Healthy pregnancy (21)
- Back pain during pregnancy: 7 tips for relief
- Sleep during pregnancy: Follow these tips
- Prenatal yoga: What you need to know
- see all in Healthy pregnancy
First trimester (7)
- Fetal development: The first trimester
- First trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Prenatal care: 1st trimester visits
- see all in First trimester
Second trimester (8)
- Fetal development: The second trimester
- Second trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Prenatal care: 2nd trimester visits
- see all in Second trimester
Third trimester (10)
- Fetal development: The third trimester
- Third trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Prenatal care: 3rd trimester visits
- see all in Third trimester
Pregnancy problems (23)
- Pregnancy and obesity: Know the risks
- Pregnancy and asthma: Managing your symptoms
- High-risk pregnancy: Know what to expect
- see all in Pregnancy problems
Pregnancy nutrition: Foods to avoid during pregnancy
Avoid unwashed fruits and vegetables
To eliminate any harmful bacteria, thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables and cut away damaged portions. Avoid raw sprouts of any kind — including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean — which also might contain disease-causing bacteria. Be sure to cook sprouts thoroughly.
Avoid large quantities of vitamin A
Too much vitamin A can cause birth defects. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women age 19 and older get 2,565 international units (IU) of vitamin A daily. For perspective, 3 ounces of cooked beef liver contains 27,185 IU and 3 ounces of cooked chicken liver contains 12,325 IU.
Avoid excess caffeine
Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby's heart rate. While further research is needed, some studies suggest that drinking too much caffeine during pregnancy might be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Because of the potential effects on your developing baby, your health care provider might recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams a day during pregnancy. For perspective, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce cup of brewed tea contains about 47 milligrams and a 12-ounce caffeinated cola soft drink contains about 29 milligrams.
Avoid herbal tea
There's little data on the effects of specific herbs on developing babies. As a result, avoid drinking herbal tea unless your health care provider says it's OK — even the types of herbal tea marketed specifically to pregnant women.
One drink isn't likely to hurt your baby, but no level of alcohol has been proved safe during pregnancy. The safest bet is to avoid alcohol entirely.
Consider the risks. Mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Too much alcohol during pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities, heart problems, low birth weight and mental retardation. Even moderate drinking can impact your baby's brain development.
If you're concerned about alcohol you drank before you knew you were pregnant or you think you need help to stop drinking, consult your health care provider.Previous page
(2 of 2)
- Food don'ts. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.4women.gov/pregnancy/mom-to-be-tools/pregnancy_food_donts.pdf. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Fish facts. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.4women.gov/pregnancy/mom-to-be-tools/fish-facts.pdf. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Hibbeln J, et al. Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): An observational cohort study. The Lancet. 2007;369:578.
- What you need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advice/. Accessed March 12, 2009.
- FDA/EPA advisory on seafood consumption still current. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01382.html. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Fresh and frozen seafood: Selecting and serving it safely. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/UCM239497.pdf. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Listeriosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/listeriosis/. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Food safety for moms-to-be. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm081785.htm. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Caffeine and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.otispregnancy.org/files/caffeine.pdf. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Weng X, et al. Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: A prospective cohort study. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2008;198:279.
- Care study group. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy and risk of fetal growth restriction: A large prospective observational study. British Medical Journal. 2008;337:a2332.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin A and carotenoids. National Institutes of Health. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamina/. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- ACOG committee opinion No. 462: Moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2010;116:467.
- Routine prenatal care. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. http://www.icsi.org/prenatal_care_4/prenatal_care__routine__full_version__2.html. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Alcohol and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://www.otispregnancy.org/files/alcohol.pdf. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/PolicyDoc/PolicyDoc.pdf. Accessed Feb. 14, 2011.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 15, 2011.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 26, 2011.