Pregnancy: What not to eat?

Pregnant woman

There must be something in the air. I have recently started a new job and in the office there are at least three pregnant ladies all at varying stages of pregnancy. I turn on the TV and it seems there isn’t one channel where I won’t stumble across a model, actress or presenter all showing their wonderful bumps to the world. I browse news sites online and articles pop up about pregnancy from the ‘Best ways to conceive’ to ‘How to financially prepare for a baby’. None of which is a subject I care too much for at the moment but what did catch my eye recently was an article about what you can and can’t eat whilst pregnant, which had arisen after a supermarket worker had refused to sell a pregnant lady unpasteurised Cheddar cheese.

It throws up the argument ‘What rights did this worker have to refuse to serve a lady due to her observation?’ The answer is none. Not only could the pregnant lady in question have no intention of personally consuming this and was merely buying it for the rest of her family, even if she did intend to eat it, it is her prerogative and I have no doubts that she would have researched the subject enough to establish whether this was a safe or unsafe food for her and her baby.

But is it safe? You may ask. For any first time mother the subject of what you can and cannot eat is broad and varied, not to mention confusing and often conflicting. From seafood to coffee, chillies to rasberries, eggs to honey. How is any first time mother supposed to obtain a definitive list of do’s and don’ts? Well, there is a huge amount of resource you can acquire from the net, be sure to visit recognised and official sites. The other important advice to any first time mother would be to seek professional advice from their doctor or nutritionalist. Once you are equipped with the right knowledge from the safest source then you are less likely to be railroaded by those who think ‘they know best’.

A brief guide to help you along the way:

Avoid:

  1. Raw or undercooked eggs
  2. Cheese: Soft or blue
  3. All pate

Guidelines:

  1. All meat should be cooked thoroughly.
  2. Oily fish is good for you and the baby but should be kept to a maximum of 2 portions a week
  3. Follow strict food hygiene guidelines such as maintaining clean surfaces, washing hands after dealing with raw meat etc

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