Henry Ward once rightly said that “we will never understand the love of a parent for their child unless we become Parents”.
The pregnancy phase is the most beautiful and mesmerizing phase of a woman’s life where she feels every kind of emotion and pain for the little one growing inside her tummy. The feeling of a life growing inside gives you Goosebumps.
Therefore, it becomes very important to be careful not only for the mother but also for the baby who is yet to come into this beautiful world, especially from the point of view of food habits. Since pregnancy needs to get settled during the 1st trimester, hence, the 1st trimester is a very crucial stage where one should be extra precautious as there are maximum chances of miscarriage in this stage.
Here are some food habits which need to be avoided during 1st trimester of pregnancy:
1. RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEAT
Uncooked or raw meat contains toxoplasmosis – a micro parasite present in the raw meat which directly impacts the baby and mother without causing the body to show any symptoms.
One should avoid liver intake in the diet as the liver contains listeriosis, which causes serious illness and infection to the unborn.
3. UNPASTEURISED MILK OR DAIRY PRODUCTS
These are a combination of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. If one wants to consume milk, first boil it properly and then only consume.
4. DO NOT EAT FOR TWO
Our elders say a pregnant woman should eat for two. This is a misconception. Everybody is different with different kinds of nutrition requirements. The body cannot handle too much pressure of eating everything and anything.
5. AVOID CAFFEINE
Try to reduce the intake of caffeine from your diet because caffeine can cross the placenta and can have an effect on your baby’s heartbeat and sometimes life-threatening illnesses too.
6. AVOID ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
If you are a regular drinker, pregnancy is the most appropriate time to quit drinking. Alcohol is something that can damage babies’ developmental organs, and at the same time, can cause neuron diseases to the unborn. Abnormal facial features, distill birth, heavy bleeding, etc. can happen if the alcohol content is not eliminated from the diet.
In a study, it was found that the majority of the miscarriage happened because of dehydration. Mothers don’t take the right amount of liquids which makes them dehydrated, resulting in miscarriage. Avoid soft drinks. Try to have less carbonated liquids.
8. AVOID SEAFOOD
Since seafood contains mercury, it is very dangerous for the infant or fetus as mercury can cause brain-related defects in newborns.
9. EGGPLANT OR BRINJAL
It is a widely used vegetable that can be found in almost every household of India. Eggplant is used to treat amenorrhea and premenstrual disorder. Therefore, gynecologists strongly prohibit the consumptions of eggplant by the pregnant ladies if they’ve suffered from miscarriages in the past.
10. SESAME SEEDS
Sesame seeds are used to stimulate uterine ejection of the fertilized ovum and are therefore used for abortion purposes in an early stage of pregnancy. It becomes very easy to break the uterine lining by consuming seeds.
Raw green papaya is a widely used fruit that causes pregnancy termination very easily and effectively. It contains a substance called papain that is responsible for the uterine to contract and thereby stimulating the abortion process. Papain strongly hampers fetal growth in every stage of development.
A compound called bromelain is present in pineapple which softens the cervix opening before the due date causing miscarriage. This chemical also increases the body temperature of the mother and blood pressure which results in premature birth or miscarriage.
13. FENUGREEK SEEDS
These seeds are adviced to those people who want to reduce bloating; it causes loss of water in pregnant ladies, which can cause stillbirth or premature birth. It contains phytoestrogen which contracts the uterine walls, resulting in the shedding of the uterine lining.
14. REFINED FLOUR OR RELATED PRODUCTS
These products can cause bloating and constipation to the expecting mother. Products like bread, pasta, packaged sausages, etc. should be strictly avoided as they contain chemicals and preservatives which are not good for the developing baby.
Resveratrol is a compound present in grapes that increases the body temperature suddenly, thereby causing serious complications in pregnancy. Excess consumption of grapes can also cause hormonal changes at an extreme level.
16. HING DURING PREGANANCY
Hing is an ingredient that every Indian household adds to their kitchen. But hing should be avoided during the pregnancy phase. An excess of hing can cause gas, burping, vomiting, swollen lips, throat infection, etc. to the expected one.
17. STREET FOODS
Pani puri, pizza, chowmein, chat, papri, etc. are what an expecting mother craves. But one should pay attention to how these street items are prepared. If street foods are not prepared in a hygienic way, it can cause food poising to the expecting mother. Hygiene is something which everyone should maintain especially in this crucial time where covid-19 has been very harsh on everybody.
18. ALOE VERA
Aloe can cause premature contractions, vomiting, nausea, etc. It can also cause miscarriages in the 2nd trimester and may harm the fetus.
19. PACKED CHIPS AND WAFERS
Packaged items always contain harmful preservatives which are yet another cause for hormonal imbalances caused in the body, thereby affecting the unborn directly in the womb.
20. AVOID CARBONATED DRINKS
Carbonated drinks can do the worst to the mother and her baby when it comes to side effects. Also, it hampers the brain development and other neuron activities of the baby, which might result in certain disabilities. Instead, have some water or lime water without the soda.
Pregnancy is a wonderful phase of a women’s life where not only she gives birth to a new life, but also prepares for the next stage of life, that is, becoming a parent. It is a journey that must be cherished with all happiness and laughter.
Edited by Anupama Roy