Many women recognize that there are things that they should avoid while pregnant, such as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. Yet, many times a woman may not be aware that there are other things that can cause harm to her or to her baby. In fact, there are even a variety of foods that a woman should avoid while she is pregnant. Some of these types of foods might include raw meats, deli meats, some types of fish and seafood, raw eggs, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, and even unwashed vegetables.
In general, most nutritionists advise against eating raw meats at any time. Raw seafood or undercooked beef or poultry can contain a variety of germs that can cause food borne illnesses, such as coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. Any of these conditions can be harmful to both you and to your baby.
Deli meat may contain certain types of bacteria that can make a person ill, as well. In terms of the pregnant woman, deli meat is dangerous in that it may have Listeria. Listeria is known to cause a miscarriage, or can even cause an infection of blood poisoning for your unborn baby. If you eat deli meat, you should reheat the deli meat until it is steaming hot.
A pregnant woman does not have to avoid eating all types of fish and seafood. However, there are some she should avoid while pregnant. These include fish with high levels of mercury, smoked seafood, or fish that has been in contact with pollutants, which is most common in fish that are caught in local lakes and streams. Your state environmental agency may be able to tell you which sorts of fish are most likely to have become polluted. In addition, raw shellfish are especially dangerous for the pregnant woman, as well.
In addition to all of these, raw eggs should be avoided while you are pregnant. They may expose you to salmonella. Soft cheeses can contain Listeria. Unpasteurized milk can also contain Listeria. Unwashed vegetables can expose you to toxoplasmosis, although washing vegetables thoroughly should resolve this problem.