Pregnancy & Your Wellness
What is good for their babies? During your pregnancy there are a few things that might stress you out, but eating shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, all of the advice you hear — from friends, family, and yes, even total strangers — about what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy is enough to confuse anyone. “There are a lot of old grannies’ tales out there,” but today we are going to tell you the major do’s and don’ts to be followed during the month of pregnancy.
Changes to your immune system, makes you more vulnerable to food-borne illnesses. What would’ve meant stomach upset before could mean serious complications now — from dehydration to miscarriage.
Eggs: Because raw eggs may be tainted with salmonella, a bacterium that can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, watch out for restaurant-made Caesar salad dressing, homemade eggnog, raw cookie dough, and soft scrambled or sunny-side up eggs — any dish in which the eggs (both yolk and white) are not cooked completely. “If eggs are cooked, the risk is gone.”
Sushi/ Rolls: With the exception of cooked egg, vegetables or chicken rolls and other cooked items, sushi is not safe when you’re expecting, either, because it may contain illness-inducing parasites.
Unpasteurized Juice: Stay away from juice (like cider) sold at farm stands; it may not have undergone pasteurization, a processing method that kills bacteria and toxins. Though the majority of milk and juices sold in stores today are pasteurized, there are still some brands on shelves that aren’t, so read labels.
Other foods are unsafe due to possible contaminants that can harm the fetus:
Some Varieties of Fish: Fish, which boasts omega-3 fatty acids that help baby’s brain development, is a great meal choice right now. But some varieties should be shunned due to high levels of methyl-mercury, a pollutant that can affect baby’s nervous system. These include swordfish, shark, and tilefish — all big species that live longer, accumulating more mercury in their flesh. (You may want to avoid these fish entirely during your childbearing years because your body stores mercury for up to four years.)
High Levels of Caffeine: Currently the guideline suggests that no more than 300 milligrams per day, roughly the amount found in two or three 8-ounce cups of coffee. And that comes as a relief to many moms-to-be.
Nitrate-Rich Foods: It’s also smart to go easy on hot dogs (which should always be eaten cooked) and cured meats such as bacon and sausage. These contain nitrates, additives that have been called into question for possible links to brain tumors and diabetes. Diet sodas? They’re considered safe during pregnancy.
Soft Cheeses: Soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, and Gorgonzola were once considered potentially harmful because they can harbor listeria. Listeriosis, an illness caused by the bacteria listeria, can be passed to the fetus, leading to miscarriage, premature delivery, or stillbirth.
Cooked deli meats: They are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves that are sliced and served cold or hot on sandwiches or on party trays.
Alcohol: Alcohol has long been considered a no-no during pregnancy. But many doctors still advise their patients that an occasional drink is okay.
Healthy Eating When Pregnant
- Eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruits, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.
- Choose foods high in fiber that are enriched, such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice, as well as fruit and vegetables.
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet while pregnant. You should take a prenatal vitamin supplement to make sure you are consistently getting enough vitamins and minerals every day. Your doctor can recommend an over-the-counter brand or prescribe a prenatal vitamin for you.
- Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.
- Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, spinach, beans, and breakfast cereals each day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.
- While you’re pregnant, you will need 250 micrograms of iodine a day to help ensure your baby’s brain and nervous system Choose from a variety of dairy products — milk, cheese (especially cottage cheese), yogurt — as well as baked potatoes, cooked navy beans, and limited amounts — 8 to 12 oz per week — of seafood such as cod, salmon, and shrimp.
- Choose at least one good source of vitamin Cevery day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.
- Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida (a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone. It often causes paralysis of the lower limbs, and sometimes learning difficulties.)
- Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.
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