that you absolutely do not want during pregnancy when you need to provide nutrients for two.
The first trimester is a time when you need to be extra careful about which foods you eat and which foods you avoid. Consult your health practitioner to work on a diet plan that is not just balanced but is healthy for you and your child
Also Read: Healthy diet plan for twin pregnancy