Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

No doubt many of you have read or heard about what foods you should be avoiding in pregnancy. This is to avoid the contamination of listeria. This is a bacteria that can contaminate food thereby causing infection, which can be passed on to the baby, leading to miscarriage or possible stillbirth.

Thankfully it isn’t common and the risk can be reduced by following a few simple food handling practices such as; washing your hands and utensils prior to handling food, washing raw vegies, keeping cold food refrigerated, using cooked food within 12 hours and always reheating food to boiling point.

Having said that, there are a number of foods to avoid when pregnant, as they are more susceptible to contamination including:

  • Soft cheeses such as brie, camembert, feta, cottage, ricotta and goats cheese
  • Deli meats and pre-packaged meats such as ham, salami and chicken
  • Pre-packaged, self-serve, smorgasbord salads, pastas, coleslaw and fruit
  • Paté
  • Cold smoked and raw seafood such as smoked oysters, sushi, prawns
  • Soft serve ice cream and thick shakes

Is alcohol safe in moderation?

So what we do know is that we don’t know what level of consumption is safe during pregnancy! Drinking 7 or more drinks per week and binge drinking can be harmful. It can interfere with the development of the baby’s brain and slow down physical growth. Consumption also increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, congenital deformities and effects intelligence. Babies affected by alcohol also tend to have low birth weights. To eliminate the risk therefore, it’s best to cut out alcohol completely.

What about caffeine?

Caffeine is a chemical, a stimulant found most commonly in tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks and chocolate. There is no evidence that large amounts of caffeine contribute to birth defects, but I think it is wise to exercise caution. I recommend limiting your intake. Try doing a decaf coffee or tea.

  • Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Risks, Symptoms

    Gestational diabetes mellitus – also known as GDM, is diabetes which can occur during pregnancy. Many women who’ve been diagnosed with GDM won’t have diabetes after their baby is born, though some continue to have high levels of blood glucose and need treatment. Most women who are diagnosed with GDM have a normal pregnancy, labour and baby. It’s important that GDM is monitored and controlled, because risk factors increase when blood sugar levels remain high.

  • Breastfeeding and caffeine - what's OK?

    Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two a day and would find it difficult to give up. The good news is that even breastfeeding mothers can continue to drink coffee, or tea in moderation. 

  • How to Safely Wrap a Baby

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  • Introducing Your New Baby to Your Toddler

    One small person in a family is a very different arrangement than two, or more children. When a new baby comes into the mix, dynamics change and everyone needs to shuffle around until new positions are found.

  • Bottle Propping - Why it's a Risk

    Many parents have heard of bottle propping, also known as prop feeding. And most of us have seen babies sucking quietly away on their own.

    Bottle propping is when, instead of the baby being held to drink their bottle, they are on their own. The bottle is supported by a pillow or blanket, even a soft toy so that it’s angled with the milk filling the neck of the bottle and the teat. The baby lies in their cot/pram/on the floor sucking away on their own.

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