Avoid unwashed fruits and vegetables
To eliminate any harmful bacteria, thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid raw sprouts of any kind — including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean — which also might contain disease-causing bacteria. Be sure to cook sprouts thoroughly.
Avoid excess caffeine
While caffeine can cross the placenta, the effects on your baby aren't clear. To be safe, your health care provider might recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams a day during pregnancy. For perspective, an 8-ounce (237-milliliter) cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce (237-milliliter) cup of brewed tea contains about 47 milligrams and a 12-ounce (355-milliliter) caffeinated cola contains about 33 milligrams.
Avoid herbal tea
There's little data on the effects of specific herbs on developing babies. As a result, avoid drinking herbal tea unless your health care provider says it's OK — even the types of herbal tea marketed specifically to pregnant women.
No level of alcohol has been proved safe during pregnancy. The safest bet is to avoid alcohol entirely.
Consider the risks. Mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Too much alcohol during pregnancy can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities and mental retardation.
If you're concerned about alcohol you drank before you knew you were pregnant or you think you need help to stop drinking, consult your health care provider.
Feb. 15, 2017
See more In-depth
- Food don'ts. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/mom-to-be-tools/index.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- Fish facts. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/mom-to-be-tools/index.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- Fresh and frozen seafood: Selecting and serving it safely. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm077331.htm. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Obstetric Practice. Committee Opinion No. 462: Moderate caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010;116:467. Reaffirmed 2015.
- Listeria (listeriosis): Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/prevention.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- Alcohol and pregnancy. Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. http://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/alcohol-pregnancy/. Accessed Dec. 20, 2016.
- Fish: What pregnant women and parents should know. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm393070.htm. Accessed Dec. 21, 2016.