What foods should I avoid during pregnancy? Prenatal Care

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Two glasses of wine.
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Sometimes, it seems like being pregnant means giving up quite a bit -- especially some favorite foods. But there's still plenty to enjoy! An expert and moms share what foods to skip for a healthy pregnancy.

Avoid Undercooked Foods & Mercury

"Food poisoning linked with salmonella and E. coli bacteria can occur when eating raw vegetables, unpasteurized juices, and undercooked meat, poultry, or eggs. Proper cooking thoroughly kills bacteria in the majority of foods. Eating raw fish, such as sushi, has not been recommended in pregnancy since it can carry certain bacteria and parasites. Mercury is very toxic and can cause problems in the fetus and in a nursing infant. Fish, such as shark, grouper, Chilean sea bass, halibut,...

"Food poisoning linked with salmonella and E. coli bacteria can occur when eating raw vegetables, unpasteurized juices, and undercooked meat, poultry, or eggs. Proper cooking thoroughly kills bacteria in the majority of foods. Eating raw fish, such as sushi, has not been recommended in pregnancy since it can carry certain bacteria and parasites. Mercury is very toxic and can cause problems in the fetus and in a nursing infant. Fish, such as shark, grouper, Chilean sea bass, halibut, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, and tilefish have increased mercury levels and cause the most concern for consumption by pregnant women. A pregnant woman can safely eat 12 ounces per week of varieties of fish thought to be low in mercury if they eat a variety of cooked, smaller fish. The safest low-mercury fish are shrimp, canned light tuna, scallops, oysters, squid, and salmon." -- Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA

Moderation Is Key

"Everything in moderation is the rule I live by when pregnant or even in day-to-day life."

Don't Stress Over Food

"Use common sense and don't stress over everything you eat."

Follow Doctor's Orders

"My doctor told me to avoid fish with mercury in it (i.e., tuna, shark, swordfish), deli meats, raw eggs or meats, soft cheeses (brie, feta, and other cheeses of that nature), caffeine, alcohol, herbal teas (make sure you check with your doctor before drinking them, as some are okay but others are not), liver, and unpasteurized juices and milk."

Skip the Alcohol

"The only thing I dropped completely for the baby is wine."

Continue to Enjoy Life

"I do watch my fish (especially tuna) intake but I don't stop eating it. I am one for being safe during a pregnancy, even more since my last one ended in a miscarriage, but I am not going to go in a bubble."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.