We've recently partnered with our friends at WellVine – the first on-demand healthcare app for pregnancy, baby and mum – to bring you help on breastfeeding, mum and child nutrition, and sleep.
WellVine Nutritionist, Katharina Howard, shares her advice on what food to avoid during pregnancy.
One of the first things you are told when you become pregnant is that there is a whole list of foods and drinks you should avoid. No more alcohol, coffee or runny eggs…the list seems to keep growing…but why are we told to stop eating many of the foods we love and is it always necessary?
We look at the seven main reasons we are told to avoid different foods and uncover the risks and myths…
1. To prevent listeria infection
Listeriosis is a rare infection that can occur after eating food contaminated with listeria bacteria. It is usually pretty harmless but during pregnancy it has been linked with miscarriage and stillbirth.
To avoid contracting listeria it is best to avoid eating mould-ripened soft cheese (e.g. Brie, Camembert, goats cheese), soft blue veined cheese (e.g. Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Danish blue), pate (including vegetable pate) and sprouted beans and seeds. The good news is that hard cheeses are all perfectly safe to eat, as are soft cheeses that have been pasteurized because the process of pasteurization kills listeria.
2. To avoid overdosing on vitamin A
Whilst vitamin A is an essential part of a healthy diet eating too much of it during pregnancy can result in birth defects. This is why we are told to avoid eating liver during pregnancy as liver contains high levels of Vitamin A. It is also why we are told to stick to multivitamins specially formulated for pregnancy, as regular multivitamins can be too high in vitamin A.