You’re pregnant and suddenly you feel like you’ve got to be a nutritional expert. You’re afraid to eat or drink without asking “is it safe during pregnancy?” You’re understandably concerned about your pregnancy health (and your developing fetus).
Yes, many foods and beverages you love are restricted during pregnancy, but take heart that pregnancy doesn’t last forever and that your sacrifices benefit your baby. (One fail-safe item not on this list: ice cream.)
Smoked or Cured Meats
Not only do you have to alter your wardrobe when pregnant, you’ve also got to adjust your order at the deli. Uncooked lunch meats are a no-no during pregnancy due to the potential for harmful bacteria. However, you can have cooked cured meats like hot dogs and pepperoni, but limit them to once a week because they’re chock full o’ sodium nitrate.
No matter if your mother and grandmother drank like fishes when they were pregnant, drinking and pregnancy DO NOT mix. Is it safe during pregnancy? A definite NO. Hard alcohol is particularly dangerous. Not a drop should pass your lips during the first trimester because that’s when the risks to the baby’s development are serious. However, at the end of your pregnancy, a very small, very occasional glass of wine could be OK. But don’t take our word for it, ask your doctor!
Can’t give up that morning venti double mocha with extra whipped cream? Wondering “is it safe during pregnancy?” Good news! Doctors agree that a moderate amount of caffeine, equal to two cups of coffee per day, won’t harm you or your baby. Just to be safe, we recommend splitting your order to half caf/half decaf or switching to a smaller size.
Seafood’s a double-edged sword (fish). Foods like salmon, tuna and shrimp have tons of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are great for your developing baby’s brain. But seafood can also contain dangerous mercury, so it’s best to limit your intake to one or two six-ounce servings per week
Want to relax with an herbal tea but you’re wondering “is it safe during pregnancy?” Most herbal teas, like peppermint or chamomile, are just fine for a pregnant woman to drink, but it’s best to check with your doctor before sipping to make sure that your tea doesn’t contain any ingredients that could harm your baby. Herbs like raspberry leaf can cause contractions and should be avoided.
Sushi and Rare Meat
When you belly up to the sushi bar, it’s best to stick to the California rolls. And at the steakhouse, don’t go pinker than medium. Uncooked seafood and meat can cause listeria and salmonella, which are especially harmful during pregnancy.
Brie, feta and other soft cheeses can contain bacteria that’s harmful to your baby if they are unpasteurized. The good news is that most American-made versions of these rich treats are pasteurized and safe, but be sure to check the label (and your doctor) before smearing them on your baguette. Is it safe during pregnancy? Oui oui!
Sugar substitutes like aspartame, NutraSweet and Splenda are chemical additives that have not been researched enough to determine whether they’re safe during pregnancy, so it’s best to limit the diet sodas and sugar-free candy. If you’re craving a sweet, fizzy treat once in a while, go for the old-school high-calorie sugar-filled version (or stick with flavored seltzer)!
If you’re one of those rare chicks who craves liver, you’re out of luck. Though a good source of iron, it’s too high in vitamin A to be safe for your baby. And since this animal organ filters toxins, it could be too risky to consume while pregnant. Is it safe during pregnancy? If you’re concerned about your pregnancy health and the health of your growing fetus, the verdict is: No.