10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be hard enough without unexpected things going wrong, such as a hot bath cooking your unborn child’s brain, placenta issues and a little thing called gestational diabetes.

Oh, and certain foods can have disastrous consequences for your baby.

Yup, every mom should know that there are specific foods you really need to avoid when you’re pregnant. But because the list is so long and open to change by different scientists and doctors, it’s hard to know what’s actually safe and what isn’t. For this reason, we’ve decided to narrow the list down to the 10 foods that everyone agrees you need to avoid during pregnancy. If you’re worrying about your diet, let’s take a look.

Feta Cheese

Everyone who’s ever tried it, loves feta cheese, right? This soft cheese is one of the best there is, and can be added to salads, pasta dishes, moussaka, sandwiches and so much more besides. Unfortunately, it can also harm your baby.

The most popular sickness that is linked with feta cheese is called Listeriosis. If you’re not pregnant and get infected with Listeriosis, your symptoms will be flu-like. No massive deal. If, however, you get sick while you’re pregnant, there is a chance of miscarriage – and really severe sickness. Avoid.

Fish That Is High In Mercury

You might have heard Chinese whispers about too much tuna causing mercury poisoning, but guess what? Those rumours are truth.

And while mercury poisoning caused by eating too much fish is rare, it’s more common in pregnant women. So, while you’re with child it’s best that you avoid tuna, shark, swordfish and king mackerel.


The exact amount of caffeine you can drink when you’re pregnant has not really been specified universally, because there is a lot of disagreement. But it’s widely agreed that you should definitely limit your intake – or avoid it altogether.

Caffeine – where it’s in coffee, tea or energy drinks – not only affects your heart rate in the short-term, but it can also affect your baby’s heart rate in the long term, too.

If you’re really not sure about how much caffeine is okay (doctors generally recommend no more than 200mg per day if you’re with child), talk to your doctor about it.

Artificial Sweeteners

More and more people are substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar, but it turns out that not only are these just as bad for your health – they’re also bad for your baby’s health, too.

Artificial sweeteners just love double downing on ill-health, and they’re coming for you, both. Although you can still consume them in moderation, be aware that too much can affect your placenta and can actually hive in the detail tissue – which is really bad for your baby.

Deli Meats

Deli meats also stay firm in our list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. Depending on where in the world you’re reading this, deli meats are either really popular in your country or they’re practically unheard of. Particularly in the U.S. and Canada, deli meats are a cornerstone of the national diet, and many people love them. They’re convenient and make for really quick and easy sandwiches.

Unfortunately, their safety for pregnant women has been called into doubt in recent times. You should indeed avoid processed deli meats in general when you’re pregnant because they’ve been linked to Listeriosis, which can cause miscarriage and stillbirths.

Listeriosis is rare but you have a better chance of contracting it when you’re pregnant.

Raw Sprouts

Another type of foods to avoid during pregnancy are raw sprouts. If you and your family are anything like my mom, you’ll have eaten raw sprouts. After all, raw sprouts are good for you and it certainly saves on cooking time!

But you really need to cook your sprouts when you’re pregnant because they are a breeding ground for E coli (harmful bacteria) when they’re raw. Either boil them thoroughly, or fry them. Just stay safe!


Liver contains a LOT of vitamin A. In fact, it contains a dangerous amount. If you consume too much vitamin A when you’re pregnant it can cause problems, so it’s important to keep an eye on your intake and perhaps discuss with your doctor how much is safe.

You should avoid any food that contains too much vitamin A, and this also includes fish oil supplements. You can, however, still eat your fruits and veggies that are packed with vitamin A, because they contain a substance called beta-carotene which safely converts vitamin A in your body.


Sushi definitely deserve a place in our list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. When sushi first became a thing in the western world, people were all like “Raw fish? You are kidding me? You want me to eat raw fish?!”

We’d all been taught that fish had to be cooked first before consumed – and cooked well!

But although sushi is generally safe for us all to eat and enjoy, it’s important to remember that raw fish has a better chance of containing harmful bacteria than cooked fish. And this can have dire consequences when you’re pregnant.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid Japanese restaurants for a while.

Uncooked Eggs

One of foods to avoid during pregnancy is uncooked egg. You’re probably thinking, “But I NEVER eat uncooked eggs anyway. Who would?”

How about those cakes you bake/buy, or your morning smoothies? U-huh!

Although uncooked eggs are the norm in baking and smoothie-making, they are a no-go if you’re pregnant. In their uncooked form, eggs have a greater risk of causing salmonella poisoning. And while your unborn child can’t develop this, there are side effects of the sickness that can greatly affect it – such as dehydration.

You should definitely continue eating cooked eggs, though, because they’re a fab source of protein.

Fresh Juice

It’s probably wise to avoid fresh juice when you’re out and about because it might not be fully pasteurised to protect you against bad bacteria that can harm both yourself and your baby.

If you’re in doubt and really would love a fresh juice, make sure to check the label (or make one yourself at home). Labels should tell you whether the product is raw and un-pastuerised. And if it is, avoid it.

Do you know other foods to avoid during pregnancy?

Stay happy and healthy!

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