13 Foods That Can Harm Your Pregnancy

Navigating diet do's & don'ts during pregnancy is key. Proper nutrition promotes a healthy term, while some foods pose risks. Knowing what to limit or avoid is vital.

Raw or Undercooked Seafood

Seafood, rich in omega-3 and protein, is nutritious for a balanced diet. Pregnant women must avoid raw or undercooked seafood due to possible bacteria, risking baby’s health.

Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Avoid unpasteurized dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt during pregnancy as they may contain harmful bacteria. They can increase the risk of listeriosis, potentially leading to miscarriage or premature delivery.

Deli Meats

During pregnancy, limit deli meats, including cold cuts and hot dogs, due to potential bacteria contamination. If craving deli meat, heat it until steaming before eating.

Raw Eggs

Avoid raw/undercooked eggs during pregnancy due to salmonella risk. This bacteria can cause serious food poisoning. Always ensure eggs are fully cooked before eating.

Unwashed Produce

Fruits and vegetables are crucial for a healthy diet but may harbor harmful bacteria if not properly washed. Always thoroughly clean produce, especially those with skins or rinds.


Moderate caffeine intake is safe during pregnancy, but keep it below 200 mg/day. Excess caffeine can increase risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. Monitor and reduce intake.


Experts advise against drinking alcohol during pregnancy due to severe risks to the fetus, potentially causing fetal alcohol syndrome and other issues. Avoid alcohol while pregnant.

Certain Types of Fish

Seafood's nutritious, but some fish like swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish contain harmful mercury during pregnancy. Limit or avoid consumption.

Raw Shellfish

Avoid raw shellfish like oysters, clams, and mussels during pregnancy due to contamination risks. Opt for cooked shellfish instead.

Excessive Vitamin A

Excessive vitamin A in pregnancy can lead to congenital disabilities & liver toxicity. Avoid excessive supplements and limit intake from liver, fish oil, & fortified cereals.

Excessively Spicy Foods

Excessive spicy food during pregnancy may cause discomfort, heartburn, or increase hemorrhoid risk. It's best eaten in moderation.

Unnecessary Supplements

Prenatal vitamins are recommended for pregnant women for adequate nutrient intake. However, taking excess supplements, unless advised by a healthcare provider, may lead to pregnancy complications.

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