Whether you’re a worrier or more happy-go-lucky, you’ve probably had at least a few thoughts about how your lifestyle will affect your baby. The good news: if you’re eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, you’re probably doing okay! The not-so-good news: there’s a couple of things that you’ll need to avoid for the next nine months. Check them out below:
Raw and/or cold animal products
Animal sourced foods often have a higher risk of food poisoning than plant foods, so it’s good to take caution during your pregnancy. Food should be cooked to be at least 75°C in the centre and leftovers should be reheated until they are steaming hot all the way through, as heat significantly reduces bacteria levels. More information on food safety can be found here. Some animal products that should be avoided completely during pregnancy are:
- Deli meats – unless heated to 75°C
- Soft cheeses – unless made with pasteurised milk
- Soft-serve ice-cream – store-bought ice-cream is safe if stored properly (yay! But, remember to only eat it as a treat as it’s high in sugar and saturated fat)
- Raw or ready-to-eat seafood – this includes smoked seafood and some types of sushi
- Raw eggs – thoroughly cooked is fine!
High mercury fish
Many types of fish contain omega-3, which is important for the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Many also contain mercury, which can build up in the body over time and become toxic. So should you eat fish or not? The solution is to eat two to three serves of thoroughly cooked, low-mercury fish like anchovies, salmon or freshwater trout each week will help you meet your omega-3 requirements.
Some fruit and vegetables
We generally think of eating fresh produce as one of the best things we can do for our bodies – and it is! However, whilst you’re pregnant it is safest to avoid pre-prepared salads and fruits if possible due to a higher risk of listeria. This just means you’ll need to wash and chop up your veggies at home and stay away from the salad bar for a few months. Make sure to get your five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day!
Alcohol (yes, that includes a glass of wine with dinner!)
The Australian Alcohol Guidelines recommend abstaining from alcohol completely during pregnancy for the health and safety of your baby. If you’re pregnant right now, all the nutrients that are helping your baby to grow are travelling from your bloodstream to theirs through the placenta. Unfortunately, alcohol is able to travel the same route and can cause significant harm to your bub in the form of foetal alcohol syndrome. This condition mainly affects the brain of the child and may result in cognitive issues like learning difficulties and limited attention span.
Overall, during pregnancy it is important that your food is cooked thoroughly and comes from a safe source. Whilst it might feel like a bit of a drag at times, it’s worth giving up those not-so-safe foods for a few months if it means giving your baby the best start to life! If you’ve been wanting to improve your pregnancy diet but aren’t sure where to start, join my 8 Simple Steps to Healthy Pregnancy Program and I’ll be there to hold your hand every step of the way!
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