Your journey of motherhood starts with pregnancy. It is crucial for a pregnant woman to have a balanced and nutritious diet, and to ensure proper health of her baby and herself. However, there are certain foods like papaya, pineapple, crabs, eggs, and mercury-rich fish that pregnant women should refrain from consuming. This is because these food items can trigger a probable miscarriage, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, when pregnant women are usually at a higher risk of having one. It is essential for pregnant women to take care while incorporating foods into their diet and avoid specific foods during pregnancy to prevent a likely miscarriage. While the significance of other factors like the age and health of the pregnant woman, her lifestyle and food habits, cannot be disregarded, it is advisable for her to stay away from these food items, particularly, during the early stages of the pregnancy. These foods may cause widening or opening of the cervix and inner contractions in a pregnant woman, thereby putting her at risk of a miscarriage.
Pregnant women should avoid certain foods that cause miscarriage in early pregnancy. Pregnant women must also keep in mind to stay away from fruits that cause miscarriage. The foods that may cause a miscarriage are listed below:
Pineapple contains bromelain which may soften the cervix to start contractions in a pregnant woman. This may result in a miscarriage. It is best to avoid consuming pineapple or pineapple juice during the early stages of pregnancy.
Although crabs are a rich source of calcium, they also contain high levels of cholesterol. This may cause shrinkage of the uterus, leading to internal bleeding and a possible miscarriage. Therefore, its delectable taste notwithstanding, it may be sensible to refrain from eating it during pregnancy.
Pregnant women may like to stay away from eating sesame seeds during the early stages of pregnancy. Sesame seeds when consumed along with honey can cause trouble during pregnancy. Though, pregnant women may sparingly have black sesame seeds during the later stages of pregnancy as they are believed to benefit in delivery.
The liver is usually considered healthy as it is full of vitamin A. So, having it a couple of times in a month may not be harmful. But, if consumed in large quantities by pregnant women, it may cause distress during pregnancy as it can promote a gradual accumulation of retinol which can adversely affect the baby.
The amazing Aloe Vera is well known for its numerous health benefits. But several studies indicate that pregnant women may deliberate before eating Aloe Vera during pregnancy. This is because Aloe Vera comprises of anthraquinones, a kind of laxative that can induce contractions of the uterus and pelvic bleeding, which can lead to a possible miscarriage. Although, superficially applied Aloe Vera gel is not considered unsafe during pregnancy.
Unripe papaya or green papayas have components that act as a laxative and can bring on premature labour and initiate miscarriage. The seeds of papaya are rich in enzymes that may cause contraction of the uterus, resulting in a miscarriage. That is why it may not be safe to consume papaya in any food form during pregnancy.
Pregnant women need to exercise some caution while consuming drumsticks during pregnancy. This is because it comprises of alpha-sitosterol, which may be detrimental for the pregnancy. However, drumsticks are rich in iron, potassium and vitamins. So, it is advised to eat them in limited quantity. Moreover, it is essential to wash them properly before consuming them, to get rid of any bacteria and pesticides that may be present to prevent any needless difficulties in the pregnancy.
Raw Dairy Products
Unpasteurised or raw dairy products like milk, gorgonzola, mozzarella, feta cheese, and brie may possess disease-carrying bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes which can be harmful to the pregnancy. It is not considered safe for pregnant women to eat or drink anything that is made from raw milk as it can lead to unnecessary complications in the pregnancy.
According to many researchers, caffeine in moderation is not considered unsafe during pregnancy. Still, it is advisable for pregnant women to observe some restraint, as increased levels of caffeine during pregnancy, can lead to pregnancy problems like miscarriage or low birth weight. Moreover, caffeine is believed to be diuretic or dehydrating by some experts, which means it can lead to a fluid loss in the body. It is essential to keep in mind that caffeine occurs in many food items like tea, coffee, chocolates and some energy and aerated drinks.
Mercury Rich Fish
Pregnant women should be careful while consuming fish. While fish is full of essential nutrients, pregnant women may refrain from eating certain varieties of fish that have high mercury content like king mackerel, orange rough, marlin, shark, tilefish, swordfish, bigeye tuna. This is because mercury intake can adversely affect the baby’s developing brain and nervous system.
Most experts recommend that pregnant women should avoid taking herbs during pregnancy. Certain herbs have steroids which can adversely affect the baby’s growth during pregnancy. Herbs like Centella, if consumed by a pregnant woman, may cause harm to the liver, resulting in severe jaundice and probable damage to the baby’s brain. Herbs like dong quai, Gotu kola may contain agents that can initiate miscarriage or premature delivery. It is always sensible to consult a doctor before consuming any herbs.
Peaches are believed to be “hot” in nature. If consumed in large quantities, during pregnancy, it can produce excessive heat in a pregnant woman’s body. This can lead to internal bleeding, resulting in a miscarriage. Moreover, pregnant women may bear in mind to peel the skin before eating it as the hair of the fruit can cause burning and itching in the throat.
Pregnant women should avoid having wild apples during pregnancy. Because of their acidic and sour properties, they may induce the uterus into contracting. This can lead to premature labour or a miscarriage.
Consuming processed meat like sausages, stuffed meat, pate, minced meat, salami, deli meat, pepperoni during pregnancy is usually deemed unsafe. This is because the meat may harbour bacteria like Toxoplasma gondii, listeria or salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Pregnant women should particularly avoid eating undercooked or raw meat because the bacteria present in the meat can pass on to the baby, causing severe problems like miscarriage, premature delivery or stillbirth. Therefore, it is essential to cook the meat properly or to rewarm it thoroughly before consuming it.
Eggs Or Poultry
Care should be taken while consuming eggs or poultry during pregnancy. This is because eggs may carry bacteria called salmonella, which can lead to problems like food poisoning, diarrhoea, fever, intestinal pain or even a miscarriage. It is critical to cook the eggs thoroughly, till the white and yolk of the egg turn solid. This helps in killing the bacteria and making it safe to consume. Pregnant women may also refrain from eating foods that list raw eggs as its ingredients like eggnog, homemade mayonnaise, mousses, soufflés, smoothies containing raw eggs.
Green leafy vegetables are very beneficial for health. But raw or unwashed vegetables may possess toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite, which can cause severe infection in pregnant women called toxoplasmosis. A Pregnant woman, if infected, can pass it on to her unborn child leading to complications that can be detrimental to her pregnancy. It is, therefore, imperative to carefully wash the vegetables with clean water to which salt can be added or beneath running water before consuming them. Pregnant women may also like to keep in mind to wash all their cooking utensils properly and to cook the vegetables well before eating them.
Most seafood varieties like shellfish, oysters, sashimi, sushi, prawns may be polluted with bacteria like listeria which when consumed by pregnant women can result in pregnancy problems like preterm labour or miscarriage. Raw or fresh seafood is usually at high risk of being potentially contaminated with parasites like tapeworms and viruses, thereby exposing pregnant women to infections like listeriosis and food poisoning. It is advisable for pregnant women to keep in mind to consume only well-cooked seafood, especially if dining in a Japanese restaurant, where they usually cook seafood only on the outside and serve it rare.
Spices are used while cooking to add flavours to the dish. They also function as preserving agents. Spices have a lot of nutrient value. But certain spices like fenugreek, asafoetida, garlic, angelica, peppermint may be avoided by pregnant women during pregnancy. These spices can stimulate the uterus, resulting in contractions, leading to preterm labour or miscarriage. Care may be taken not to eat spices like garlic and angelica in excess as they comprise of potent substances that may cause blood thinning and subsequent bleeding during pregnancy.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential during pregnancy. This implies including food items from all food groups so that pregnant women can derive the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Moderation is the key. Anything eaten in excess can be harmful to the pregnancy. It is always advisable to consult your doctor at length in this respect.
Also Read: A Guide to Eating Cheese During Pregnancy