Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world, and is mainly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and cocoa. Pregnant women are generally advised to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day, or about 2–3 cups of coffee. Caffeine is absorbed very quickly, and passes easily into the placenta and fetus. Because unborn babies and their placentas do not have the main enzyme needed to metabolize caffeine, high levels can build up. High caffeine intake during pregnancy has been shown to restrict fetal growth and increase the risk of low birth weight at delivery. Low birth weight, defined as less than 5 lbs, 8 oz (or 2.5 kg), is associated with an increased risk of infant death and a higher risk of chronic diseases in adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Raw milk and unpasteurized juice
Raw milk can contain an array of harmful bacteria, including Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter. The same goes for unpasteurized juice, which is also prone to bacterial infections. These infections can all have life-threatening consequences for an unborn baby. The bacteria can be naturally occurring, or caused by contamination during collection or storage. Pasteurization is the most effective way to kill off any harmful bacteria, without changing the nutritional value of the products. To minimize the risk of infections, pregnant women are advised to consume only pasteurized milk, and fruit juice.
Photo credit: Marco Zanferrari on Visualhunt.com /CC BY-SA
Pregnant women are advised to completely avoid drinking alcohol, as it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Even a small amount can negatively impact your baby’s brain development. It can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome. This syndrome involves facial deformities, heart defects and mental retardation. Since no level of alcohol has been proven to be safe during pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid it altogether.
Original article : https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy