20 foods you should stop eating now that you’re pregnant

8 min

If you’re a first time mom who just found out you’re pregnant (congrats mama!), it’s time to figure out what foods to avoid during early pregnancy.

It’s a good idea to question the foods you eat because while some foods seem harmless they might not be good for your growing fetus during early pregnancy.

I remember being so confused about what foods to avoid during early pregnancy or any time in my pregnancy for that matter.

What do I really have to avoid?

Should I eat other foods in moderation?

The confusion that surrounds foods to avoid during pregnancy inspired me to help new moms out – to clear the air so to speak and set you on the right path for a healthy pregnancy.

Now, I’m not a doctor – I can do the research and tell you about my own experience but if you have any concerns about the foods to avoid during early pregnancy then talk to your doctor.

That might just give you peace of mind.

So, let’s take a look at what foods to avoid during early pregnancy…(and the rest of your pregnancy for that matter).



Yup, you can kiss sushi goodbye because it’s definitely one of the top foods to avoid during early pregnancy (actually your whole pregnancy too – sigh)

Eating raw fish runs the risk of exposing your growing fetus to contamination that might lead to pregnancy complications.

So, even if you’re an absolute sushi lover it’s time to put that love aside for the next 9 months.

(Don’t worry 9 months may seem like a long time but it really isn’t  )


Fish high in mercury isn’t good to eat when you’re not pregnant so you definitely shouldn’t consume any while you’re pregnant.

Mercury is harmful to your baby, period.

Here’s a list of high mercury fish:

  • Shark
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Marlin

Those are the kinds of fish to avoid during pregnancy but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate fish from your diet completely – fish is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients.

Here’s a list of low mercury fish:

  • Shrimp (wahoo! haha!  )
  • Catfish
  • Salmon
  • Cod

The key to eating fish during pregnancy is to be careful and, of course, eat it in moderation.


It’s time to make sure any meat you consume has been handled properly and is fully cooked.

(So, if you like your steak rare it’s time to lay off eating it that way until your baby is born)

Raw meat can contain salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and other harmful bacterias – so please mama make sure any meat you consume while you’re pregnant is well cooked!


Deli meat and other cured meats aren’t good for you when you aren’t pregnant let alone during pregnancy.


These kinds of meats are highly processed and can carry all sorts of bad bacteria that you wouldn’t want to consume while you’re pregnant.

One example is listeria which can be linked to miscarriages, stillbirth and other problems with unborn fetuses.

Now that doesn’t mean that all deli meat naturally carries these harmful bacterias, it’s that they have a higher chance of having them.

The point here is to avoid them when you can, so no eating at Subway for the next few months.

If you absolutely want to have these kinds of meats then proceed with caution and make sure to cook them well first.


This means, well, a raw egg or any dish that has a soft form of an egg.

Things like eggs benedict, some homemade salad dressings, and eggnog.

Basically, you should only have eggs if both the white and yolk is fully cooked.


Because if you don’t you run the risk of harmful bacteria and no mama wants to do that!


Caffeine intake during pregnancy is one of those controversial topics – should you or shouldn’t you?

How much is too much?

The good news is you don’t have to eliminate all caffeine from your diet.

According to the March of Dimes, pregnant women should limit their caffeine consumption to 200 mg per day.

So, that’s basically having one cup of coffee a day.

When I was pregnant I craved a lot of chocolate which also has caffeine in it so I was extra careful about how much I ate.

The point here?

Be sensible about how much caffeine you’re consuming.


This usually means soft cheeses (think brie, goat cheese, ricotta) that have a higher risk of containing the listeria bacteria.

By now you’re likely noticing a common theme here – avoid foods with listeria and other bad bacterias during pregnancy.

So why is that?

Because pregnant women are experiencing a lot of changes (um, ya you’re just growing a human, haha!) and it can lead to a weakened immune system.

That means when you’re not pregnant you might be able to fight these bacterias off and any issues go unknown to you. (this is my speculation – talk to your doctor if you want

Don’t take that risk while you’re pregnant.


Not only are canned foods highly processed and full of salt, they likely contain BPA – a chemical that is added to the lining of the can and therefore the food that is in said can.

BPA may cause birth defects and that reason right there is a good reason for pregnant women (and people in general, honestly) to avoid these kinds of foods.

Pregnancy is the perfect time to start cooking from scratch – you can control the ingredients and make sure to eat fresh, healthy foods.

Need help with healthy meal planning?


If you’re one of those people who love to scoop raw cookie dough and eat it, you might want to lay off until you’re done being pregnant.

Cookie dough contains raw egg which we know is on the foods to avoid during pregnancy list.

So, while you’re pregnant (and if you have to) grab cookie dough ice cream instead (but please eat it in moderation!).


Eating a lot of refined sugars during pregnancy can lead to extra weight gain that you won’t want to deal with postpartum.

Trust me – I know first hand.

I had an insatiable appetite for ice cream during my pregnancy and what that means is I gained way too much weight.

While eating ice cream (and cookies) was fun, I was also positioning myself for gestational diabetes which thankfully didn’t actually happen.

Part of my postpartum recovery plan was to lose all that baby weight in a healthy way and it took me months!

So steer away from sugary junk food and find a healthy alternative to curb those cravings.

You’ll thank yourself later.


Don’t race out to the closest fast food restaurant while you’re pregnant.

Those places are filled with high-fat foods to avoid during early pregnancy (and the rest of your pregnancy for that matter!).

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid fats altogether (fats have a bad rep, but not all are created equal).

There are healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, dark chocolate (yum!), and nuts.

These are foods that should be apart of your pregnancy diet.


If you’re at a party and those food trays and dishes are out for more than two hours then skip eating any of the leftovers.

Food that isn’t properly refrigerated can attract unwanted bacteria and as we’ve seen from other foods to avoid while pregnant, they aren’t good for growing babies in the womb.


This one should be self-explanatory but after talking to different mom friends, the advice of a glass of wine here or there while pregnant seems to live on.

And, while one glass of wine may not do any harm, why risk it?

Because maybe it will have an effect on the baby and no mama wants that, am I right?

Pregnancy is 9 months, not a lifetime – so skip the alcohol. 

Want to know the effects of alcohol on your baby?


Those highly processed foods might taste really good (and they might be the junk food you crave – sigh) but they’re full of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, white flour sugar, fillers, and artificial flavors.

Those aren’t good for you or your baby at any time during your pregnancy.

So skip the junk food aisle and try to find a healthy alternative to satisfy your craving.R

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