Pregnancy and food

During pregnancy you are told to avoid this food & that food and the list just seems to go on and on.   Hopefully this list can help clarify a few things.
I.Here are the foods youdefinitely need to be cautious of during pregnancy:

  • Raw foods

Products such as unpasteurized milk, cured meats, raw or under-cooked foods may contain bacteria that can make you sick and affect the baby when you’re pregnant.  Even worse, some can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Avoid:

  • hot dogs and deli meats unless cooked to steaming point.
  • Smoked fish products, pate, and meat spreads.
  • Raw – meats, fish and seafood, eggs and sprouts.
  •  Soft cheese

These cheese may contain listeria, which is a bacteria that can put both mom and baby at risk of serious illness and may lead to miscarriage or still birth.
Avoid unless cooked steaming hot:

  • feta
  • camembert
  • brie
  • blue-veined varieties
  •  Liver and Fish Liver oil

Avoid eating these foods during pregnancy. They may have high amounts of vitamin A, and too much Vitamin A can cause birth defects in a developing baby.

  • Fish and Seafood

Fish and seafood are important foods to eat while you are pregnant because they provide the body with protein, iron, vitamin D and  healthy fats.  But not all fish are safe to eat during pregnancy, some have high amounts of mercury which can harm your baby’s brain and affect their development.
Avoid:

  • large fish such as shark, sea bass, tuna steak, escolarand swordfish.
  • When buying canned tuna, choose light canned tuna instead of white canned.
  •  Artificial Sweeteners

These are used to replace sugar in many foods and some of the artificial sweeteners are not safe to consume during pregnancy.  If you choose to use them, these three have shown to be safe in pregnancy: acesulfame potassium; aspartame and sucralose.
II. So, once we know what to avoid, now what foods help your baby’s brain develop?
The answer is to choose foods high in DHA, a type of omega-3 fat. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s important to get enough DHA. This healthy fat can be your infant’s best friend even before she is born. It helps support your baby’s heart, brain, eyes and nerves to develop.
During the last three months of your pregnancy as well as the first year of your baby’s life, your baby’s brain is growing at its peak. By the time your baby is a year old her brain has tripled in size. This means that your baby’s need for this must-have nutrient increases as well.
So, where will all this brain food come from?  You –by eating a healthy diet rich in DHA! The tricky part is in knowing what foods to choose. As a example of this food:

  1. Eat fatty fish that are low in methyl mercury – Aim for at least 2 servings of safe fish per week. One serving is 75 grams or the size of the palm of your hand. Try these safe fatty fish:
  • Anchovies
  • Atlantic Mackerel
  • Atlantic Herring
  • Rainbow trout
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  1. Include foods with added DHA – Look for omega-3 eggs, or milk, margarine and yogurt with added DHA in stores and include them as part of your regular diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential and can only be obtained from the diet. The requirements during pregnancy have not been established, but likely exceed that of a nonpregnant state. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for fetal neurodevelopment and may be important for the timing of gestation and birth weight as well.
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