Eating and Pregnancy
As a pregnant woman, you probably have many food cravings, but you have to be aware of food safety. There are just certain foods you should avoid during pregnancy. Everything you eat is broken down and transferred to the baby. It is for this reason you should be conscious of your diet. Food cravings are hard to avoid. If you crave unhealthy things, try to substitute them for more healthy items. Knowing what foods to eat and not to eat will help you have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.
The food you eat now affects your developing child. While you are pregnant, the immune system is not as efficient. If you get sick, it will take longer for you to recover. Your body is undergoing a lot of changes which affects the immune system. Certain foods carry germs that are harmful to you. When you are not pregnant, those germs will affect you in a way that they normally wouldn’t when you are not pregnant. Foodborne illnesses can put your child at risk. It is not necessary to become a vegetarian, but you should be aware of the foods you are eating and what foods make you susceptible to disease.
Food and drinks you consumed before pregnancy are not always safe during pregnancy. Unpasteurized drinks and foods should be avoided. If you like cheese, stay away from soft cheese. It is more likely to carry E.coli and other bacteria. Hard cheese is acceptable. Cheddar and swiss cheese are two that are safer to eat. The main thing is to make sure the milk used is pasteurized. Pasteurized milk gets rid of bacteria. When cooking, you should also be aware of the milk used. If you are using pasteurized milk, you should be safe. If you are a baker or liked baked goods, you may have to start checking the labels. Any baked goods with unpasteurized milk should not be eaten. When making cookies, you may be the one that eats the uncooked cookie dough. Although it may taste good, raw cookie dough contains salmonella.
Seafood is something to avoid. It is not necessary to avoid all seafood, but the majority of it is not good for you. Seafood contains mercury which can be harmful to your child. Too much mercury in the blood is poisonous. If you have to eat seafood, you should choose items that are low in mercury like shrimp and catfish. These are not the healthiest types of seafood, but it is healthier for you during pregnancy. If you are a sushi lover, you might not be happy because you will have to put the sushi down until after you deliver. Sushi is raw meat, and it too contains bacteria and parasites. If you eat a lot of steak and deli meat, you will also have to limit that. Steak is fine, but it must be well done. It is not safe to eat rare meat or meat that is not fully cooked. Deli meat can harbor bacteria. Make sure that you are not consuming any raw eggs or things of that nature. Everything you eat should be fully cooked. Alcohol is a definite no. Alcohol consumption is off limits and leads to birth defects.
What Can I Eat?
With all the things you cannot eat, you may think there is nothing left. There are plenty of things safe for you. You can still do milk and cheese, but pasteurization is necessary. Coffee does not have to be avoided. You should only consume about 12oz of coffee a day. It does contain caffeine and in small amounts, it is not harmful. Tea is also permissible in small amounts. Soda has caffeine as well, but the sugar in it makes it unhealthy for you. The carbonation in the soda is also harmful to your body in general. Fruits and veggies are great for you. It is important to wash off your fruits and veggies before cooking them. The skin of these foods may contain bacteria. Most fruits and veggies come from the ground or trees, so bugs and bacteria can live on them. Even if you are peeling the skin off these things, you should wash them off just to make sure that bacteria doesn’t get on your hands and in your food. It is okay to eat meat as long as it is fully cooked. Chicken, beef, pork, and steak can be consumed but all the blood must be removed, and it has to be well done. Now that you are pregnant you can still eat normally; you just have to be aware of the products used to make the food.
Some women are extremely cautious when it comes to eating during pregnancy and others are more laid back. It is important to eat; this is not the time to fast and diet. Weight gain is normal so do not be afraid of that. When eating something check out the ingredients. Any unpasteurized products should be avoided. All raw meat and raw seafood shouldn’t be consumed. Everything you eat should be cooked well done. It may be hard controlling your eating habits, but it will all be worth it when you deliver a beautiful, healthy baby.
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