5 foods expecting mothers have to avoid

These foods can be very harmful to the mother and child if ingested.

Caffeine

Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day. Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world and is mainly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and cocoa. It is absorbed very quickly and passes easily into the placenta and fetus. This is dangerous because unborn babies and their placentas do not have the main enzyme needed to metabolize caffeine, so high levels can build up to restrict foetal growth and increase the risk of low birth weight at delivery.

Raw fish e.g Sushi

The immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, so it is easier to get sick from food. Raw fish can cause several bacterial and parasitic infections which can cause adverse health effects and harm both the mother and the unborn baby.

Raw eggs e.g in cake icing

Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella and symptoms of its infections are usually experienced only by the mother. They include fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. However, in rare cases, the infection may cause cramps in the uterus, leading to premature birth or stillbirth. Foods that can contain raw eggs are cake icing, homemade ice cream, homemade salad dressing, lightly scrambled eggs, etc.

Alcohol

Pregnant women are advised to completely avoid drinking alcohol, as it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Even a small amount can negatively impact your baby's brain development.

Certain fruits and Veggies

These foods in particular should be avoided completely: Papaya, which is rich in latex that could lead to uterine contractions, black grapes which build heat in the body that is harmful to the baby, pineapple because it is rich in bromelain that could soften the cervix leading to early labour, cabbage and lettuce as they carry foodborne illnesses, and eggplant, for its property of stimulating menses which may lead to abortion.

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