Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

We know some foods actually carry risks in pregnancy. The risks are very small, and even if you do eat some of these foods, perhaps without realizing, you are very unlikely to harm yourself or your baby in any way. However, it makes sense to avoid them when you can.

These foods have been found to have the potential for contamination with Listeria, because of the way they're made. Listeria is a bacterium (germ) that can lead to pre-term birth, miscarriage, and/or flu-like symptoms.

Foods to Avoid

  • Unpasteurized milks
  • Soft, ripened cheeses (varieties such as Brie, Camembert, and similar blue veined varieties)
  • Ice-cream from soft whip machines (wrapped or block ice-cream is fine)
  • Patés - all types
  • Raw and undercooked eggs (thoroughly cook eggs until both the white and yolk are solid)
  • Liver and liver products
  • Mayonnaise (homemade)
  • Shark, marlin and swordfish should be avoided and tuna restricted to two medium cans or one fresh steak per week. This follows concerns about mercury in these fish and also applies to women who are breastfeeding or intending to become pregnant.

If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your healthcare provider.

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MissyJ's picture

Submitted by MissyJ on

Great question! Many experts are still arguing to determine "safe" levels of seafood (including those that are of the mindset that there is no cause at all for concern.)

Seafood is rich in iron and protein -- both crucial to your baby's growth and development. Also, you'll be pleased to know that the Omega-3 present in those type of fish you mentioned can contribute to your little one's brain development! (Perfect for helping them think of snappy comebacks to give you angst when he/she is a teenager in the years to come! LOL)

As the article stated, you want to strive to avoid those larger seafood types such as the sharks, marlins, swordfish, etc. These fish tend to have higher concentrations of mercury that could negatively impact your baby's well being -- particularly when eaten regularly as the mercury can build up in your bloodstream and pass along to your child.

Seafood low in mercury levels include tilapia, salmon, crab, shrimp --- all from your list of favorites -- all are considered safe to eat. As with most things, the key here is likely moderation. The FDA recommendation is 12 ounces per week (about 2 average size portions / meals.)

It sounds as if you are very conscious about your growing baby and already enjoy some excellent dietary habits. If you haven't already, join in on your due date birth board to meet others on the same journey! Drop me a note if you need any further assistance!