When expecting your first child, there are many things to consider.  One of the first things mothers-to-be learn is what foods to avoid during pregnancy.  It can be a major downer if you enjoy sashimi and a good rare steak.  However, did you know that there are certain beverages to avoid during pregnancy?  Fortunately, the list of acceptable foods and drinks is longer than the list of unacceptable ones. 

After finding out you are pregnant, you should limit your intake of certain foods and eliminate others fully.  So to help you out, here is a list of some beverages and foods to avoid during your pregnancy.

1. Fish With High Mercury 

As an extremely poisonous metal, mercury poses serious health risks.  Most often found in dirty water, there is no accepted safe amount of exposure to this metal.

Due to its prevalence in polluted marine environments, mercury is often discovered in high concentrations in large marine species.

Therefore, pregnant and nursing mothers should limit and be mindful of deep sea fish.  These are definitely foods to avoid during pregnancy.

 avoid deep sea fish during pregnancy

Higher doses of mercury can harm the kidneys, central nervous, and immunological systems.

This harm caused to your body in the first trimester can result in birth defects in the baby.

Additionally, there is concern that even at moderate doses, mercury could cause significant developmental issues in children.

In addition to genetic deformities, mishaps during delivery can sometimes affect babies’ health.

While this is not in your control, and the most you can do is seek compensation for it through Birth Injury Justice Center, what you eat is in your control.

So make sure you avoid anything that can be harmful to your baby.

2. Raw Unclean Vegetables & Fruits 

Other foods to avoid during pregnancy are raw, unclean vegetables and fruits.  Many parasites and germs can live on the surface of unwashed or unpeeled fruits and vegetables.  Toxoplasma, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, are all bacteria that can be picked up from dirt or eating unclean produce.

There are several potential contamination points throughout the supply chain.  From production to harvest then processing and storage to transit and retail. 

Toxoplasma is a deadly parasite that can live on produce for a while.  Most people who contract toxoplasmosis show no signs of illness; however, some may experience flu-like symptoms for up to a month. 

Babies infected with Toxoplasma bacteria in the womb typically show no signs of disease after birth.  In fact, symptoms such as blindness or intellectual problems may not present themselves until much later in life.

3. Undercooked & Raw Meats Are Food To Avoid During Pregnancy

Eating undercooked meat might present the same health problems as raw fish. Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, are only some bacteria and parasites that can infect you if you eat undercooked or raw meat.

Bacteria can cause stillbirth and severe neurological disorders such as intellectual impairment and epilepsy.

And certain bacteria may persist within the muscle fibers even when they are not visible on the surface of the flesh.

Tenderloins, sirloins, and ribeyes from beef, lamb, and veal are all pieces of meat you can eat undercooked or rare.

However, this is only for when the meat is uncut and fully cooked on the exterior.

Patties, burgers, minced meat, pig, and chicken meat that are uncooked or undercooked are foods to avoid during pregnancy or for lactating mothers.  For lactating mothers, check out this list of foods that would be more beneficial for you and your baby.

Undercooked meats are foods to avoid during pregnancy

So, for the time being, cook your burgers to medium-well doneness.

Pregnant women should also avoid eating processed meats like hot dogs, lunch, and deli meat. During preparation or storage, specific cuts of meat are vulnerable to contamination by various microorganisms.

4. Organ Meat

animal liver

You can get a lot of different nutrients from eating organ meat. Minerals and vitamins beneficial to you and your unborn child include iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and copper.

On the other hand, preformed vitamin A, which comes from animal sources, should be avoided as much as possible while expecting a child.

Preformed vitamin A consumption has been linked to fetal abnormalities and spontaneous abortion, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Although this is commonly linked to vitamin A supplements, it is wise to limit your weekly intake of organ meats like liver to a few ounces.

3 Beverages To Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Watch Your Caffeine Consumption

Are you one of the million people who love coffee, tea, or soda?  No surprises there!

But if you’re expecting, know that it is best for pregnant women to reduce their caffeine intake to 200 mg daily.

Caffeine restricts prenatal growth and increases the chance of low birth weight.  Higher levels can even increase the risk of infant death and adult chronic illness.

So, watch your everyday coffee or soda as beverages to avoid during pregnancy, limiting the baby’s caffeine intake.

2. Steer Clear Of Unpasteurized Products

Listeria and Campylobacter are some of the hazardous germs found in mildly ripened cheeses, unpasteurized cheeses, and raw milk.  This means these are foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Unpasteurized cheese and raw milk are foods and beverages to avoid during pregnancy

The same holds for unpasteurized juice, which might harbor bacteria.  The results of any infections that happen because of this bacteria can be fatal. 

The bacterium could be present naturally or as the result of contamination during harvesting or warehousing.

Because it does not alter the nutritional content of foods, pasteurization is the best method for destroying potentially hazardous microorganisms.

So choose only pasteurized milk, cheese, and fruit juice to reduce your chance of illness during pregnancy.

3. Alcohols Are Beverages To Avoid During Pregnancy

Since alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of stillbirth and miscarriage, it is best to stay away from alcohol.  In addition, if your infant gets exposed to even a trace quantity, it could stunt their mental growth.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is characterized by facial malformations, cardiac issues, and intellectual incapacity and is usually a result of maternal alcohol consumption.

Since no amount of alcohol consumption is known to be okay during pregnancy, abstinence is strongly advised.  While not a food, this should be totally avoided during pregnancy.

A Piece Of Advice

A pregnant woman should be mindful of these foods to avoid during pregnancy that may cause harm to herself or unborn child.  While many people are aware of this, most are unaware of the beverages to avoid during pregnancy, and why.

It is recommended that you discuss your diet with your doctor before conception to avoid any unforeseen complications in the future.  Remember that only a healthy mother can deliver a healthy baby, so prioritizing your health is crucial.

If you know of other foods to avoid during pregnancy, let us know by leaving a comment below to help other mothers.