Unfortunately, you cannot use pregnancy as an excuse to eat all the rubbish you can – there are certain pregnancy foods you should completely avoid and some that you should stuff your face with.

No one really knows what causes food cravings during pregnancy (some believe it is to do with the changes in your hormones, though, to be fair, everything usually is because of them), but we do know they can be pretty weird.

However, as much as you may be craving the pickles in the cupboard or the huge chocolate bar that you hid for Christmas, you should also pay close attention to foods you should staying away from.

What foods to avoid

Foods you should steer clear of when you have a little one on the way include pâté (sorry to all the pâté lovers…if you even exist, I mean who has a crazy love for pâté) and raw/not-fully-cooked eggs and meat (that includes any products that may contain raw or partially cooked meat and eggs).

You ought to also prepare for giving up cured meats such salami, pepperoni and Parma ham as they can contain certain parasites (ew). Liver can also cause harm to the baby as they contain too much vitamin A (so you need to stay away from this too, as well as limiting your vitamin A supplements).

Caffeine doesn’t have to be completely eradicated from your diet, however it is recommended to stick to no more than 200mg a day, as too much caffeine can cause a miscarriage or you to deliver a small baby which can cause future health issues.

Despite the risks of caffeine being pretty low, it is a good idea to swap out a second mug of coffee for water or try decaffeinated tea or coffee.

Although fish can help with baby development, it certainly isn’t a pregnancy food. You shouldn’t eat swordfish, shark or marlin, as they contain a lot of mercury which can interfere with the growth of your baby’s nervous system. You should also reduce the amount of tuna you eat as tuna fish also contain quite a lot of mercury (you can Google the recommended amount to eat).

Approved Pregnancy Foods

You should also only eat two portions of oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines, a week as they contain certain pollutants. Other fishes that you should put a limit on during pregnancy include halibut and crab, and you should avoid any raw shellfish.

And if you are a particular lover of the South Asia originated sushi then do not worry – sushi is okay to eat when you are expecting, as long as the fish has been frozen beforehand.

Peanuts and other nibbles are also safe to consume during pregnancy (which is especially good news if you are pregnant over Christmas – let’s be honest, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without all those unhealthy snacks).

Unpasteurised milk is a big ‘no no’ – but milk that isn’t raw is perfectly fine – and you’ll be pleased to know that ice cream is also safe to eat (every pregnant women would be in a right mess if not), as long as it is soft ice cream, and avoid using eggs if making homemade ice cream.

Important nutrients

In fact, foods high in calcium are quite good for women during pregnancy. Yoghurts are especially recommended as they contain high amounts of calcium and pregnant women usually need to consume more protein and calcium to meet the higher need for these to help the fetus’ growth.

A particularly important nutrient during pregnancy is folate as it can reduce the chance of certain birth defects and illnesses, and brilliant suppliers for this are lentils, peas, peanuts and beans. They are also a great source of fiber, protein and iron.

Other pregnancy foods that you should include in your diet include sweet potato, eggs and greens such as spinach and kale, and also broccoli. Leaner meats such as pork and chicken, as well as beef, are also excellent for giving your body the protein it requires, especially during pregnancy.

Iron is something that pregnant women need more of, else they can develop iron deficiency anemia, which increase the chances of premature childbirth and delivering a baby with a lower weight. This is why it is important for you to consume pregnancy foods that are high in iron, such as lean meats and dried fruits like raisins and apricots.

Berries, which increase water and nutrient intake, and walnuts, which are good for the baby and the mother and provide protein and fiber, are also great pregnancy foods.

And at the end of the day, which has been packed full of healthy and recommended pregnancy foods (right?), you can relax and work on relieving any knee pain with your Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief Knee Pillow without worrying about what foods you should or should not eat, because now you know.

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