Foods to Avoid While Trying to Get Pregnant

If you want to have a baby, it’s important to prepare by eating well to give your body the nutrients it needs for you to get pregnant. Eating healthy food increases your chances of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby, but consuming certain foods may harm your fertility or your fetus if you do conceive.

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Unpasteurized Dairy Foods

unpasteurized cheese cubes (Image: intek1/iStock/Getty Images)

Stay away from cheese and milk that hasn’t been pasteurized, since it may make you sick while you’re trying to conceive or harm your unborn baby after conception but before you’re aware that you’re pregnant. FoodSafety.gov cautions that unpasteurized dairy products can harbor dangerous bacteria and advises avoiding soft cheeses that are often unpasteurized, such as feta, blue cheese, brie, queso blanco and camembert. Stay away from unpasteurized juice as well.

Raw or Smoked Meats

stuffed chicken breast (Image: Joe Gough/iStock/Getty Images)

Undercooked meats may also make your body sick when you’re trying to get pregnant. Avoid eating any kind of raw or smoked meats; if you do eat processed meats like hot dogs, cook them until they’re steaming, advises BabyCenter.com. When cooking meats, make sure that their juices run clear, and use a meat thermometer to confirm whether or not you’ve cooked them enough to eat them. Avoid raw poultry that has been stuffed with another kind of food, because bacteria can grow in places where the poultry’s juices mix with the stuffing.

Fish High in Mercury

canned tuna fish (Image: horex/iStock/Getty Images)

Watch out for certain kinds of fish that can be harmful while you’re trying to get pregnant. Some types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which can stay in your body for more than a year after you consume it and harm your fetus if you do get pregnant. The Food and Drug Administration advises that you steer clear of tilefish, swordfish, shark and king mackerel. The FDA also suggests eating no more than two, 6-ounce servings of low-mercury fish per week. These types of fish include canned light-tuna, salmon, shrimp, catfish and pollock.

Foods With Caffeine

espresso latte (Image: tiverylucky/iStock/Getty Images)

If you are trying to get pregnant you should make a point to avoid caffeine. A study in the December 2010 issue of "Medical Science Monitor" shows that caffeine intake reduces the number of viable eggs, and the more caffeine in your system, the greater the risk of miscarriage. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, chocolate and some medications, according to the American Pregnancy Association. If you get pregnant, caffeine should be avoided during pregnancy for a number of reasons. It is a stimulant and may increase your blood pressure and heart rate. It is a diuretic that causes frequent urination, which may lead to dehydration. The APA also reports that caffeine crosses over into the placenta, means it has a direct affect on your baby, and may lead to pre-term birth and a low birth-weight baby.

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