5 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Though you may have no appetite while morning sickness is rearing her ugly head, the time will come when you feel like eating a decent meal again. When that happens, it’s important that you know what foods to avoid during pregnancy. There are some that are just not safe for a pregnant woman or her unborn baby.

Below are five such foods that you should limit or remove from your diet altogether.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

5 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Lunch Meat – Most doctors recommend that you stay clear of deli meat, because of the possibility of listeria contamination. This bacteria has been known to cause miscarriages, especially early in the pregnancy. If you have a sandwich craving you just cannot shake, be sure to heat the meat in the microwave before eating to help kill any bacteria.

Caffeine – Though it is found more in beverages than food, caffeine is still an important one to mention. Some pregnant ladies do not realize they need to halt their daily coffee or soda. Studies have connected caffeine to higher risks of miscarriage and stillborn babies. It can also cause newborns to have rapid heart rates and sleeping troubles soon after birth.

Seafood with High Mercury Levels – While some seafood is okay for pregnant women – and actually highly recommended in a pregnancy diet – others may contain too much mercury which is harmful for the pending arrival. Since it can impair the baby’s nervous system, it is advised that you stay away from the following fish while pregnant:

  • Tilefish
  • King Mackarel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish

Other marine life may contain low levels of mercury, but are still considered safe to eat in moderation. Tuna is one example. The FDA recommends eating no more than 12 ounces of the fish each week. Other seafood, such as crab, shrimp, catfish, and cod should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces per week. Raw seafood, including oysters and clams, should be avoided completely while pregnant.

Soft Cheeses – While some may be safe to eat, soft cheeses are typically not pasteurized are not to be eaten while expecting a baby.

Unless it is clearly labeled, stay away from the following:

  • Feta
  • Brie
  • Blue Cheese

Uncooked/Undercooked Meats – Pregnancy makes you more susceptible to bacterial food poisoning. In some rare cases, the poisoning has affected the baby as well. Eating only meats and poultry that have been thoroughly cooked while help to prevent the consumption of foods that can harm you or your little one. The same goes for eggs.


  1. says

    Thanks for laying these out so clearly. The only thing I have had a bit of this pregnancy is some lunch meat. Everything in moderation and safely!

  2. says

    WOW! Wonderful tips. I had no idea about some of these. Will definitely keep them in mind when I am expecting and will share with anyone I know who is planning on having a baby :)

  3. says

    I still am incredulous that we are poisoning our fish supply.
    I use this type of list to protect my already born son as well!

      • Katie says

        I was checking out your blog on tips of what to eat. But as a raw cheese maker, I can tell you there is a federal law that prohibits the sell of raw cheese aged less than 2 months. Unless you are getting your cheese through a “herd-share program” or direct from the farm, then you don’t have to worry. Raw cheese is more expensive to make; so they will always advertise it as raw or unpasteurized, because that’s a selling point. I personally will continue to drink raw milk and eat raw cheese while pregnant, because I know it’s handled safely, free-range, and free of: hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.

  4. Casey M says

    I used to work in the ER at night when I was pregnant and I would get huge headaches because I had to cut out my cokes!!

  5. Francisca Ramos says

    I agree while pregnant, we shouldn’t drink coffee. My second born son is very active and can’t say still. He was born with a little of the color yellow (jaundice). Due to all the coffee I drank. The jaundice was low so he didn’t need to go in the light thank God. Cheese is not good due to a woman’s hormone from passing gas.

  6. Melinda Stephens says

    I mostly fallowed the rules while i was pregnant, but I had to have a rare steak once in a while or I would go nuts.

  7. serena says

    Ugh – so many rules when you’re pregnant. Along with “Lunch Meat”, pate (which I absolutely love) should be avoided because of listeria.


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