21 Foods and Drinks Pregnant Women Should Avoid

Pregnancy is life-changing!

It is a delicate stage in every woman’s life. 

This stage makes various life changes not only physically, but also in lifestyle, attitude and priorities. 

Eating habits should be considered at the early stage of pregnancy.

Pregnant women most likely crave food. 

But, it is important to know the foods and drinks that should be avoided during pregnancy.

1. Specific fish and seafood

Specific fish and seafood

It does not mean eliminating fish from your diet. The thing is, you need to avoid some types of fish that can cause fetal damage. It includes fish containing mercury, like swordfish, mackerel, tilefish, and shark.

You should avoid smoked seafood, as it may be contaminated with bacteria called Listeria. Cultured & exposure to pollutant fishes, such as in contaminated lakes and rivers, must also be avoided.

Likewise, raw shellfish like clams, mussels, and oysters are not recommended during pregnancy. These types of fish can negatively affect the development of your baby. Instead, pregnant women should consume freshwater fish and those that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, freshly-cooked fish, and shrimp.

2. Undercooked or raw eggs

Undercooked or raw eggs

Homemade sauces and desserts like cakes, chocolate mousse, and mayonnaise that contain raw eggs are a big no-no for pregnant women. It is because raw or undercooked eggs are contaminated with salmonella bacteria that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

You can enjoy eggs as long as the yolks are firm and well done. You can also use pasteurized eggs for your salad dressings.

3. Undercooked poultry and meat

Undercooked poultry and meat

Pregnant women can eat meat, but there are some restrictions. Uncooked or raw meat is not recommended to prevent ingesting listeria bacteria and the toxoplasma gondii parasite. It may cause food poisoning that may result in vomiting, fetal damage, and worse miscarriages.

With this, it’s important to wash the meat before cooking and use a food thermometer to ensure that it is well-cooked.

4. Unwashed vegetables and fruits

If you’re pregnant, you must avoid eating fruits or cooking vegetables without washing them. This will prevent you from ingesting harmful pesticides that can cause fetal damage. You should also avoid consuming fruits and vegetables that are stored in the refrigerator for a long time. If you’re cooking leafy vegetables, make sure that they are well done.

5. Raw vegetable sprouts

Raw vegetable sprouts

Sprouts are rich in minerals and proteins, but they’re not recommended during pregnancy. It’s because raw sprouts are a favorite haven of viruses and bacteria that can result in food poisoning. You can eat sprouts as long as they are well-cooked.

6. Salads from restaurants

Salads from restaurants

During pregnancy, doctors recommend avoiding eating restaurant-made salads. You don’t know how it is prepared. Thus, it is preferred to make a homemade salad so that you can ensure that the ingredients are clean and cooked properly.

7. Caffeine


Excessive caffeine intake isn’t good during pregnancy. It greatly affects the placenta and passes to the fetus. Too much caffeine intake can hinder fetal growth and may result in low birth weight. With this, pregnant women must limit caffeine intake or better talk to their doctor.

8. Unpasteurized juices

Unpasteurized juices

Juicing is also good for pregnant women, but make sure to drink pasteurized juices. Better yet, you eat fresh fruits and vegetables cooked or cut rather than juicing them. It’s because fresh juice is at high risk of contamination by salmonella and E. coli bacteria that can impact your baby.

9. Herbal teas

Herbal teas

Herbal teas and supplements provide health benefits. But, some herbs aren’t suitable during pregnancy. Herbs like saw palmetto, wormwood and Senna should be avoided as they are not scientifically tested. If you want to drink a healthy tonic, ask first your doctor for your safety and your baby’s.

10. Canned foods

Canned foods

Canned foods are not recommended for expectant women because the linings can contain BPA which affects fetal endocrine activity. Likewise, since canned goods have a long shelf life, there’s a tendency that harmful bacteria may harbor in them. Fresh is always a good choice for maximum nutrients.

11. Sugar-rich foods

Sugar-rich foods

Pregnancy involves crazy cravings and it’s normal. This makes sense by checking the foods you eat. You should avoid sugar-rich foods as they are bad for your health and your baby.

12. Alcohol


Alcohol intake is prohibited for pregnant women. It’s because alcohol increases the risks of stillbirth and miscarriages. Even a small amount of alcohol can negatively affect the brain development of your baby.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can also result in fetal alcohol syndrome manifested in mental retardation, heart defects, and facial deformities.

13. Processed junk foods

Processed junk foods

Your body needs great amounts of essential nutrients like iron, folate, and protein during pregnancy. These nutrients are important for the development of the fetus. Processed junk foods must be avoided as they don’t give the nutrients you need.

Eating junk foods during pregnancy can lead to weight gain associated with many diseases and complications such as birth complications and gestational diabetes.

14. Nitrate-rich foods

Nitrate-rich foods

Diet sodas, sausages, and kinds of bacon are some of the foods that contain nitrate. These foods are not only low in nutritional value but also hazardous to health. That’s why pregnant women must avoid consuming these foods as they can cause poor development of the baby or fetal abnormalities.

15. Fatty foods

Fatty foods

It is not recommended to eat fatty foods during pregnancy as they can contribute to increased cholesterol levels. It will make you vulnerable to obesity and developing heart diseases. However, you can also eat foods with Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, but should be taken in moderation.

16. Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates

Loaves of bread and muffins are some foods that contain simple carbs. Anything that is made from simple carbs can cause painful constipation. Instead, you can choose brown bread that is made from high-fiber flour.

17. Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners

It’s not enough to cut back on natural sugar by substituting it with artificial sweeteners. Keep in mind that artificial sweeteners like saccharin are harmful to your baby. This means that you should also avoid foods containing artificial sweeteners.

18. Street foods

Street foods

Do you crave street foods? If you are pregnant, you should avoid street foods. Aside from being unhygienic, street foods can also cause problems like upset stomach and food poisoning. If you crave these foods, you can try making your recipes at home. This way, you can ensure that you’re eating safe options.

19. Homemade goodies

Homemade goodies

If you love baking, make sure that the dough is well done. Otherwise, the slightly raw dough can attract harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

20. Excess of vitamins

Excess of vitamins

Taking vitamins is recommended during pregnancy. But, make sure to take just the recommended dosage. Otherwise, excessive intake poses health threats to you and your baby. A higher dose of vitamins can hamper fetal development and may trigger pre-term labor. The worse thing is that vitamin overdose can lead to congenital disorders.

22. Leftovers


As you bear a child, you must avoid eating leftover foods even if they are stored in the refrigerator. Consume freshly cooked foods to ensure good health.

It is essential to consider proper nutrition and diet throughout the journey of pregnancy. Keep in mind that it’s not only for your good but also for the baby inside your womb. As much as possible, you should always consult your doctor to avoid committing mistakes that you will regret in the end.

The nine months of pregnancy can be difficult, particularly for first-time mothers. But, as long as you know the right things to do, you can expect that both you and your baby will be healthy and safe. Keep in mind that your health and safety and your unborn child’s well must come first.

Elvie Bancosta

Elvie Bancosta is a creative freelance writer with 5 years experience in the online media. She looking for exciting new writing projects.

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.