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If you or your family member is pregnant, it’s important to know the worst foods to eat during pregnancy. 

Eating the wrong food can easily affect the survival of the pregnancy, hence endangering the lives of both the mother and the child.

Women can crave anything during pregnancy, and this does not exclude the wrong foods. 

Therefore, it’s very important to carefully select the right foods and ignore the wrong ones. 

In this article, I will mention the 20 worst foods to eat during pregnancy. 

1. Raw Meat and Poultry or Partially Cooked Meat and Poultry. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, consuming raw or partially meat and poultry is dangerous to your health. 

This is because they contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, toxoplasmosis, campylobacter, clostridium perfringens, E Coli, yersinia, and many others.

Looking at the bacteria mentioned above,  you will realize the negative effects of eating raw meat or poultry by a pregnant woman.

A pregnant woman can transfer bacteria like salmonella to an unborn baby. This can also lead to sudden miscarriage.

Salmonella can lead to meningitis and blood infection in a baby at birth. 

Toxoplasmosis is also another bacteria that can be transferred from the mother to the unborn child. When the unborn child is infected, toxoplasmosis can cause brain damage and affect its vision.

Campylobacter is another disastrous bacteria that can lead to miscarriage, the birth of a dead foetus, and neonatal sepsis

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the infection caused early labour and the death of the baby at 28 days of the gestational period. 

You can easily transfer bacteria on raw meat to utensils, plates, dishes, and other tools while washing the meat. 

Thus, you need to wash all the tools you use with a detergent to remove and kill the remaining bacteria on the tools.

There is a need for pregnant women to wash their hands after having an encounter with raw meat or poultry.

2. Milk in its Natural State (Fresh Milk) 

Milk is another bank of nutritious foods available to us. However, there are different sources of milk that might pose a threat to the health of a pregnant woman and her fetus. 

Milk in its natural state, popularly known as unpasteurized milk is a peaceful accommodation to many harmful bacterias.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,909 people fell ill and 144 were hospitalized due to drinking unpasteurized milk. 

Some the bacterias that can weaken the strength of pregnancy and become a barrier to its survival include:

Unpasteurized milk can cause life threatening illness and sometimes lead to death. Milk in its natural state can cause stroke, paralysis, and kidney failure.

Bacterias like listeria on pregnant women can cause severe illness, miscarriage, and even lead the death of the newborn baby. 

3. Raw or Fresh Eggs

Raw eggs have a very small quantity of bacteria. You can find a few bacteria like salmonella on the outside of the shell, thus posing little or no threat when it’s carefully prepared. 

Due to its fragility, salmonella can be transferred from the shell to the inside after breaking the egg.

Bacteria like salmonella need time to grow. Thus, it’s important to prepare the egg immediately when you break the shell. 

Applying higher temperatures to kill the bacteria will also play a role in saving the pregnancy. 

A boiled egg at a higher temperature is safer for consumption by pregnant women. 

Consuming a raw, uncooked egg might pose a threat to the health of the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. This is due to the presence of salmonella bacteria.

Breaking an egg and drinking it after some hours might also cause a danger to the health of the pregnancy.

4. Soft drinks

Now we are talking about sodas, caffeine, excess sugar, and even carbonated drinks. 

After seeing the aforementioned elements, you will definitely know that soft drinks are a no-go area for a pregnant woman.

Why is it so? It’s not just about mentioning the contents of soft drinks, what are the facts and evidence that show the reason pregnant women should avoid soft drinks?

As mentioned earlier, a mother that drank diet soda while pregnant might risk the verbal ability of her child.

Diet soda is also associated to a weaker visual, motor and spatial ability of the child. Drinking diet soda during pregnancy can affect the performance of the brain of a child thereafter.

The inclusion of artificial sweeteners in diet sodas like aspartame can expose the health of a pregnant woman to the issues of heart problems. 

A pregnant woman’s body can be in danger because it will be prone to stroke by 48% chance. Therefore, excess diet soda is a “total no” to pregnant women.

Diet soda can lead to a rise in insulin production and hence insulin resistance, which may finally lead to type 2 diabetes. The above information is not going to favour any pregnant woman out there. 

Excess sugar, caffeine and carbonated drinks also play a significant role in diminishing the positive outcome of any pregnancy. 

Thus, a pregnant woman needs to stay away from drinking soft drinks with higher concentrations of those nutrients.

Some studies suggest that excess caffeine (anything beyond 200 milligrams per day) may cause miscarriage, preterm and low birth weight.

5. Fried-Foods 

According to a study, women that frequently consume fried foods stand a risk of having gestational diabetes during pregnancy. 

6. Junk food

It’s very difficult to stop a pregnant woman from craving different types of foods. However, there are some foods that will have a negative effect on you and your child.

Eating junk foods during pregnancy can cause your child to develop mental health problems

This is why it’s important to consult your dietician before you eat any random food while pregnant.

Some of the junk foods that are not appropriate for a pregnant woman are:

7. Unprepared Vegetables

There are vegetables that contain bacteria and can affect the health of the pregnancy. Some of these vegetables are:

8. Garlic 

Eating garlic during pregnancy can result in heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Additionally, adding garlic supplements to your daily intake will trigger blood flow.

This can negatively affect a pregnant woman at the time of giving birth. Bleeding will be worse if there’s a need to remove the child through cesarean section (CS). 

9. Hibiscus Tea

To find a substitute for coffee to avoid caffeine, one might fall into the trap of hibiscus tea as an alternative. 

It’s therefore important to know that hibiscus tea is not pregnancy-friendly either.

Drinking hibiscus tea during pregnancy can speed up labour. According to a study on animals, hibiscus can spur menstruation which may lead to early labour and hence miscarriage. 

10. Unripe Papaya

Another strange food that can cause uterine contraction in pregnant women is unripe papaya. Due to its latex content, unripe papaya can lead to miscarriage.

11. Excess Chocolate

Despite its benefits of improving the blood flow to the fetus, chocolate has another face we don’t want to see, especially for pregnant women. 

Chocolates contain sugar and caffeine, thus excess consumption can bring about weight gain and other side effects contributed by caffeine. 

12. Carbonated Drinks 

Carbonated drinks can easily influence heartburn in pregnancy. 

13. Spicy foods

Spicy foods have little or no effect on your pregnancy. However, eating spicy foods during the second trimester can cause heartburn, indigestion, diarrhoea and nausea.

14. Pate

All types of pate contain a bacteria known as listeria. The bacteria is a danger to the health of the baby.

15. Tobacco

Smoking during pregnancy is not good. Smoking will put the health of both the baby and the mother at risk. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can cause defects in the baby after birth. It can harm the lungs of your baby, and lead to premature birth.

Smoking can lead to 

16. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can cause your baby to have facial deformations. The problems that can arise due to alcohol intake are as follows:

17. Excess Vitamin A and E

According to a study, excess vitamin A gives rise to higher birth defect risk. Excess Vitamin A can also cause congenital birth abnormalities.

Also, the side effects of Vitamin E supplements during pregnancy include abdominal pain and an untimely burst of the amniotic sack. 

18. Pineapple

The scientific evidence on the negative effect of pineapple on pregnancy is still not convincing. 

However, one needs to be warned to stay away from harmful foods that are likely going to affect the health of the pregnancy. 

Pineapple is a powerhouse of an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelin can cause uterine contraction and trigger premature labour.

It has been suggested that eating pineapple during pregnancy can cause miscarriage. 

Even though many people have argued over the scientific pieces of evidence on the effect of pineapple on pregnancy, it will be safe to avoid it. 

19. Eating Excess Tuna

Tuna is a rich source of mercury. Therefore, consuming high levels of tuna during pregnancy can give rise to abnormalities in the brain and the nervous system of the baby. 

You may also like to read:

Benefits of Mixing Rice and Beans

20. Over-the-counter drugs

A pregnant woman should avoid taking drugs without the prescription of a medical doctor.

 This is because some drugs at a certain stage of the pregnancy and can cause defects in the child.

Some of the drugs that must be on the basis of the recommendation of a medical doctor are:

Before taking any drugs, a pregnant woman is strongly recommended to consult a physician and should check the instructions on how to administer the drug. 

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