Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

By Miranda Lightstone

It might seem a little silly to tell a pregnant woman she can’t eat certain things while she’s pregnant, however, there are certain foods you really should avoid throughout your pregnancy, but mostly during those first few weeks.

Foods to Avoid During Early Pregnancy


Sadly, this is a hard and fast rule. Trust me, as an avid wine drinker and someone
who attended many a function that provided free refills of very good and expensive wines; this was a difficult pill to swallow (something else you can no longer do unless advised by a doctor, even for allergies or a bad migraine). But, when it comes to the health of your baby, you’ll make all the sacrifices necessary to avoid certain foods (and drink) during early pregnancy.

In the later months, you actually can have a single glass of wine daily (only one, and no not those glasses that hold an entire bottle of wine), which equals out to about 50z of wine per day. And really, that’s only advisable for the expectant moms who previously drank 1-2 glasses a day or every other day on a regular basis. Otherwise, doctors do recommend avoiding all alcohol.

Sandwich meats

For some, this will be as difficult to give up as a glass of wine or a beer. Sliced deli meats are to be avoided due to listeria. This is a hazardous bacterium that tends to live in those previously delicious slices of meat. Your unborn baby doesn’t have the germ defenses you do, and so cannot combat the bacteria that’s laced into the sandwich meats, which is why it is most definitely a food you should avoid during early pregnancy.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy: Sushi

Ugh. This was another tough one for me, personally. I’m a huge fan of sushi,
particularly the raw fish kind. And that’s where the problem lies for pregnant
women, of course. Raw fish, if not prepared immediately after being pulled from the water runs the risk of bacteria, a no-no for your new fetus. 

All is not lost though; you can have California sushi rolls – those that are made with only vegetables/rice and seaweed wraps. I made do with those for the first few months, until I was able to go for dinner at a high-end sushi restaurant where I knew the sushi was prepared fresh, and not sitting in a plastic container for hours on end before I got to it.

And it’s not just raw sushi you have to avoid, but there are certain high-mercury
fishes you should also try not to eat while you’re pregnant; like swordfish, shark,
king mackerel, and tuna. While ingesting these types of fish 1-2 times per month is fine, eating them in excess could seriously harm your nervous system, kidneys and immune system, which in turn could harm the baby and has been known to cause developmental issues with children.


Seriously, from the very beginning, these kids of ours make everything very difficult and harder for us moms! Case in point: No more caffeine. Wait, that’s not entirely true. Studies have shown that excessive consumption (3 or more cups of coffee or tea per day) can lead to lower birth weights, higher incidences of miscarriages, and (just like in adults) an increase in baby’s heart rate. On the flip side, there are studies that suggest limiting your caffeine intake to about 200mg per day (or a 12oz cup) is OK and won’t harm the baby, if you must have that coffee hit.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy: Heavily processed Foods

This is pretty straightforward, really any time in your life (pregnant or not).
Constantly eating process, boxed or fast-food options will not be healthy for you or your baby. Avoid high-sugar snacks as well, as that can put you at risk for
gestational diabetes. While there are other factors that can come into play (a topic for a later blog), spiking your glucose level causes your body to need to produce more insulin. When you’re pregnant, your hormones are all over the place and you might already be struggling with insulin production.

So, try not to add any more hormonal stress to your pregnant body by avoiding
heavily processed foods, and stick to a clean, raw, protein- and vegetable-rich diet.

Eating for Two

It might seem like a good excuse to eat all the things. Trust me, there are times you will feel like that! But, I want you to remember that everything you put in your
mouth is also being shared by your wee one. If you want them to stay healthy, you have to stay healthy. Be smart about your meal choices, and try and keep your daily intact as balanced and clean as possible. Sure, you can cheat occasionally, but overall avoid the above foods when you’re in the early stages of pregnancy and you’ll be on your way to growing a happy, healthy baby.