Pregnancy is rather delicate period of a woman's life. During this time a woman does not eat to fulfill only her needs but the food is also used for proper growth and development of her baby. This is why the intake of all the necessary nutrients as well as vitamins and minerals must be obtained. During pregnancy demand for certain vitamins and minerals is increased and this is why pregnant women are commonly prescribed certain supplements.
But, there must be some measures of precaution since not all the foods are allowed for pregnant women. This also refers to certain herbs which may cause damage to both, the mother and the unborn baby. This is why pregnant women must be familiar with what to eat and what are they supposed to abstain from. The best advice is given by a woman's doctor, the person who controls a woman during her pregnancy.
What not to Eat during Pregnancy
Pregnant women are in general advised not to consume junk food and fast food. This particularly refers to fried foods, chips, sweets, packaged foods and energy drinks. The fist reason is that these foods contain plenty of calories and do not provide with sufficient amount of necessary nutrients. Intake of too much calories leads to unnecessary weight gain. Secondly, these foods may contain certain detrimental ingredients that may cause damage to the baby.
Caffeine is another substance that is supposed to be limited, if not totally eradicated from a pregnant woman's diet. This substance is found in coffee, regular tea and certain drinks. Caffeine may cause increase in blood pressure and interfere in absorption of the iron. There is even connection between high intake of caffeine and miscarriages.
Furthermore, a pregnant woman must never take certain herbs prior consulting her doctor. It is well known that specific herbs may cause miscarriage and preterm labor. This rule applies to both, herbal supplements and herbal teas.
And finally, a pregnant woman must abstain from alcohol since intake of even small amounts of alcohol is associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Fish are generally considered a good nutritional choice because low content of fat and high content of essential Omega-3 fatty acids. However, certain types of fish are forbidden during pregnancy since they contain increased amount of mercury. Mercury has been found to be highly detrimental for development of the baby's nervous system. Fish that may contain mercury include shark, swordfish, tuna, king mackerel etc.
Furthermore, the food must be well prepared and a pregnant woman must never consume raw or undercooked food. This may lead to food poisoning if the particular food is contaminated with certain bacteria such as Salmonella etc. Deli meats, soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk are forbidden as well since they may contain Listeria, a bacterium that is highly damaging to the baby. Prior consuming raw vegetables and fruit these products must be thoroughly washed.