What foods should you limit during pregnancy?
Not every food is safe to eat during pregnancy.
Some foods may be harmful to you or your baby because of the way they’re cooked or because of germs or chemicals they contain.
Raw meat, fish and eggs can contain harmful germs that can give you food poisoning, like salmonella. Cooking them fully kills the germs, which helps keep you and your baby from getting sick.
Many dairy products, like milk, eggs and cheese, are pasteurized. This means they’re heated to kill any bad germs. If the product label doesn’t say “pasteurized,” pick a different product. Unpasteurized dairy products can give you food poisoning, like listeriosis.
Some foods contain chemicals, like caffeine or mercury. You can pass these harmful chemicals to your baby during pregnancy.
These foods are OK to eat during pregnancy in limited amounts:
Fish that have small amounts of mercury. Mercury is a metal that can harm your baby. Fish get mercury from the water they swim in and from eating other fish that have mercury in them. By eating fish that contain mercury, you can pass the metal to your baby during pregnancy. This can cause brain damage and affect your
baby’s hearing and vision. During pregnancy, eat 8 to 12 ounces a week of fish that doesn’t have a lot of mercury, including shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish and canned light tuna. It’s OK to eat 6 ounces a week of albacore (white) tuna.
Food and drinks that have caffeine. Limit the caffeine you get each day to 200 milligrams. This is about the amount in 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12- ounce cup of coffee. Check to see how many ounces your cup has, especially if you’re buying a cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, soda and some over-the-counter medicine. Read labels on food, drinks and medicine to know how much caffeine you’re getting.