While mum can handle a variety of food, baby isn't as strong as you so it's important to be conscious about what you're eating and aware of the effect it can have.
The following food should be avoided as they can cause harm to the foetus.
Unpasteurised milk and milk products
These should be avoided as they may contain bacteria such as listeria that can cause food poisoning. This includes raw milk and unpasteurised cheeses. Soft cheeses such as brie, camembert and goat’s cheese should be avoided even if they are pasteurised They have a higher risk of causing food poisoning than other cheeses. Blue cheeses need to be avoided because of the mould in them. Instead choose hard cheeses like cheddar, Edam or parmesan.
Undercooked food
Raw, rare and undercooked foods should be avoided as they may contain bacteria, which you are more susceptible to during pregnancy. This includes rare meat, chicken and fish, so ask for your steak well done and avoid the sushi. Cook eggs well and avoid products made from raw eggs, such as mousse or cheesecake.
Liver and liver products are very high in vitamin A so should be avoided during pregnancy as too much vitamin A (over 7,000µg per day) may cause harm to your growing baby. For this reason, multi-vitamins containing vitamin A should not be taken.
Varieties made from fish, meat or vegetables should all be avoided and replaced with hummus or yoghurt-based dips instead.
Caffeinated drinks
Caffeine intake should be kept below 200mg per day. Excess caffeine can have negative effects on baby’s birth weight. Caffeine content can vary depending on strength but roughly, a cup of brewed coffee has 111mg, instant coffee has 78mg and a cup of tea 44mg.
Alcohol should be completely avoided during pregnancy as it can harm your developing baby and have negative effects on birth weight.
High mercury foods should be avoided. Tuna contains mercury so limit it to one fresh tuna steak or two 240g cans of tuna per week. Although they may not be in a typical Irish diet - swordfish, shark and marlin should also be avoided.