Avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass directly to the baby through the umbilical cord. Heavy use of alcohol during pregnancy has been linked with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, a group of conditions that can include physical problems, as well as learning and behavioral difficulties in babies.
Fish with high levels of mercury
Seafood such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tile-fish are high in levels of methyl mercury, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and should be avoided. Methyl mercury is a toxic chemical that can pass through the placenta and can be harmful to an unborn baby’s developing brain, kidneys and nervous system.
Pregnant women are at high risk of getting sick from two different types of food poisoning: listeriosis, caused by the Listeria bacteria, an infection caused by a parasite. Report says Listeria infection may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns.
A mother can pass a Toxoplasma infection on to her baby, which can cause problems such as blindness and mental disability later in life. To avoid toxoplasmosis, avoid the following foods during pregnancy:
- Raw or under cooked meats and poultry.
- Raw fish, such as sushi, ceviches and carpaccio.
- Raw and under cooked shellfish, such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.
Some foods may increase a pregnant woman’s risk for other types of food poisoning, including illness caused by salmonella and E. coli bacteria.