Pregnancy App Article: "Foods to avoid during pregnancy"

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Foods to avoid during pregnancy
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Au revoir soft cheese
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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.

Salmonella - 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).

Dairy
Avoid: soft cheeses such as brie, camembert and gorgonzola; unpasteurised milk/cheese (often goat and sheep cheeses).

Eggs
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.

Meat
No 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
Marlin, 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).

Stay 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.

Caffeine
You 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. 

Don't 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.

Alcohol
Current guidance is to avoid all alcohol, particularly in the first three months, but many believe the occasional glass probably does no harm. 

The 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 miscarriage.

Soil
Unless you 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.
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Moan like mad if you want - it is a pain in the bum missing out on so many of life's pleasures. But when you've finished moaning, do everything in your power to stay safe in the knowledge that it isn't forever (and chocolate is not on the list).
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