The announcement of a pregnancy can be good news to a couple expecting such to come by. A new human being in its development, right from conception to birth, always calls for proper care and attention.
Though this is good news, it can create confusion and anxieties that engulf the joy of expecting a child in the long run.
Part of the concerns arising in pregnancy might stem from everyday things such as the diet observed by an expecting mother. If you are expectant, which foodstuffs should you not consume for the safety of your pregnancy, and why should you avoid them?
Foods you want to avoid when pregnant
In instances where you know a type of food, plus the harmful microorganism, or the microbe’s product that is dangerous to your health and the baby’s, the somewhat challenging puzzle becomes simple to unravel. Such foods include:
- Soft cheeses
- Sandwich meats
- Undercooked meals
- Raw or soft-cooked eggs
- Undercooked seafood
- Bean sprouts
- Beverages such as alcohol
Here is a brief discussion of the named foodstuffs and the problems associated with them.
1- Soft cheeses
One definition mentions it as one of those foods whose recipe involves a comparatively short time preparing it. Also important is the fact that its finished product has a cream-like, runny consistency typical in butter.
The consistency has enough moisture that is favorable for the growth of microorganisms.
Refrigeration does not kill harmful bacteria but numbs them under low temperatures, but they spring back to action at optimum temperature.
Its good moisture content provides a suitable medium for culturing the dangerous Listeria bacterial species responsible for listeriosis.
If it is a must to grab one, the best option is to go for a recently pasteurized hard cheese. Examples include Gouda, Emmental, and cheddar.
2- Sandwich meats
Whether processed, sectioned, or cut as whole meat, these proteins have a common destination; sandwich, which, preferably, is a light dining options.
As a result, they are a favorite fast food choice, and pregnant women would easily fall for them to satisfy their energy quest due to their rich protein value.
During pregnancy, your susceptibility to infections is higher than at any other time. It is advisable to shun these meats to avoid putting your health and your baby’s at risk.
3- Bean sprouts
These include alfalfa and radish beans. The shells have cracks providing potholes of entry to the inside of these seeds by bacteria such as E. Coli. Drawing reference from the Food and Drug Administration, raw sprouts are not safe for expecting mothers’ consumption.
4- Raw or soft-cooked eggs
Eggs are a crucial source of proteins that are quick to come by. Some people prefer raw eggs to cooked or fried ones, while soft-cooked eggs would do others. Soft-cooked eggs involve partially cooking the egg, with a portion deliberately left uncooked.
Raw eggs can prove to be hazardous, serving as a source of Salmonella species common in salmonellosis.
5- Beverages such as alcohol
Though not food as it were, some would argue in its favor as a part of the food they require on their dinner table. It is advisable to avoid alcohol during the first three months of conception to reduce premature births and miscarriages.
6- Undercooked seafood
If you crave seafood like crabs, shellfish, marlin, shark meat, et cetera, it is vital to confirm with your doctor a few facts on this matter. Eating raw seafood is risky to your health and the child.
Steering clear from undercooked food during pregnancy would protect you from dreadful toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeria illnesses.
7- Undercooked meals
Raw or meals that are undercooked harbor colonies of dangerous microbes that are unseen to the naked eye. Undercooked meat is an essential agent in the infection of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli strains, Salmonella species, and Listeria Monocytogenes. You don’t want to brush shoulders with these minute death missiles at any stage of your life, not even when you are expectant.
Why It Is Essential to Avoid Such Foods
Researchers that carry out studies on pregnant women and their appropriate diet indicate that foods rich in protein are at high risk of causing foodborne illnesses and poisoning. Some of this food originates from sea life, whereas others are from domestic animal products.
Pregnant women are at a greater risk of microbial infections and poisoning due to their raised craving for more nutrition to stabilize their nutrient needs and the fetus. As a result, they should be cautious of the nutrition type, amount, and frequency of consumption.
It is best to state that, while pregnant, you should take caution regarding all types of food eaten and how you handle it. Handling food begins straight from the acquisition point -could be the market, shop, butchery, grocery et cetera- to where its point of preparation -home, hotel, and supermarket. Eventually, you should ensure proper care during serving and storage for future use.
Some foods with a large amount of mercury are another source of nutrients to eliminate from the diet. Even though foods containing small amounts of mercury are often not shown to be detrimental to the unborn, those with high levels of the mineral can harm the brain’s development. No parent in a clear mind would want a baby with a brain defect of all things.
Despite the conventionally accepted method of evenly heating or properly cooking food being used to control foodborne diseases, it alone as a measure is not enough. Where pregnancy is especially in question, transportation and storage are vital to ensure food safety. It can be a challenge when dealing with common culprits that are often criminals in disease outbreaks.
Some of these foods might be a part of your daily routine diet, ranging from the snacks you frequently grab to your favorite take-away from the nearby cafeteria.
On the other hand, if you are an own-hand-prepared eater, it might be a type of or part of a meal you often make at home.
Dietitians recommend that during your pregnancy, you observe strict nutrition requirements pertinent to your unborn child’s proper development and avoid foods that would interfere with your child’s health.