Healthy pregnancy 101: what not to eat when you are expecting


Jade Poole from I Write Words


If you are getting ready to welcome a new little addition to your family, then there are some things you need to know about the food you are putting into your body. As it turns out, there are certain items you need to stay away from for the health of you and your baby…

Now that you are pregnant, there are a number of things running through your mind on a daily basis. From the planning, preparing the nursery, preparing yourself and getting to know the ins and outs of having a child, never mind the morning sickness causing you to run to the bathroom a few times a day.

Many soon-to-be moms are aware of certain foods they can and can’t eat. But, if you are not too sure about what these foods are, then we suggest you keep reading…

1. Undercooked or raw meat

It’s a good idea to stay clear of undercooked or raw meat, especially minced meat and sausages. Some doctors suggest you also avoid deli meat such as chorizo, salami and ham.


There is a small risk of toxoplasmosis (tok-so-plaz-moe-sis) in raw and undercooked meats, this is a disease caused by an infection of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can harm your baby.

2. Unpasteurised dairy products and milk

The majority of milk and dairy products sold in grocery stores is pasteurised. However, if you buy fresh milk from a farmer’s market for example, then this is not pasteurised.


Unpasteurised dairy products such as cheese and milk may contain listeria bacteria which could cause listeriosis, which, in severe cases, could lead to still-birth or miscarriage.

3. Paté

Paté such as chicken liver paté, or any paté made from meats can carry listeria bacteria.

4. Raw fish

Even if sushi is your all-time favourite meal, raw fish needs to be avoided entirely when you are pregnant.

Fish with a high mercury content should also be avoided such as swordfish and king mackerel. Mercury is known to cause issues with the development of your baby’s nervous system.

You should also avoid shellfish, as some pregnant women may have an allergic reaction due to the change of hormones.


Eating raw or undercooked shellfish or fish such as sushi could result in an illness dangerous enough to cause a blood infection, this could be life-threatening for your baby and you.

Most doctors recommended that expecting moms eat cooked fish in moderation.

5. Raw eggs

Raw eggs and foods that contain raw eggs have a risk of containing salmonella, this is a harmful bacterium.

Some homemade mousses, salad dressings, mayonnaise and sauces contain raw egg and so does cake batter - so no more licking the bowl after baking (sorry ladies). You are more than welcome to eat eggs if they have been properly cooked and are not runny on the inside.

6. Unwashed fruit and veggies

Fruits and veggies are healthy and great to eat, but you need to make sure they have been properly washed.


Fresh produce often has harmful bacteria on it if left unwashed. Ecoli can also hide in the leaves of fresh fruits and vegetables.

7. Alcohol

Alcohol can affect your unborn baby’s development. If you are pregnant or even if you are trying to conceive, you should avoid alcohol entirely.

8. Caffeine

Coffee and products with caffeine should be avoided as high amounts of caffeine are linked to miscarriage and low birth weight.

Keep in mind that some cola fizzies contain caffeine, so make sure you check the ingredients of these to ensure there is no caffeine in them.

9. Liver

Products that contain liver such as vitamins and supplements, and of course liver itself has a high vitamin A content. Did you know that vitamin A cannot be broken down by your body and high levels of this could be toxic to your baby?

Chat to your doctor

If you have a special diet that you stick to and are used to eating certain foods, then it’s always a good idea to chat to your doctor about a meal plan for you. He or she will be able to tell you exactly what you can and can’t eat.

Of course, some foods (you have the change of hormones in your body to thank for this), will make you feel sick and others you might crave.

What happens if I am pregnant and have eaten something risky?

If you have just read this list of items and are now worried because of health reasons, then don’t panic. It is unlikely that a small consumption of something will cause any serious harm. It’s always a good idea to chat to your specialist or doctor if you are concerned.

If you are thinking about starting a family, then make sure you are covered for medical bills with Oneplan Health Insurance. We even pay you BEFORE you see the doctor and have fantastic maternity benefits.

Yours in health,


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