Updated: 7 August, 2019

Becoming a mother is  one of the most exciting moments for a woman. Your pregnancy period is one of the most delicate times in your life. Every woman wants her unborn child to be healthy and smart. It is important to know that your unborn child solely depends on you for food. Whatever you eat goes down to your unborn child.

Thus, you have to pay attention to your diet; ensure you eat healthy and avoid unhealthy foods that could harm your unborn child.

In this article, you will know the 12 foods every pregnant woman should avoid:

Foods Pregnant Woman Should Avoid 

1. Minimize consuming too much calorie rich food.

Becoming Obese or over weight during pregnancy can greatly affect your health and that of your baby. You can face risk of health complications such as diabetes, preeclampsia, blood clots miscarriage.

During your first trimester of pregnancy, your calories in-take per day should be limited to 1700 calories. Then during your second and third trimester, you can limit it to 400 and 200.[3,4]

However, if you are already over weight before pregnant, you should reduce your calorie intake per day to avoid any complications to the baby while budgeting for the right amount of calorie intake, it is also necessary that you consume essential rich nutrient foods in high quantity. 

2. Avoid soft Cheese and Unpasteurized Milk

Bacterias such as Campylobacter, Ecoli, and Salmonella, may be present in most unpasteurized milks.

Your baby could get infected with these harmful bacteria and cause life threatening risk to your own health.

You should avoid unpasteurized milk and cheese for the benefit of your baby’s health. 

3. Vitamin A And Organ Meats

Normally, organ meats are considered to be healthy because they contain Vitamin A and other nutrients, but they are not good for you as a pregnant woman.

The vitamin A and copper present in organ meats can cause toxicity effect on the baby. This effect can lead to certain birth defects and liver problem in the child. It is greatly advised to steer clear of multivitamins and fish oil supplements that contain high dose of vitamin A. 

4. Avoid Raw Meat

Raw or smoked meat could be harboring several harmful bacteria’s like Toxoplams, Ecoli and Listeria

These bacteria could cause blindness, epilepsy or neurological problems in your baby.

To avoid these bacteria’s, meat should be cooked fully to get rid of any bacteria hiding in the deep layers of the meat.

As a pregnant woman, it is advised you stop eating deli or hot dogs as they could contain these harmful bacteria during processing and packaging. 

5. Certain Types of Fish

Most fish are healthy and safe for you during pregnancy.

However, fishes like Mackerel, Tuna and Shark contains toxic mercury substances. As a pregnant woman, you should totally avoid these kinds of fishes.

Mercury is a toxic element; a little quantity can affect the health of your baby.

The higher amount of mercury can adversely affect the immune system, kidneys, and nervous system.[16] 

6. Avoid Raw Or Undercooked Fish

You can contact listeria through raw or undercooked fish. Listeria infections are very common among pregnant woman as their particular health condition is suitable for its infectious effects to happen.[21]

Listeria disease can be transferred to your unborn baby even when you don’t show symptom of the infection. This infection could lead miscarriage or still birth. 

7. Raw Eggs Should Be Avoided By Woman In Pregnancy

Salmonella bacteria are mostly present in raw eggs.  It can cause stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.

In the extreme cases of this infection, the woman might experience cramps in the uterus that may result in stillbirth or premature birth.[25] 

8. Avoid certain canned foods

Most canned foods and drinks are made with an industril chemical called Bisphenol-A

This chemical works in form of estrogen and can harm your baby’s brain and reproductive system

In 2012, FDA banned the sale of baby foods packaged in bottles that contains bisphenol-A (BPA), despite that, most types of canned foods are being made using this chemical. A small level of exposure to BPA is not harmful to the adult human beings.

It is better for you to avoid canned foods packaged in BPA plastics. 

9.  Unwashed Raw Foods

Salmonella is a bacteria found in most sprouts like mung, alfalfa and clover. As a pregnant woman, it is healthy not to eat raw, uncooked sprout produced as they could be infected with salmonella

It is better to wash vegetables and fruits before consuming them. 

10. Junk Foods

Junk foods are void of vital nutrients and minerals. Junk foods contain empty calories from sugar and fats. Junk foods can make you overweight and increase your risk of heart diseases and diabetes. 

11. Excess Caffeine Intakes Is Bad during Pregnancy

The caffeine, usually present in coffee and soft drinks, is not healthy for you.

If it is possible, try to go without caffeine intake totally. Caffeine is quickly passed to your baby and since your baby do not have the necessary enzyme to metabolize caffeine, it can lead to poor growth and low weight.

The caffeine consumed by the mother is quickly passed to the placenta and fetus.

12. Alcohol Is Bad for your baby

Based on medical advice from different physicians, you should avoid alcohol drinks for the benefit of you and your baby while pregnant. Alcohol can increase your risk of miscarriage and still birth.


It is very vital you know the kind of foods to avoid during pregnancy.You need to pay huge attention to your daily diet not just for your benefit alone but to your child too.

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Table Of Contents

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Chapter 1 – Foods Pregnant Woman Should Avoid

Chapter 2 – Conclusion

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