NO-NO foods when Pregnant (#9 Small Talk 2018)

You are over the moon – you have just been told you are pregnant! You know that you have to eat “healthily” now (if you weren’t doing so already) and it is important to be aware that there are certain foods that should be avoided when you have a little baby growing inside you. You simply have to be more selective about what you eat and where you eat. Other foods are best to avoid completely, no matter how much you might love them!

Foods to avoid

1: Soft Cheeses

soft cheeses are to be avoided

Soft cheeses are made from unpasteurised mild and can, therefore, contain harmful bacteria such as the recently reported Listeria bug. When you are pregnant your immune system is unavoidably compromised and that is why Listeria is particularly harmful to pregnant women. The Listeria bacteria can also be transferred to the baby at birth, leading to serious complications for the poor little being. So a big NO-NO to cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Feta and blue cheese UNLESS the label states that it is pasteurised. You can still snack on crackers and cheese – just stick with the hard cheeses.

2: Fresh Juice

fresh juices are also not so good

Honestly, I would never have thought that fresh fruit juice could be harmful to a pregnant woman. But fresh juice can harbour germs like Salmonella and E.coli. These bacteria aren’t as harmful as Listeria but they can still give you and your baby a hard time….so rather say NO to fresh fruit juices, too.

3: “Rare” meat

rare is out

You need to say goodbye to the word “rare” when you are cooking your steak or are out to eat. All meat needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid a disease, Toxoplasma, caused by a parasite. The parasite can cause problems with the brain or eyes and cold meats such as viennas, ham etc also need to be avoided. Pate and meat spreads should also be avoided.

4: Sushi

sushi is a definite no-no

This one goes without saying as it is raw fish and if it is not prepared under really clean conditions, bacteria could thrive in it. Many have also had tapeworm infestation after eating sushi. So avoid it.

5: Seafood


All seafood should be cooked before eating. Avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury as this can be harmful to the development of your baby. Smoked salmon is also a NO-NO because of the way it is prepared.

6: Unpasteurised Milk

unpasteurised milk

This is another one that should go without saying. Unpasteurised milk can carry the Listeria bacteria. So it is a definite NO.

7: Alcohol

alcohol in large quantities is harmful

No amount of drinking has been found safe during pregnancy. As alcohol can lead to birth defects, it is best to bite the bullet and just don’t drink any for the duration of your pregnancy.

8: Unwashed fruit and veggies

unwashed fruit and veg

Always rinse your fruit and veggies very well to get rid of any parasites that can cause Toxoplasma.

9: Doggie bags

doggie bags should be stored cold

If you go out to eat and are taking left-over food home, make sure that the doggie bag doesn’t stay in a hot car. Ideally, it should be placed in the fridge within 2 hours of preparation!

10: Caffeine

coffee in small amounts

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Luckily for those who love their coffee, this one is not a total NO-NO. You should, however try to limit your intake. And remember that chocolate also contains caffeine, so if you have given in to that tempting slab of chocolate, take that into account as part of your caffeine intake and go easy on the liquid version!

Final thoughts

With a bit of common sense, you can either avoid foods that may be harmful to you or your baby while you are pregnant. If you are unable to give an unequivocal NO, then take precautions like washing all your fresh food and veggies thoroughly and cooking everything really well. Avoid delicatessen products like pates no matter how much you like them. It just isn’t worth it. And it is not as if you have to cut out all these things forever. Once baby is born, happy and healthy you can once again indulge yourself (unless you are breastfeeding – but that’s another story!!).

I’d love to hear what you have had to cut out of your diet while pregnant. Drop me a line at or use the comment box below this blog.

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography


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