Expectant mothers are always keen on doing everything within their power to have a healthy pregnancy. As their bodies experience a range of changes, some of the major ones may involve the foods you eat. Everyone has heard about pregnant mothers craving pickles and ice cream, or other odd food combinations, or the scent of certain foods triggering nausea. Many expectant mothers battle heartburn.
Your diet is especially important during your pregnancy, as your body and your baby both need proper nutrition for development and good health. OB/GYN Christopher Serrano, MD and his team at Serrano OB/GYN Associates in San Antonio, Texas, will help you create a healthy diet plan so your body and baby get what they need. This will also include certain foods you should avoid.
A healthy pregnancy diet
Your dietary needs and preferences during pregnancy will vary, according to your unique needs and health conditions, but generally, you will need plenty of healthy, fresh foods. This can include:
- Healthy fats
- Vitamins and minerals
- Complex carbohydrates
Dr. Serrano may provide you with a list of recommended food products, or you can find many lists of healthy, pregnancy-friendly foods on the Internet. Always be sure to wash all raw foods well to reduce your risk of getting sick from bacteria and parasites.
Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Some food choices can be harmful to your health, and to that of your baby, and so should be avoided. Pay attention to this listing and eliminate these foods over the length of your pregnancy.
While some fish can be a healthy dietary choice, certain fish may contain mercury, which is often found in polluted waters. Too much of this toxin can have adverse effects on you and your baby, including kidney problems and the nervous system.
Fish to avoid include:
- King mackerel
- Orange roughy
Low-mercury risk, well-cooked fish like salmon, cod, and haddock are generally safe. Always avoid eating raw fish, especially shellfish, such as that found in sushi.
Caffeine is absorbed into the placenta, meaning your baby is affected, because it cannot process this substance like you can. High levels of caffeine can affect your baby’s development and resulting birth weight. Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea while you are pregnant.
Raw or undercooked eggs can contain salmonella, which can cause sickness and resulting unpleasant symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are some of the worst. You can also experience cramping in your uterus, resulting in pregnancy complications like premature labor.
Unpasteurized dairy and juices
You should avoid unpasteurized cheeses, milk, and juice, which can also contain bacteria like salmonella, Escherichia coli, or listeria. These bacteria can cause sickness and the same symptoms as above, including pregnancy complications.
While liver can provide essential vitamins and minerals, eating too much organ meat has been connected to congenital defects and miscarriage, particularly during the first trimester. Avoid organ meats entirely and seek other sources for the vitamins and minerals you need.
Even small amounts of alcohol can negatively affect the development of your baby, especially their brain and heart. Too much alcohol also puts your baby at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to cognitive disabilities, physical deformities, and long-term social and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Serrano and his team at Serrano OB/GYN Associates can help you create a healthy diet that includes everything you and your baby need. We specialize in top-tier, customized pregnancy care for our patients in and around San Antonio, TX. Contact us today with your questions or if you need pregnancy care or a consultation about other OB/GYN needs.