Nutrition during Pregnancy
Food: Your diet can effect your pregnancy. Here are some foods to watch out for during pregnancy:
- Alcohol: consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal mental impairment and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). It is recommended to avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
- Deli Meats: smoked seafood products with the labels lox, kippered, jerky, nova-style, or smoked should not be consumed during pregnancy. Meat spreads and pates should be avoided as should hot dogs, luncheon and deli meats.
- Excessive Caffeine: Studies suggest that high amounts of caffeine are associated with low birth weight, miscarriage and pre-term labor. It is best to consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine a day (that is 1-2 cups of coffee a day or the equivalent tea or soda).
- Raw or Undercooked Meats: Includes all animal meats and eggs. Undercooked meats can contain parasites that can infect your fetus and cause birth defects.
- Raw Fish and Shell fish: Certain fish contain high levels of methyl mercury and should be avoided as they have been linked to kidney and brain damage in fetal growth. Common examples of fish with elevated Methyl Mercury levels include albacore tuna, sharks, swordfish, mackerel and tile-fish. Sushi, Ceviche or other raw shellfish may also be a risk for tapeworms.
- Soft Cheese: Cheese such as blue cheese, brie, feta, gorgonzola, and Roquefort have a higher chance of containing Listeria Monocytogenes. A Listeria infection, while rare, can lead to preterm labor, miscarriage or a stillborn. Hard cheese made from pasteurized milk such as cheddar, swiss are safe for pregnancy, as are Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese.
Exercise: Regular exercise in recommended during pregnancy as it helps alleviate symptoms like backaches and constipation. 30 minutes is recommended.