What Foods should you Avoid in the First Trimester of Pregnancy?
The first trimester of your pregnancy is the most exciting moment that you can experience all throughout your pregnancy period. All of the upcoming changes and emotions that having a new child will make your life joyous. During this trimester, your unborn child will grow very fast. Almost all major growths, with the exclusions of lung development, brain development and several of his growth, will take place in your first three months of pregnancy. In this trimester it is essential that you should drink more water, milk, and juice, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy and balanced diet (Read more: List of healthy foods to eat during the first trimester) . In addition, there are many kinds of beverage and food that you must exclude in your pregnancy diet in your first trimester.
Foods to Avoid During the First Trimester of your Pregnancy
#1 Soft Cheeses
Avoid eating unpasteurized soft cheeses such as panela, Queso Blanco, queso fresco, blue cheese, brie, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Camembert, and feta. Since unpasteurized cheeses have listeria and it is associated to foodborne. Also, the bacteria found in soft cheeses can harm your baby and you.
If you are not pregnant eating foods that contain Listeria can affect your overall health. Moreover if during your first trimester avoid eating these type of cheeses, because the risk of having severe illness, premature labor and miscarriage are higher.
#2 High mercury fishes
Fish that contain high mercury levels must be avoided such as tilefish, king, mackerel, and swordfish. Mercury is a chemical element that is commonly found in lakes, streams, and oceans transform into methylmercury in your body. Methylmercury is a neurotoxin that is associated with developmental delays and brain damage in babies.
In addition, excessive mercury consumption can harm your baby’s growing nervous system.
#3 Raw meat or fish
Having raw or undercooked meat or fish, like pink meat is the main source of toxoplasmosis. It contains parasite (Toxoplasma) that can cause fetal loss during your delivery and miscarriage.
Uncooked meat also contains salmonella bacteria that is harmful to digest especially during your first trimester.
During your pregnancy avoid or stop drinking alcohol, if you drink your unborn baby also drinks, because alcohol immediately crosses your placenta. Regular drinking of alcohol can cause fetal alcohol spectrum condition that causes physical abnormalities and severe learning incapacities.
#5 Unwashed vegetables and fruits
Eating more fruits and vegetables during your pregnancy is important since they offer essential nutrients. But make sure to wash them before you eat, especially in the first trimester of your pregnancy. Some vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables have harmful bacteria like E Coli that is very dangerous for you and your baby.
#6 Deli meat
Avoid eating Italian substitutes and roast beef sandwich during your pregnancy period. And deli meat is not good for pregnant women like you. This meat contains Listeria a contaminated bacteria that can be found in dirt and water. Listeria crossed placenta immediately and this is not safe for your baby. Commonly, it causes fatal blood poisoning and infection.
#7 Smoked seafood
Refrigerated and smoked seafood have Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This causes listeriosis (related with symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea) that can lead to stillbirth or even miscarriage and illness in your babies.
Moreover, canned seafood holds too much salt that can lead to swelling body parts and increased your blood pressure.
#8 Unpasteurized Milk
Drinking raw or unpasteurized milk during your pregnancy is unsafe. These types of milk have no nutritious advantage and can cause foodborne illness. They contain unsafe bacteria like cryptosporidium, E coli, listeria, and salmonella. These bacteria can be harmful to your baby and you.
#9 Raw Sprouts
Avoid eating raw sprouts such as snow pea, soybean, onion, sunflower, broccoli, radish, mung bean, alfalfa, and clover during your pregnancy. These sprouts are extremely prone to E Coli, salmonella and listeria bacteria. And for your information, listeriosis can cause newborn infections, stillbirth, miscarriage, and premature or early birth. While E coli and salmonella can lead to serious illness.
A study shows that moderate consumption of caffeine is permissible, but there is some caffeine that can cause miscarriage. During your first trimester, avoid consuming caffeine to reduce the risk of stillbirth or miscarriage. But if you can’t live without caffeine, you are allowed to drink less than 200 mg of caffeine every day or you can shift to decaf coffee. Because it is a diuretic, meaning caffeine can eradicate fluids from your body, resulting in calcium and water loss. As what mentioned before, instead of drinking caffeinated beverages it is better to drink plenty of milk, juice, and water.
Another cause of consuming too much caffeine are heartburn, insomnia, withdrawal symptoms and low birth weight.
#11 Spicy Foods
Put away all spicy foods during your first trimester because it can cause diarrhea and heartburn. These illness are very common in pregnant women. However, eating spicy food is harmless for your unborn baby, but it will make you uncomfortable.
#12 Raw Eggs
Food products that are made up of raw eggs must be avoided during your pregnancy because it contains salmonella bacteria that is harmful to you and your unborn child. Avoid eating Caesar salad dressing, hollandaise sauce or unpasteurized eggnog, mayonnaise, custards, homemade ice cream, cookie dough and cake batter, because these foods contain raw eggs.
#13 Raw Shellfish
During your pregnancy, eating raw or uncooked shellfish like mussels, clams and oysters can cause food poisoning and seafood-borne diseases. Because they contain detrimental toxins, viruses, and bacteria that can affect your health condition.
Yes, the liver is loaded with vitamin A and iron, but eating too much can harm your unborn baby. During your pregnancy, avoid eating liver and liver products like chicken liver pate.
#15 Avoid eating foods that make you unwell
Avoid eating foods that make you unwell and eating ginger or saltiness cookies is a good idea and it will make you feel better.
#16 Certain vegetables and fruits
#17 Diet that causes aversion
Shellfish, fish, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, eggs, and cow’s milk must only be intake if you’re not averse to them. However, some readings say that consuming these foods during your early pregnancy can lessen the possibility of developing asthma and allergies. But, you can’t be so guaranteed about this.
#18 Herbal supplements and teas.
Herbs used for supplements, seasonings or tea can harm you and your fetus. Mugwort, pennyroyal, borage oil, dong quai, blue cohosh, black cohosh, Yohimbe, kava kava, angelica, and ephedra are uterine stimulants. That is why these certain herbs must be avoided during your pregnancy.
Other herbs can also lead to stillbirth or miscarriage such as uva ursi, tansy, wormwood, shepherd’s purse, St. John’s wort, motherwort, senna, saw palmetto, licorice root, horsetail, goldenseal, echinacea, fenugreek, cascara sagrada, black walnut, and comfrey.
Also, avoid wheatgrass juice, green tea, evening primrose ginseng and aloe vera because they are unsafe to ingest to use during your pregnancy period.
#19 Foods that are rich in sugar
Too many sweets can degenerate pregnancy discomforts (heartburn, constipation, vomiting, and nausea). In your pregnancy, put away all sweets such as sweetened beverages, chocolates, biscuits, ice creams, cakes, candies and other desserts. Aside from pregnancy discomforts, excessive amounts of sweets can lead to gestational diabetes, increase weight, preeclampsia, increase the chance of metabolic syndrome and preterm labor. Which are very dangerous for your unborn baby.
#20 Too many vitamins
During your pregnancy, you need to take essential nutrients like calcium, iron, folic acid, and fiber. But be cautious about the suggested dosages, especially in consuming additional water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
Too much fat-soluble is unsafe for your baby and you. Similarly, excessive water-soluble can irritate your digestive system.
#21 Street Foods
Craving for spicy, sour and sweet foods during your first trimester is normal. But eating these type of foods can cause food poisoning, stomach problems, and severe infections. These foods are unsafe of poor water and food hygiene standards.
Chicken rice, corn, simit breast, soft pretzels, cotton candy, churros, burritos, and hotdogs are some examples of street foods that you must avoid.
#22 Artificial Sweeteners
If you are suffering from genetic disease phenylketonuria, you should stop using an artificial sweetener like aspartame. Since your body can’t digest phenylalanine and it can also cause a birth defect. In addition, saccharin can also damage fetal tissues.
Having an inhibited immune system during your pregnancy is normal. Therefore you and your baby are prone in contracting parasites, viruses and bacteria that can cause foodborne diseases.
As stated above, these parental foodborne diseases such as toxoplasma Gondi and listeriosis can lead to premature labor, stillbirth, miscarriage and other birth defects. That is why preparing and choosing the right pregnancy diet is very important.
Be cautious and selective about what you are eating especially during your pregnancy period. Always remember that your diet defines your child’s health.