Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

A complete and well balanced diet is essential for every person, but it becomes more important during pregnancy. A pregnant woman does not only need to nourish herself, but her baby as well. During pregnancy, a lot of changes occur in the body, because of these changes, the mother and the unborn child may become more susceptible to some infections and food-borne illnesses. It is therefore important for the pregnant woman to know what foods to avoid during the course of her pregnancy.

Here is a list of some of the foods to avoid:

  1. Raw meat– Any raw meat can become a source of different bacteria. It can carry Toxoplasmosis and Salmonella. This is the reason why pregnant women should avoid raw and uncooked meat.
  2. Soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk– They may contain E. coli or Listeria. Some recommended cheeses are Cheddar and Swiss.  It is best to check the label of the cheese you are buying. Avoid any products with unpasteurized milk.
  3. 3.      Raw cookie dough– Many people enjoy eating the raw cookie dough. The dough may contain Salmonella. It is best to bake the cookie dough first.
  4. Fish with Mercury– There are some types of fish which are known to contain high mercury levels. Some of the fishes to avoid are king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish. Too much mercury exposure can lead to brain damage and developmental delays.
  5. Raw shellfish such as clams and oyster– They may contain the Vibrio bacteria. It is best to cook shellfish on a temperature of 145° F.
  6. Egg and egg products– Eggs may contain Salmonella. When eating eggs, make sure to cook it until yolks are firm.
  7. Juice and cider which are unpasteurized– They may contain E. coli. Drink only pasteurized juice.
  8. 8.      Deli meat– Deli meats include hot dogs, luncheon meats and cold cuts. These meats may contain Listeria. They should be cooked thoroughly even if the product is labeled as pre-cooked.


In order for the baby and the mother to be safe, it is always important to know what foods to avoid.  It is also a good idea to consult a doctor because a special diet may be needed depending on the general condition of the mother and the baby.