Prevea Health

Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

 
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There are plenty of everyday foods an expecting mother should stay away from. Use the chart below for a comprehensive list of foods to avoid and health risks.
 

Avoid

  • Bass
  • Walleye
  • Northern pike
  • Muskie
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • King mackerel
  • Tile fish

Safe Amounts

It is safe to eat up to 12 ounces per week of the following:
  • Smaller, younger, lean fish including bluegill, crappie, sunfish and yellow perch
  • Shrimp
  • Canned light tuna
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
Limit Albacore tuna and tuna steaks to 6 ounces per week. 
Limit fresh fish to 3-6 ounces per week.

Health Risk

Mercury:
  • Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. For most people, it's not a health risk. However, the levels of mercury in some fish and shellfish may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.
 

Avoid

  • Hot dogs
  • Luncheon meats or deli meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot
  • Soft cheeses such as feta, brie and camembert, unless they are made from pasteurized milk
  • Blue-veined cheeses or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco and panela, unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk
  • Refrigerated pate or meat spreads
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood including 
    • Salmon
    • Trout
    • Whitefish
    • Cod
    • Tuna
    • Mackerel
  • Raw (unpasteurized) milk
  • Foods that contain unpasteurized milk

Safe Amounts

​It is safe to eat hard cheeses, semi soft cheeses, such as:
  • Mozzarella
  • Pasteurized processed cheese slices and spreads
  • Cream cheese
  • Cottage cheese
It is also safe to eat:
  • Canned or self-stable pate and meat spreads
  • Canned fish, such as salmon, tuna and self-stable smoke seafood

Health Risk

Listeria
  • Listeria is a type of bacteria found in soil, water, and sometimes on plants. Most Listeria infections stem from people eating contaminated foods. Listeriosis can be passed to an unborn baby through the placenta, even if the mother is not showing signs of illness. Risks include:
    • Miscarriage
    • Premature delivery
    • Stillbirth
    • Serious health problems for the newborn
  • Avoid getting fluid from hot dogs packages on other foods, utensils and food preparation surfaces. Wash hands after handling hotdogs, luncheon meats and deli meats. 
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