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What foods should I avoid during my pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it's important to avoid certain foods that may pose a risk to you and your baby:

  1. Raw or Undercooked Meats: These can harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. Infections during pregnancy can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby.

  2. High-Mercury Fish: Some fish, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, have high levels of mercury, which can harm the baby's developing nervous system. Opt for low-mercury fish like salmon, shrimp, and tilapia instead.

  3. Unpasteurized Dairy Products: Unpasteurized milk and cheeses can contain harmful bacteria such as Listeria, which can cause severe illnesses during pregnancy.

  4. Soft Cheeses and Deli Meats: These may also carry Listeria and other bacteria. Heating deli meats until they are steaming can reduce the risk if you can't resist them.

  5. Raw or Undercooked Eggs: Raw or undercooked eggs may contain Salmonella, so it's best to avoid dishes like homemade Caesar dressing or raw cookie dough.

  6. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables: Poorly washed produce can carry harmful bacteria, so thorough cleaning is essential to minimize the risk of infections.

The immune system is somewhat suppressed during pregnancy to accommodate the growing fetus, making pregnant women more susceptible to foodborne illnesses. Therefore, avoiding these high-risk foods helps reduce the chances of such infections and ensures a safer and healthier pregnancy.


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