Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What NOT to Eat When You're Pregnant

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I am a complete and utter psycho.  Especially when I'm pregnant.  I took both of my pregnancies very seriously and I didn't eat a single thing that I wasn't supposed to.

Well, except for the deli meat I ate before I knew I was pregnant with Cat.  Oh, and the custard I ate with Bug.

The thing is, there are sooooo many no's that most people don't even know about.  So, I have taken it upon myself to make a comprehensive list of what to avoid when you're preggers:

1.  Deli Meat--Obviously, this is one that they tell you.  No deli meat whatsoever due to possible listeria contamination.  Listeria is a bacteria that doesn't hurt people normally, but when you are pregnant it can cause possible miscarriage.  However, if you heat your deli meat to steaming, it's totally fine for consumption.

2.  Certain cheeses--As long as your cheese is pasteurized, you should be fine.  But the ones to stay away from include feta, blue cheese, brie, and certain Mexican cheeses like queso.

3.  Eggs--Eggs are fine as long as they are prepared properly.  Scrambled or hard boiled eggs are perfectly safe for consumption and are a fantastic source of protein, as well as choline, which is essential in fetal brain development.  However, eating raw or undercooked eggs can leave you open to salmonella infections, so it is recommended to cook them thoroughly.  This also means avoiding foods that have undercooked eggs, such as mousse, custard, and mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise that comes in a jar from a supermarket is fine, but homemade mayo (or mayo made in a restaurant) is not.  You should be careful about this because a lot of restaurants make their own dressings, and they tend to use mayo that they make in house.  So cream based dressings at a restaurant can pose problems.

4.  Certain Fish--Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, rockfish, or albacore tuna while pregnant, due to high mercury contamination levels.  Shellfish are deemed okay and I admit, I craved crab like crazy when I was pregnant with Cat.  Canned light tuna is okay, but you are supposed to limit your consumption to 6 ounces per week.

5.  Raw or Undercooked Fish Or Meats--No sushi, although vegetarian sushi is great (and yummy!) for you.  The green seaweed has a lot of nutritional value.  Everything should be cooked to at least medium well.  I greatly offended my waiter at the Cheesecake Factory one time because I ordered my Filet medium well, but hey, baby comes first:)

6.  Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables, Sprouts, and Salad Bars--You should wash your produce thoroughly, but sprouts especially can harbor listeria.  There have also been outbreaks of listeria with bagged spinach and cantaloupe in recent years.  The best way to ensure your produce is safe to consume is to cut it up yourself (no precut veggies, and steer clear of salads at restaurants) and wash it thoroughly.

7.  Alcohol and Excessive Caffeine--Keep your caffeine intake to less than 200 mg/day.  I personally drank a Coke every few days to try and keep my heartburn at bay (phosphorous FTW!).  I'm not a coffee drinker so it didn't really affect me there.

8.  Herbal Teas--Unless you know your herbs, stay away from these.  Some of them can bring on labor.

That's all I can think of at the moment, but knowing my craziness, I'm sure I'll have more to add!

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