Women have been giving birth for centuries. However, the dividing line between what pregnant women should, and should not eat, has been muddled throughout the years.
Everyone has words of wisdom for mommies and daddies-to-be, but how about letting some science do the talking?
1.) Deli Meats
Deli meats are a taboo food for pregnant women. While sources say that complications from eating deli meats is rare, some pregnant women may want to abstain from eating processed meats during later trimesters.
Why, you may ask?
Because deli meats can be contaminated with low-levels of bacteria, such as strains of Listeria, which pregnant women happen to be more susceptible to.
“The Federal Government has taken huge steps in helping to prevent the spread, or exposure, to Listeria. Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking. Cold cuts are now sprayed with a food additive that helps prevent Listeria before packaging,” writes Pregnancy.org.
“You don’t need to panic if you are pregnant, have been eating deli meats and discovered you shouldn’t have,” the site advises.
“The probabilities are in your favor that nothing has happened. When it comes to deli meats it is important you know the likelihood of being exposed to Listeria is low. On the flip side, you need to know that if your developing baby is exposed to Listeria it can be devastating.”
Listeria can cause serious illness, and even death, according to sources.
2.) Junk Foods
Junk foods were no good before. Now that you are nurturing a baby, they are even worse.
According to the site, Pregnancy.org, the sizes of your stomach can actually shrink when you are pregnant.
“As your stomach size decreases during pregnancy, junk food takes up room and prevents you from eating the foods you really need for your and your baby’s health,” the site writes.
This means that you are ingesting empty calories, and your gestating baby is not receiving the adequate amount, or types, of nutrients needed for developing.
Fish is said to contain varying levels of mercury. While small amounts aren’t bad for the regular person, some can cause reproductive damage if ingested by expectant mothers.
“Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage,” writes Pregnancy.org.
4.) Vitamin Supplements
While certain vitamins and supplements are encouraged during pregnancy, such as folic acid and iron, some should be avoided.
“Goldenseal, mugwort, and penny royal are all associated with uterine contractions and should be avoided,” writes Pregnancy.org.
“Avoid taking several different supplements, but rather take one multivitamin that includes a variety of required nutrients in one dose. Combining supplements (such as taking a folic acid supplement along with your multivitamin) can be unsafe because you run the risk of overdosing on a particular nutrient,” writes AmericanPregnancy.Org.
5.) Anything with Caffeine
There is much controversy concerning caffeine and the health of pregnant women.
“Although most studies show that caffeine intake in moderation is okay, there are others that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages,” writes Pregnancy.org.
The site recommends that during later stages of pregnancy, a women take in no more than 2 cups of coffee per day.
Caffeine is also noted to be a diuretic, which can influence how much calcium is absorbed by the body. Pregnant women need to absorb calcium, and if excretion happens too fast, this will not happen efficiently.
“It is important that you are drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated beverages. Some research shows that large amounts of caffeine are associated with miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants. The safest thing is not to consume caffeine,” advises Pregnancy.org.
In addition, caffeine is often considered a drug. All drugs and alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, as these have been reported to cause fetal damage.
For more information regarding pregnancy, you should consult a trusted physician or doctor.
*The above are not medical claims, and are not intended to be used as medical advice. Individuals experiencing any health or medical issues are always urged to contact a physician or doctor.