What Not To Eat During Pregnancy

Foods to avoid during pregnancy: raw sprouts

It’s always important to eat a healthy well balanced diet, but especially so when you’re eating for two. You know to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy, but do you know what not to eat during pregnancy?


While being pregnant is a beautiful and exciting time in a woman’s life, it’s also a time that comes with a lot of rules and limitations in order to keep yourself and your growing baby safe.


No high impact activities, no hot tubs, don’t lie flat on your back, etc. The list of restrictions goes on and on and your diet during pregnancy is no exception.


I’m 29 weeks pregnant right now and believe me I’m with you. There are many activities and foods I miss but we’re doing the right thing avoiding them to keep our babies safe.


Read on to find out what foods to avoid when you’re pregnant to keep both you and your baby healthy!


*I am not a doctor. This information should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice. I advise you to consult with your doctor for all your dietary and health needs*


15 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy


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What not to eat during pregnancy: fish high in mercury


Fish High In Mercury


Seafood is a great source of protein, iron, and zinc. Plus the omega-3 fatty acids in most fish can promote healthy brain development in your baby.


The FDA recommends pregnant women eat between 8-12 oz of low mercury seafood every week because of its health benefits for mom and baby.


But pregnant women need to be careful because some seafoods contain high levels of mercury. Mercury can accumulate in your blood stream and may damage your baby’s developing brain and nervous system.


Fish To Avoid During Pregnancy:


  • shark
  • swordfish
  • king mackerel
  • tilefish


Seafood That Is Safe During Pregnancy:


The following are safe and healthy to eat during pregnancy, so long as you stick to 8-12 oz total a week.


  • Salmon
  • Anchovies
  • Herring 
  • Sardines
  • Freshwater Trout
  • Pacific Mackerel
  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Talapia
  • Cod
  • Catfish
  • Canned light tuna

*Note: White Albacore tuna should be limited to no more than 6 oz a week.


Raw Shellfish


Pregnant women should not eat raw shellfish like oysters, clams, or sushi because of the risk of food poisoning.


During pregnancy your immune system is suppressed which makes you more susceptible to food borne illnesses.


Eating raw shellfish could cause a blood infection that can be life threatening to you and your baby.


It’s just not worth the risk, you know?


Undercooked Meats


Not just raw, but undercooked meats should be avoided during pregnancy too because of the risk of food poisoning.


I miss ordering my steaks and burgers medium, even medium rare sometimes. But it’s important to cooked all meats well done, or to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to keep you and baby safe. 


What not to eat during pregnancy: raw eggs


Raw Eggs


Eggs can contain a bacteria called salmonella which can give you food poisoning. The FDA recommends only eating eggs that have been cooked thoroughly.


When it comes to fried eggs, sunny side up and over easy (runny yokes) should be avoided.


Deli Meat


This one has been the hardest for me this pregnancy. I would die for a cold sub right now guys.


But, deli meats can contain a bacteria called listeria. While listeria contamination is rare, it can be fatal for your growing baby so it’s just not worth the risk.


This doesn’t take deli meat off the table completely. You can still enjoy it as long as you heat it until it’s steaming. Go ahead and toast your bread and melt some cheese on it for a delicious hot sandwich. 


Soft Cheeses


Soft cheeses may also contain listeria and make the list of what not to eat during pregnancy. They include:


  • Feta
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Roquefort 
  • Gorgonzola
  • Queso Blanco
  • Queso Fresco
  • Blue Cheese


Unpasteurized Milk/Yogurt/Juices


Pasteurization is the process of killing bacteria to make a product safe for consumption.


Milk, yogurt, or juice that hasn’t been pasteurized could contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning which can be fatal for your baby.




Pate, whether is made from meat, fish or vegetables is also off limits during pregnancy due to the risk of listeria contamination.


Foods to avoid during pregnancy: raw sprouts


Raw Sprouts


All types of raw sprouts, including alfalfa, radish, clover, and mung bean sprouts Should not be eaten during pregnancy because they may also contain listeria, salmonella, and E. Coli.


Unwashed Fruits + Vegetables


Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet but it is very important that you wash them before eating.


This is to be sure you remove any toxoplasma, a parasite that can be very harmful for mom and baby.


Pre-made Salads


Pre-made salads are more likely to contain listeria or salmonella that could cause food borne illness and should be avoided during pregnancy.


Herbal Tea


Herbal teas have been linked to miscarriage, birth defects and preterm birth. You should check with your doctor to get the okay on any tea you’d like to drink.


Canned Foods


Canned foods contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic substance that can cause fertility problems, cancer, liver ailments, and heart diseases in pregnant women. 


Foods to avoid during pregnancy: caffeine




Too much caffeine can lead to miscarriage or low birth weight babies. You should limit your intake to 200mg a day.


For me this means sticking to only one cup of coffee a day. But don’t forget that caffeine is also in energy drinks, tea, soda, and chocolate.




Some people will tell you a glass of wine is okay during pregnancy, but there is no amount of alcohol that is deemed safe during pregnancy.


Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, still birth and physical, intellectual, and behavior disabilities for your baby.


Thanks for reading what not to eat during pregnancy. I know it’s not fun to feel so restricted in your diet but remember it’s only for nine months and avoiding these food during pregnancy is helping to keep baby safe and healthy.

If you’re looking for more diet advice during pregnancy check out one of my favorite books WHAT TO EXPECT: Eating Well When You’re Expecting.


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About Sierrah Schmidt

Hi! I’m Sierrah. Welcome to Another Mommy Blogger. Subscribe now and follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to get all my mommy tips for making life easier on this journey called motherhood.
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1 thought on “What Not To Eat During Pregnancy

  1. This is a good reference list of foods to avoid while pregnant. I am pregnant for the third time right now, but I always need the reminder of what things I should be avoiding to keep baby safe.

    Some things are obvious, of course. But figuring out what to avoid during pregnancy can also be confusing and overwhelming at times! For example, did you know nonstick cookware can potentially cause birth defects? Pretty surprising. I go into more detail about that in this post:

    Like you said, sometimes it just feels like you can’t do anything while your pregnant. It’s enough to make any expectant mama anxious. Trying to know and effectively avoid all possible dangers gets challenging really quick.

    Fortunately, humans – and especially babies – tend to be resilient and thrive in the midst of all sorts of situations that are less than ideal. The most beneficial thing a mama can do for her baby is to relax.

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