Healthy pregnancy (21)
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First trimester (7)
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- Second trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Prenatal care: 2nd trimester visits
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- Third trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Fetal development: The third trimester
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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
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