I’m Pregnant – Which Holiday Foods Should I Avoid Eating?

pregnant holiday season

It’s that time of the year once again and the holidays are in full swing. Most likely, you’ve already been invited to get-togethers where food and alcohol will be in abundance. If you’re expectant, it’ll be hard to tell if a particular food is healthy or dangerous for you or the baby.

During pregnancy, your immunity tends to go down making you vulnerable to foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The harmful microbes will put you and the baby at risk.  Therefore, be mindful of what you choose to eat. Here are the foods you should not eat this holiday.

Cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk may contain bacteria named listeria. The types of cheeses to avoid during pregnancy which may contain listeria include camembert, bleu cheese, queso fresco and feta.

Here are some alternatives:  hard cheese like Gouda, cheddar, parmesan, Swiss and some semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella, and Monterey Jack.

A common drink during the holiday, but potentially dangerous to expectant women and babies; eggnog should be out of the picture.

Usually, one of the ingredients in the preparation of homemade eggnog is raw eggs, which may contain salmonella bacteria. And it gets worse if your eggnog is spiked with brandy, rum or whiskey due to the alcohol content.

What to Drink Instead: Commercially manufactured non-alcoholic eggnog made from pasteurized eggs from the store. Soy nog doesn’t contain any eggs or dairy products and is also a safe alternative.

Raw Seafood

While most fish are safe during pregnancy, any raw seafood has potential dangers given the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, salmonella, and toxoplasmosis.

Even some cooked fish may be dangerous. Avoid fish high on the food chain such as shark, swordfish and marlin.  These fish contain high levels of mercury that may impact the baby’s nervous system development.

What to Eat Instead: During the pregnancy, you can eat thoroughly cooked fishes belonging to the families cod, coley, skate, hake, flounder, and gurnard. Also, throroughly smoked fish such as salmon and mackerel are safe to consume during pregnancy.

Foods that Promote Heart Burn
Overeating, which certainly can happen during the holidays, could cause heartburn during pregnancy. However, there are trigger heartburn foods to avoid this holiday. Acidic foods such as citrus fruits, alcohol, carbonated beverages, fried foods, chocolate, and spicy foods should be avoided.

What to Eat Instead: Fruits and vegetables. Drink enough water so you can keep your body hydrated to lower the heartburn.

Compassionate and Individualized Pregnancy Care with OB/GYN Kristine Eule

At Kristine A. Eule, MD, we walk with you from the moment you discover you’re expectant, during the pregnancy, labor, when delivering and beyond. We’re based in the Denver Tech Center. We believe that having a baby is a special and intimate process, which is why we offer education, sympathetic and customized health care for women.  You can reach us 24/7 at 303-770-0665 for more information.