Posted: Aug 28, 2013 7:00 AM
 
For 40 weeks, you are your baby's sole provider. Food, water, shelter… It all comes from you. During this time, the foods you eat or don't eat are extremely important. Follow this list of foods to avoid during pregnancy and help keep your baby safe. Don't worry — pickles dipped in ice cream aren't on the list.

Avoid unpasteurized food and drinks

blue cheeseDuring pregnancy, consuming unpasteurized foods can cause listeriosis and/or an E. coli infection. To reduce this risk, it is important for pregnant women to avoid unpasteurized foods. This includes raw milk and soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, blue cheese, queso fresco and queso blanco. Fresh-squeezed juices that have not been pasteurized should also be avoided during pregnancy.

Sushi rolls

No undercooked meat or fish

Raw or undercooked meats can harbor toxoplasma gondii and other bacteria that are harmful during pregnancy. When eating out, ask for your meat to be cooked well done. If you're cooking at home, use a meat thermometer to make sure the correct meat and poultry temperatures are reached before you sit down to eat. This is also true for fish. Raw fish, including your favorite sushi rolls, is another food to avoid during pregnancy.

Stay away from seafood with mercury

The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it is likely to have.

While pregnant, it's OK to eat some fish in moderation. However, fish high in mercury should be avoided. These fish include swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and shark. The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it is likely to have. Again, remember that all seafood should be cooked properly before eating.

Other foods to avoid during pregnancy

slices of deli hamReady-to-eat meats such as deli meats and hot dogs can also cause listeriosis in pregnant women. For this reason, these meats should be avoided or reheated to 165 degrees F before eating. Pâtés should also be avoided during pregnancy because they contain perishable meats that can harbor bacteria.

Raw sprouts have many health benefits but they should not be consumed while pregnant because they can contain bacteria that is impossible to wash away. If you want to eat sprouts while pregnant, cook them thoroughly first.

Scoop of cookie dough

Raw eggs may contain salmonella so as hard as it is to resist, don't lick the spoon when making cookies or other batters if they have eggs. Other foods that may contain raw eggs and should be avoided are homemade ice cream, eggnog, Caesar salad dressing and hollandaise sauce.

Unwashed fruits and veggies are also included in the list of what not to eat during pregnancy. Rinse your fresh produce under running water, scrubbing with a vegetable brush to make sure that all bacteria is thoroughly washed away before enjoying.

More on pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy
Dealing with morning sickness all day
Staying hydrated during pregnancy

Topics: