You’ve seen the pink or blue line, jumped up and down, probably made some excited phone calls, and are ready for a celebratory brunch. You’re about to order your usual egg, bacon, and cheese whatever when you remember some article from way back when. Should you be eating any of that right now? You kind of remember something about cheese being “bad,” but can’t remember if it applied to all kinds of cheeses. And what about eggs (Et tu, Brute)? What can’t you eat while you’re pregnant?
As a pregnant human you are going to undoubtably have a wide variety of worries, so avoiding certain foods for 40 weeks (more or less) can feel like nothing more than a personal slight. There’s a reason behind the recommendation, though. As the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website explains, when you’re pregnant your immune system is a bit “altered,” which can make it harder for your body to fight off certain kinds of food-borne microorganisms. And, as the FDA further points out, your baby’s immune system is still developing, which puts your baby at an even greater risk if faced with harmful microorganisms because they can’t even fight them off. If you get sick from a food-borne illness, your symptoms can range from mild to horribly dehydrated, all of which could have a potentially harmful impact on your fetus.
Even if you don’t feel any symptoms, the FDA says you can still pass an infection to your unborn child, who may be experiencing the effects of the illness. One of the more common food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria is listeria. The website for the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) explains that pregnant women are 13 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population, and the way to avoid getting it is by avoiding certain foods during pregnancy.
Rest assured, even the ladies who’ve been through the whole pregnancy thing before are known to forget what’s on the “Do Not Consume” list. So don’t feel bad for not knowing it all the moment that pregnancy test turns positive. It’s also important to note that not every doctor is in agreement about which foods are “bad” and which foods aren’t. Some OB-GYN’s will say they’re cool with you eating, for example, sushi, as long as it’s from a very reputable place and in moderations. Others will say no way, never, not a chance to those (raw) tuna avocado rolls.
Experts (at least, the online ones) seem to agree on a quite a few things when it comes to what you can and cannot eat when you’re expecting. As ACOG’s website states, for example, omega-3 fatty acids found in many kinds of fish can be important to the development of your baby’s brain both before and after birth. So definitely eat your fish when pregnant, because it is good for you and for your baby. The Mayo Clinic’s site warns, however, that you…
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