Foods to avoid during pregnancy

Pregnancy makes women more susceptible to food-borne illness because their immune system is vulnerable.

During pregnancy, health experts recommend avoiding foods such as certain types of processed meats (unless they have  been thoroughly heated), smoked fish, soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk and dairy products.

According to the New York Times, research on moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is mixed although critics aver that abstinence is always safer for the unborn child.

The World Health Organization also urges women to use calcium supplements during pregnancy.

This is to prevent pre-eclampsia and eclampsia usually with symptoms such as high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet and high level of protein in urine.

Women are also cautioned against eating raw eggs during pregnancy because of salmonella.

This bacteria that can cause infections resulting in fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

If one is infected during pregnancy, symptoms can be so severe that they may lead to serious complications for both the mother and the baby.

“If you experience symptoms that could signal food poisoning; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills or dizziness; or any signs of preterm labor such as cramping or bleeding and you’re unable to keep fluids down for more than a few hours at a time, call your doctor or head to the E.R. so you can be monitored for hydration and treated as needed,” said Dr. Zoe Kiefer, an obstetrician-gynecologist.