Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy: A Guide for Expecting Moms

As a soon-to-be mom, you’ve probably already heard lots of advice in regards to staying healthy and keeping your baby safe during pregnancy. But, have you considered what you eat? When it comes to ensuring the health and safety of your unborn child, there are certain foods that should be avoided during pregnancy. From fish with high amounts of mercury to alcoholic beverages and unpasteurized dairy products, this guide offers necessary knowledge on the foods to avoid while expecting. Learn how eating right can keep both mom and baby safe.

Why Avoid Certain Foods

As an expectant mother, it's important to be mindful about what you eat and avoid certain foods during pregnancy. During the first and third trimesters, your immune system is busy building your baby, making you more prone to illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. This includes those which can be found in food, such as E. coli, salmonella and toxoplasmosis. These illnesses can not only make you extremely ill but can also lead to preterm labor or miscarriage. Moreover, everything you consume during pregnancy affects your growing baby as well, from the nutrients they receive to the toxins that could potentially harm them. That's why it's crucial to make healthy choices when it comes to your diet during this precious time.

Related Link: Introducing Solids to Baby Guide for Parents


If you're pregnant, you're likely already worried about everything you put into your body. And lately, you may have heard a lot about listeria - a food-borne bacteria that can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Listeriosis, the illness caused by ingesting listeria, can result in complications for both you and your baby. While listeria infections are rare, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you're practicing safe food handling by washing your hands and produce regularly, cleaning your fridge and kitchen, and cooking things until they're well-done. And if you're ever unsure about what's safe to eat or drink when you're pregnant, make sure you talk with your healthcare provider.

Shellfish and Raw Fish

When it comes to what not to eat while pregnant, raw fish and shellfish should definitely be avoided. While it might be tempting to indulge in sushi cravings, it's important to remember that raw fish can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that can make you and your baby sick. Thankfully, not all sushi contains raw fish and you can still enjoy the many nutrients found in fish that aren't high in mercury, as long as it's fully cooked. The same goes for raw shellfish like oysters—better to be safe than sorry and avoid them altogether. After all, prioritizing the health of yourself and your little one should always come first.

Do you want to learn more about taking care of your child? Check out 123 Baby Box today!

Raw Eggs and Meat

Raw meat and eggs are definitely on that list of foods to avoid when pregnant. Raw or undercooked meats can contain harmful bacteria that could put your baby at risk for things like toxoplasmosis and salmonella. And raw or unpasteurized eggs are a big no-no, as they can also carry salmonella. So don't risk it - make sure you cook your eggs thoroughly, and say goodbye to that tempting raw cookie dough for the next few months.  

pregnant woman eating a pie

Deli Meat

Deli meats may be a popular choice for sandwiches or a quick snack, but they should be avoided during pregnancy. Unfortunately, cold cuts like sandwich meat, lunch meat, and even hot dogs, can put your baby at risk of contracting listeria. This is a harmful bacteria that can develop in deli meats, along with cold cured meats like salami and smoked fish/lox. To ensure that your baby stays healthy, cook your meat well and avoid cold cuts altogether or heat them until they are steaming. Remember to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling any raw meats like chicken or pork. By making these simple changes, you can protect both yourself and your growing baby.

Related Link: Reheating Breastmilk: What You Need to Know

Fishes High in Mercury

Fish is nutritious, but there are some species that should be avoided because of their mercury content. You should be very concerned about the effects of this metal on your child's developing brain and other organs. Swordfish, shark, and king mackerel are just a few examples of fish that are high in mercury and should be avoided. You can have a healthy and safe diet for you and your baby with some planning and investigation.

While some types of fish can be harmful to a growing baby due to their high levels of mercury, there are plenty of varieties that are perfectly safe to enjoy. The full list of fish that are okay to eat during pregnancy is much longer, but some of the most popular options include canned chunk light and skipjack tuna, halibut, tilapia, salmon, herring, catfish, sardines, anchovies, squid, trout, sole, lobster, scallops, oysters, bass, mahi-mahi, and clams. By incorporating these delicious and nutritious options into your diet, you can rest assured that you are giving your baby the best possible start in life.

Alcoholic Beverages

Imagine a world where you're sculpting the future, where every choice you make today, reverberates through time, shaping a new life's tomorrow. Each choice is an artist's stroke, brushing the canvas of the future with hues of promise and possibility. But the question is, are you armed with the right palette?

Take a moment to consider this critical fact: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a grim consequence of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy, can etch a lifetime of physical and mental challenges into the fresh canvas of your baby's life. It's the relentless specter that lurks in the shadows of every glass, waiting to cast its pall on an otherwise hopeful future.

Yes, it sounds daunting, but fear not! We're here to guide you through this amazing journey. The powerful truth is that you have control. Your decisions today can define the health and happiness of your unborn child tomorrow.

Listen to the wisdom of countless experts, echoing through the ages, united in their advice: During pregnancy, eliminate alcohol entirely. Why? Because every sip you forego is a treasure trove of potential for your little one, an affirmation of your unyielding dedication to give them the best possible start in life.

And while you're navigating this extraordinary journey, why not add a little magic? We offer something truly exciting to complement your path - our specially curated Baby Box Subscription! This isn't just a box; it's a trove of delightful surprises and essential items tailored to every stage of your baby's growth. Each month, unlock a new set of meticulously chosen products designed to not only meet your baby’s evolving needs but to bring joy and convenience to your parenting journey.

Imagine the thrill of anticipation as you wait for your monthly box, the delight in discovering its contents, and the relief of knowing you've got the right tools to help your baby thrive. It's more than a box—it's a lifeline to confident, joyful parenting.

Your journey of creation is a series of choices. So, choose wisely, choose health, and choose love. The future of your little one begins today, right here with you, and we're thrilled to be a part of it. Are you ready? Embark on this transformative journey and invest in your baby's future with our Baby Box Subscription. After all, this isn't just about being good parents; it's about crafting the future—one choice at a time.

Want more information on taking care of your child? Check out 123 Baby Box today!

Eating Right During Pregnancy 

pregnant woman cutting fruit

Eating healthy while pregnant is important, and that means avoiding certain foods and drinks. This guide has given you a few of the main foods and beverages to avoid, but there are many more. Also take into consideration any food allergies or sensitivities you may have - this way, both you and your baby will stay safe and healthy! There's so much information about nutrition for expecting moms, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. With the right knowledge in-hand, you can create a safe and nutritious diet for yourself and your growing baby. If you're looking for more tips on how to make it through your pregnancy with ease, anxiety-free, check out our blog to get more advice so that you can enjoy every moment of motherhood with peace of mind.

Related Link: Brain Food for Kids: 7 Top Foods for Brain Development

What to read next

123 Baby Box sources ideas for their blog content from a variety of channels including feedback from subscribers, trending topics in baby care, and insights from industry experts. They aim to cover topics that are both informative and relevant to the needs and interests of parents and caregivers.

The writing process at 123 Baby Box typically involves several steps. First, they outline key points to cover in the article based on thorough research.

123 Baby Box publishes new content on their blog on a weekly basis. This regular schedule helps keep their audience engaged and informed about the latest in baby care, product recommendations, and parenting tips.

The blog posts for 123 Baby Box are typically written by content writers who specialize in parenting, child development, and health. These writers often have backgrounds in journalism, education, or healthcare, providing them with the expertise necessary to produce reliable and valuable content for parents.

123 Baby Box writers put in a lot of time researching and fact checking each article.

123 Baby Box is a subscription service that provides monthly boxes filled with products tailored for babies and toddlers.

Baby Box Subscription

Monthly subscription box for babies aged 0-3 years - delivering unique, fun products

star star star star star
(5.0 rating)
take baby quiz