The Dos and Don’ts of Food for Pregnant Moms

Looking after yourself during pregnancy takes on many forms, from exercise, getting sufficient sleep, and avoiding stress, however eating correctly is a major factor in staying healthy, and providing your baby with the vitamins and minerals he or she needs to develop and grow throughout your pregnancy. There are certain foods you should avoid, and certain things you should do which are all related to your diet and the process of preparing your meals.

The dos

  • Do make sure all meat is cooked properly and thoroughly, washing hands and using proper hygiene precautions. Whist this is important at any time of life, during pregnancy the risk of getting any type of food poisoning or stomach upset should be majorly avoided.
  • Do avoid food containing raw eggs, such as fresh mayonnaise, and make sure eggs are cooked thoroughly.
  • Do eat a variety of fruit and vegetables in order to get a proper range of vitamins and minerals – the brighter the better for antioxidants.
  • Do stick with pasteurised milk and cheese products, avoiding those that aren’t.

The don’ts

  • Don’t eat liver or any products which contain liver, such as pate. Why? Well such products contain a large amount of vitamin A, and considerable amounts of this should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Don’t eat mould ripened soft cheeses, such as brie. Stick with pasteurised cheeses.
  • Don’t eat raw shellfish. We know that shellfish in general is one of those dodgy foods which many people are allergic to, and there are problems sometimes with cooking. If the shellfish isn’t cooked correctly then it could lead to food poisoning, which we have already discussed should be avoided at all costs.
  • Don’t go crazy for oily fish. Stick to no more than two portions per week. There is a high level of mercury in oily fish and this can affect the baby’s development.

If you’re at all unsure of what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy, discuss with your midwife regarding your options, and check out anything that you’re not sure of. It’s always better to be safe than sorry where the health and wellbeing of both you and your baby are concerned. You will find plentiful advice online too, however do remember to stick to reputable sources, such as the National Health Service websites, for reliable advice you can trust.

Photo Credit: Leonie

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