You may be having the menu pretty much dictated by foods you either can’t get enough of or can’t stomach the thought of. However, there are a few foods that are definite no-nos, craving or not.
Your main concerns are:
Listeria - in unpasteurised dairy and uncooked meat or fish - infection can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.
most common in undercooked poultry or eggs - the bacteria can give you
sickness and diarrhoea, which is more dangerous during pregnancy.
Toxoplasmosis - in undercooked meat and poultry - a parasite infection that can harm your baby's sight, hearing and brain.
Food poisoning - any bacteria that can cause you sickness and diarrhoea, as this is more dangerous during pregnancy.
The list often changes - so ask your midwife for more detailed advice - but consider the following as a starter (or rather, don't).
Avoid: soft cheeses such as brie, camembert
and gorgonzola; unpasteurised milk/cheese (often goat and sheep cheeses).
Raw and undercooked eggs used to be a no-no in pregnancy but they’ve recently been given the all-clear, as long as they are stamped with the British lion mark. Nonetheless, scoffing raw cake mixture is probably not advisable. Step away from the bowl.
more steak tartare, or anything cooked rare. If you're preparing it
yourself, be sure to wash hands rigorously after touching raw meat.
Resist cured meats like salami and Parma ham too - unless you cook them first.
Avoid liver, as it is very high in vitamin A and this can damage your baby. Say goodbye to pâté too (even vegetable) as it may contain higher levels of listeria bacteria than other foods.
Fish and shellfish
swordfish and shark are out because of high levels of mercury, which
might affect your baby's developing nervous system. Stick to white fish
and limit your oily fish intake (mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines).
away from oysters unless you like them cooked - all shellfish
should be thoroughly cooked through. Be careful with sushi and only eat
it if the fish has been previously frozen - alternatively, opt for vegetarian or
cooked varieties to be on the safe side.
don't need to cut out all caffeine, but 200mg should be your daily limit -
that's roughly one Americano and a small bar of chocolate.
forget caffeine's not just found in tea and coffee - it's hidden in
fizzy drinks too. Try substituting your daily cuppas with decaffeinated
options or herbal teas.
guidance is to avoid all alcohol, particularly in the first three
months, but many believe the occasional glass probably does no harm.
advice may be vague, but it's there for a reason - alcohol crosses the
placenta and your baby's developing liver can't process it as fast as
your liver can. This may affect your baby's birthweight or cause other
serious health problems for them, and it also increases your risk of
have a bad case of pica, it's doubtful you are going to be eating
handfuls of earth, but make sure you wash fruit and veg thoroughly and
ask your midwife what the latest views are about gardening - or indeed mud-wrestling - in pregnancy.