What Foods should you Avoid in the Third trimester of Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is divided into 3 different stages that normally ranges from 37-42 weeks and each trimester lasts for about 3 months.
Hormonal and physiological changes can be visible during each stage, Symptoms like fatigue, constipation, headaches and morning sickness is normally developed during the first trimester and will eventually ease off until the second trimester.
It is advised that during this crucial time, pregnant women must seek professional medical assistance from a doctor or a midwife and take proper pregnancy-related tests including some screening tests, ultrasound, and anatomy scans, also maintain the proper diet, travel restrictions, learning about parenting, breastfeeding, proper labor and delivery by taking any pregnancy-related classes and stop harmful vices like smoking, drug use or alcohol intoxication to avoid miscarriages, complications, birth-defects or any risks that can harm your health and the development of your baby.
During pregnancy, women’s immune system can be easily altered by some viruses or bacteria which can be absorbed by eating contaminated foods. Since food plays a significant role in the development of your baby. Third-trimester stage basically means your little tiny tot is now ready to embrace the world.
Foods to Avoid During your Third Trimester
In this article, I’ve listed the foods that you need to avoid during the third trimester of your pregnancy. Let’s get started.
#1. Junk food or any processed food.
Do you like eating foods like Pasta, Bread, Pizza, and Cookies? Well, if you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating all types of junk food which especially uses refined flours and even foods containing preservatives and chemicals like ketchup, pickles, potato chips, instant ramen, popcorns and much more. I know they’re all mouthwatering but control your cravings!
#2. Salty Foods
The study shows that during the trimester period, many women can experience high blood pressure due to Salty foods. Foods like French fries, pretzels, mixed nuts or any salty foods can cause fluid retention or edema on the body, which is common to pregnant women, it happens when excess water build up in the circulatory system and causes inflammation in the feet, legs, ankles or hands and in some serious cases, water retention can be a symptom of kidney disease or heart failure.
So if you’re preparing for a salad or any food, reduce the amount of salt to prevent any complications on your health and your baby.
#3. Spicy Foods
As well as salty foods, spicy foods that contain Peppers, Chili, and Wasabi should be avoided during pregnancy, these foods can often cause indigestions and heartburns which can affect the baby inside you, it’s better to stay away from spicy dishes.
#4. Chinese Foods
Ready to eat Chinese food can be a solution if you don’t have the time to cook. The most common ingredient and flavor enhancer that is used in many Chinese foods is MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) similar to glutamate which is a chemical in the brain, can cause high blood pressure, birth defects and can put the development of the fetus on risk.
#5. Unpasteurized milk
Pregnant women should be drinking milk, but avoid products prepared with unpasteurized milk. To ensure the proper hygiene and quality, make sure to boil the unpasteurized milk before use, this can kill microbes that can cause diseases which can be harmful to your health and the fetus development. Unsanitary prepared products can carry bacteria like salmonella, listeria and E. coli which may affect the development of the baby.
#6. Unpasteurized Cheese
Cheese like Feta and Brie is are some of the most popular cheese used in salads and pasta, however if you’re pregnant woman, you should avoid it or any “Unpasteurized” products, mainly because it can contain different bacteria like Listeria that can cause flu-like symptoms and may lead to miscarriages and severe illness to you and your baby.
#7. Raw or Undercooked Eggs.
Uncooked eggs or any contaminated water or food can carry Salmonella Virus which can cause infection to your intestinal tract. It can also cause vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, so you should also avoid foods prepared with raw eggs like mayonnaise, home-made products like desserts and sauces.
#8. Raw or Undercooked Meats.
If you love meat you should strict yourself during pregnancy. All types of meats like goat, lamb, chicken, pork, and beef as well as processed foods like pate, sausages, stuffed meats, salami, and mincemeat should be prepared with proper sanitation. Refrigerating the meat and cooking it in 73 degrees Celsius can kill bacteria and parasites like Toxoplasma, E. coli, listeria and salmonella which can usually found on the surface of the meat and lingers inside the muscle fibers.
It can cause food poisoning or any gastrointestinal infections to a pregnant woman. It can also cause severe neurological illnesses, including mental retardation-blindness and epilepsy for the unborn baby
#9. Raw Fruits or Undercooked Vegetables
Eating lots of vegetables and fruits is very important during pregnancy, but you should be careful preparing it, undercooked vegetables can produce gas that can be harmful to the fetus.
While some medical professionals suggest that you avoid eating cultivated fruits for example grapes during pregnancy, mainly because some fruits can contain pesticide residue. This chemicals can cause toxicity for the expectant mother. Fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with harmful disease-causing bacteria so it’s a good practice to thoroughly rinse before eating them.
#10. Raw Sprouts
The expert advised pregnant women to completely avoid raw sprouts like alfalfa, radish, spinach, and radish. It can be contaminated with Salmonella virus through the sprout seeds from soil or through handling. However, when washed and cooked, sprouts are safe to consume.
#11. Unripe Papaya
Some experts say that eating unripe papaya can endanger yourself and can cause developmental issues of the fetus. Papaya contains a latex substance called Papain that may cause contractions of the uterus which may lead to miscarriage and complications. Although a fully ripe papaya is not thought to be a problem, well-ripened papaya is a good source of fiber and folic acid which contributes to the growth of the baby.
Known as one of the causes of miscarriage, Doctors restricted the intake of raw pineapples during the trimester stage. Pineapple contains Bromelain, which can cause uterine contractions to a pregnant woman. Bromelain softens the cervix which can be painful for both you and the baby leading to early labor and premature delivery. You can include about 250gm of the fruit every day, monitoring the amount should prevent you from the chance of uterine contractions.
Eating too many peaches can be dangerous, it increases the chances of bleeding in pregnant women that can lead to miscarriage. Irritation of the throat and experiencing burning sensation is caused by the fuzz or hairs in the peaches’ shell. So it should be avoided as well.
#14. High mercury fishes
Mercury is a toxic element and can induce many help problems. Consumption of High mercury fishes like sharks, king mackerel, marlin, swordfish, bigeye tuna, and tilefish as well as crabs must be avoided during the pregnancy stage. This can cause nervous system, immune system, kidney, and brain impairment to the unborn baby.
However, fishes with low-level mercury like tilapia, salmon, canned light tuna, cod, shrimps, and catfish can bring essential vitamins like omega 3 fatty acids for the expected mother and the baby.
#15. Raw Shellfish
Seafood like oysters, mussels, and clams should be avoided during this stage, raw and contaminated shellfish can carry different seaborne illnesses that can cause infection and leads to miscarriage. However, experts recommend to completely eliminate the consumption of shellfish during pregnancy to prevent any risk that can harm you and your baby.
#16. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera can be used as Antiviral and antibacterial for any types of wound, however, applying Aloe Vera on the skin is okay but ingestion of Aloe Vera is not a good idea. Pregnant women should avoid its consumption, it can drop your blood’s sugar level, diarrhea, and vomiting. It can also cause uterine contraction which can lead to early labor.
As used in various cuisines and recipes, licorice is a seemingly harmless spice, however, it can cause uterine contraction and leads to many birth defects, so it should as well be avoided by any pregnant women.
Pomegranate is good for your health, however like many other foods on the list, too much consumption of this fruit can also cause induced abortion, uterine contraction, and worst miscarriage. Pomegranate juices, smoothies or any forms of this fruit must be avoided.
#19. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds can contain phytoestrogens which are mainly used for the improvement of milk production for breastfeeding. It is also used to start a menstruation, reduce the chances of heart failures, maintain healthy bones and treat hormonal impairments, but like any other food on the list, high dosage of this seed or any phytoestrogen can cause uterus contraction which can lead to miscarriage and birth impairments.
#20. Caffeinated Coffee or Tea
Mainly found in Coffees, Soft drinks and teas caffeine are the most commonly used addicting substance in the world Expert’s recommends that no more than 200 Milligrams of caffeine which is about 2-3 cups per day should be okay for the pregnant woman, however, caffeine consumption may affect the baby’s heart rate.
Some advocates that caffeinated drinks should be completely avoided. Chocolates can contain caffeine too, so limit your intake to prevent mental retardation, premature delivery as well as a wide range of birth defects.
#21. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners like Saccharin should be avoided and must be completely removed from your diet during your pregnancy, instead, you can indulge your sweet tooth by eating organic fruits.
Liver sausage or liver pate are some examples of liver products or organ meats you should avoid because it contains a high amount of pre-formed vitamin A which has been linked to many birth defects for babies, however, it’s still safe to take supplements containing a beta-carotene vitamin A.
Alcohol is highly dangerous during third trimesters as well as the whole stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women should completely avoid drinking alcohol even small amount, it can put your unborn child at risk. Alcohol intoxication while pregnant can cause brain impairments, retardation and heart defects to the baby.
#24. Herbal teas and Remedies
Herbs are not regulated by the FDA. Some herbs such as mugwort, pennyroyal, and goldenseal have been associated with the onset of uterine contractions. Tea contains a high amount of fluoride, which prevents iron absorption. This can cause anemia to the pregnant woman and can lead to increased risk of miscarriage. Make sure to contact your doctors before taking any of these herbal teas and remedies and opt for safer kind like decaffeinated tea until after the delivery.
During this stage, you eating for you and your baby, but that doesn’t mean that you should eat more and more food and extra weight can be hard to deal with. For a pregnant woman, 300 extra calories are the recommended dietary allowance base at the University of Chicago Primary Care Group, putting more than the recommended weight can cause obesity for the child in the future.
I know you should probably think that there’s a lot of food that you should avoid during your pregnancy, but with proper handling and sanitation, you can eat what you want and there’s no need to deprive yourself of the foods you love during your pregnancy. Just remember that you and your baby’s health should always come first.
Pregnancy is just another phase in every women’s life, it will open the door for a new phase that’s filled with fun, joy, laughter and endearing emotions.
The key to a healthy pregnancy is moderation in your food consumption. Any uncooked, raw, and contaminated foods can put you and your baby at risk. The high amount of dosage in vitamins and minerals is very bad for your pregnancy. It’s better to talk to your doctor about any concerns to ensure your safety until the delivery.