7 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant ...

Pregnancy is the most important time in your child's life. It's the time when all the parts that will make your baby who he will be are being developed. It's vital that you keep yourself healthy and eat the right things to better your baby's development. So, without further ado, here are 7 foods you should avoid while pregnant.

1. Deli Meat

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As good as that sliced ham looks, deli meats are not the best idea to consume when pregnant. In fact, deli meats have been found to sometimes carry "listeria" which can cause a miscarriage. It has the capability of crossing your placenta and reaching the baby, sometimes giving the baby food poisoning. If you must eat deli meats, make sure to heat them up to kill off any bacteria.

2. Raw Meats

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Meat, poultry and seafood all fall under this no-no. By eating undercooked or raw meats, poultry and seafood you face the risk of being contaminated with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

3. Shellfish

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If you're going to eat shellfish, make sure they're cooked. However, even cooked oysters, clams and mussels carry the possibility of algae related infections. Shellfish are the number one cause of seafood-related illnesses, which is certainly not something you want to deal with while pregnant.

4. Soft Cheeses

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Believe it or not, some cheese isn't even recommended for pregnancy. Cheese that should be avoided during pregnancy are: Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco. The only exception to this is even they specifically say that have been made with pasteurized milk. The reason? Imported cheese carries the same risk of "listeria" which can cause miscarriage. For this same reason, you should avoid drinking unpasteurized milk as well.

5. Unwashed Veggies

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While vegetables are wonderful to eat, especially while pregnant, you must take care in washing them completely before eating them. To do otherwise increases your chances of contracting toxoplasmosis. This is the same parasitic infection that you can get while taking care of your cat's litter box. If you contract this while pregnant, your baby is at risk as well. Results can be as severe as mental retardation and brain calcification. Don't take any chances - just wash your veggies before eating them!

6. Caffeine

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Ok, so caffeine isn't a food. But you should still limit your intake of caffeine while pregnant. There are some studies that have linked first trimester miscarriage to too much caffeine intake. Caffeine takes away fluids in your body, which can affect your child's growth. Other things associated with too much caffeine is premature birth, low birth weight, and even withdrawal symptoms! If you must have it, you should consume no more than 300 mgs of caffeine per day.

7. Alcohol

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I believe with this one, I could say, "it goes without saying" but for the record, I'll say anyway. Alcohol is not safe in any amount while pregnant! The consumption of alcohol while pregnant can disrupt your child's development and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. If you drank alcohol before knowing you were pregnant, chances are, your baby will be fine, but you should stop immediately.

I know that people get on your nerves with all this tidbits of advice and old wives tales the entire time you're pregnant. But your health is nothing to toy around with - you have another life depending on it. So, avoid these 7 foods while you're pregnant and live a healthy life for the sake of your baby!

Top Photo Credit: michaelswiet

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