The bond between a mother and her child is beautiful. This bond starts building during your pregnancy itself and grows stronger each day. This is why you might have so many worries during these 9 months, like how to sleep, how to exercise, what to eat or what to drink.
In this blog, we have listed some things that you should avoid when you are pregnant. Generally, some of these might be healthy, but they could harm you or your baby if you have them during pregnancy.
Foods to avoid when pregnant - Papaya
Avoid eating raw or less ripe papayas. It is absolutely safe to eat fully ripe papayas Raw papayas contain a substance called latex which can cause contractions. This can also lead to premature delivery or miscarriage. So be sure to check the ripeness of the papaya before eating it.
Foods to avoid when pregnant - Pineapple
Pineapple contains a substance called bromelain. This can sometimes cause contractions or bleeding in the uterus. Don't worry, this will only happen if you eat too much pineapple. If you wish, you can avoid pineapple entirely during these 9 months. Based on your health and lifestyle, your doctor can advise you better on what foods to avoid during pregnancy.
Foods to avoid when pregnant - Raw milk
During pregnancy, it is important to drink milk, as it is a great source of calcium. You and your baby both need calcium to stay healthy. But be sure to only drink boiled milk. Raw milk contains viruses that carry diseases.
Foods to avoid when pregnant - Raw meat (chicken, mutton)
Raw meat carries a particular parasite called Toxoplasma. This parasite can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis which can affect your baby as well. Though this is not a common condition, to be on the safe side, you can always take some precautions. You just need to avoid eating meat that is raw or undercooked.
Foods to avoid when pregnant - Carnivorous fishes
Carnivorous fishes, or fishes that eat other fishes, are rich in mercury. Though your body needs mercury in small amounts, too much mercury can be harmful to your baby. So avoid eating carnivorous fishes like shark, rohu, tuna during pregnancy. It is safe to eat fishes like pomfret, hilsa and bangda.
Avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy
As you would already know, drinking alcohol is harmful to you. Alcohol easily mixes with your blood and reaches all parts of your body. During pregnancy, the placenta absorbs the nutrients from your blood. So this alcohol gets transported to your baby as well and can harm your baby's brain development. So don't drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Avoid smoking cigarette/beedi during pregnancy
Don't smoke cigarettes or beedis during pregnancy. Nicotine present in cigarettes and beedis create a gas called carbon monoxide. When this gas enters your lungs, the oxygen in your lungs reacts with it. So your body will not have enough oxygen. Less oxygen means that your baby will not develop properly and might have some defects at childbirth. This can also lead to premature delivery.
During pregnancy, some women even feel like eating things like mud or coal. This is a very serious condition called PICA syndrome. If you have any such feelings or cravings, avoid eating these. They can harm you as well as your baby.
Instead, listen to your body - it is telling you that it needs certain minerals. So eat some healthy food instead. If you keep getting such cravings, inform your doctor so that you can get the necessary medicines as well.
Reduce intake of the following during pregnancy:
Sweets - It is very natural to have cravings for some particular types of food, especially sweets, during pregnancy. But too many sweets, ice cream or chocolates can lead to gestational diabetes (high blood sugar in pregnancy). So eat less sweets during this time.
Ginger - Ginger increases your body temperature, which is not good for your health. So eat very less ginger daily (upto 1 gram per day). Only eat fresh ginger; dry ginger is very harmful to your baby's development.
Raw jackfruit - It is OK to eat raw jackfruit during pregnancy, but eat it in less quantity. Raw jackfruit has a lot of fibre and sugar. This can lead to digestive problems or high blood sugar.
Brinjal - Eating brinjal during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage. So, if possible, don't eat brinjal during pregnancy, or eat a very small amount once a week.
Sesame seeds (til) - It is safe to eat sesame seeds during pregnancy. But doctors will advise to avoid it in the first trimester as sesame seeds increase your body temperature and might increase your morning sickness. From the 4th month onwards, you can have sesame seeds without any worries.
Coffee - Don't drink more than one cup of coffee per day during pregnancy. Coffee contains caffeine, which can be harmful to your baby's brain development. Too much coffee can even lead to miscarriage.
Is it safe to fast during pregnancy?
Festivals and the customs associated with them are very important in our country. Some of these might even require you and your family to fast for many hours. Some people might even tell you that you should eat less so that you don't put on too much weight.
But during pregnancy, do not follow such fasts or diets. Your body needs more food than usual right now. Remember, your baby is also getting food through you. Not eating for too many hours will make you weak, you might fall ill. If your baby does not receive nutrients from time to time, he/she will become weak as well.
By eating properly and at regular intervals (every 2-3 hours), you can avoid many complications like premature delivery, miscarriage. This is also necessary for proper physical and mental growth of your baby.
Every pregnant woman has many worries during the 9 months of pregnancy- what to eat, what not to eat, will my baby be born healthy, will I have a safe and normal delivery and so much more. By keeping yourself healthy and fit, you can forget about most of these worries.
Your food habits not only affect your baby's growth, but your health as well. So eat well and be tension-free. By now, after reading this blog, you should now know which foods to avoid or eat less during pregnancy.