Rumi is pregnant with her first child, and she is at present in the first trimester. Her mother-in-law takes good care of her and she prepared a list of foods that cause abortion so that Rumi never consumes those items unknowingly.
Which food items can cause miscarriage?
Here, we are going to mention a list of foods that can cause miscarriage in pregnancy that you must avoid at any cost is given below:-
1. High Mercury Fish
Mercury is the most toxic element and it is commonly found in polluted water. If you consume it in higher amounts, then it can damage your nervous system, immune system, and kidneys. This may also cause some serious developmental problems in children, even in lower amounts.
Since mercury is found in the polluted seas, hence marine fish consume higher amounts of mercury. Thus, you should avoid high mercury in your pregnancy and breastfeeding phase.
High-mercury fish may include:
- King mackerel
- Tuna (especially bigeye tuna)
- Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
During your pregnancy, try to consume low mercury fish to remain healthy and fit. These low mercury fish are,
- Trout (freshwater)
Fatty fish, including salmon and anchovies, are excellent options, as they come up with omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for your baby.
2. Undercooked, Raw, and Processed Meat
Eating undercooked or raw meat may enhance your risk of several bacterial or parasite infections, including Toxoplasma, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Bacteria may lead to stillbirth or severe neurological illnesses, including intellectual disability, blindness, and epilepsy.
Certain whole cuts of meat like tenderloins, sirloins, or ribeye from beef, lamb, and veal may be safe to consume when it is whole or uncut and utterly cooked on the outside.
In pregnancy, never consume raw or undercooked burgers, minced meat, pork, and poultry. This means no sushi during pregnancy as you may get listeria infections that can affect the baby. Try to discard hot dogs, lunch meat, and deli meat, as they may get infected with various bacteria during processing or storage. Pregnant women also avoid processed meat products.
3. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs often get infected with the Salmonella bacteria.
Symptoms of salmonella infections can be
- Stomach cramps
Sometimes, the infection can affect the uterus and may lead to birth defects or stillbirth.
Foods that contain raw eggs are
- Lightly scrambled eggs
- Poached eggs
- Hollandaise sauce
- Homemade mayonnaise
- Some homemade salad dressings
- Homemade ice cream
- Homemade cake icings
Commercial products contain both raw eggs and pasteurized eggs, hence they are safe to consume. But check the label before consuming the products. Before consuming, ensure that eggs are cooked thoroughly or you may use pasteurized eggs.
4. Organ Meat
Organ meat is an ideal source of multiple nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and copper. All these elements are healthy for you and your baby. But don’t consume excessive animal-based vitamin A (preformed vitamin A) during pregnancy. Too much consumption of vitamin A may lead to congenital malformations and miscarriage. So, restrict your consumption of organ meats like liver.
Pregnant women should restrict their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Your body absorbs caffeine quickly and passes it to the placenta. Babies and their placentas don’t have enzymes that can metabolize caffeine. So, restrict your caffeine consumption, as this will enhance the risk of low birth weight at delivery.
Low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg) is a prime cause of infant death. So, monitor your caffeine intake and ensure that your baby doesn’t get exposed to excessive caffeine.
6. Raw Sprouts
Raw sprouts, like alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts, often get contaminated with Salmonella. It is an arduous job for you to wash off the bacteria from these sprouts. Thus, it is recommended to avoid raw sprouts in pregnancy. But you can consume them if they are cooked completely.
Pregnant women should stay away from drinking alcohol as it will enhance the risk of miscarriage. Even a small amount of alcohol may negatively influence your baby’s brain development. Drinking alcohol in pregnancy may be responsible for fetal alcohol syndrome that causes facial deformities, heart defects, and intellectual disability. The experts recommend discarding alcohol during pregnancy for the safety of the baby.
Peach creates heat in the body and may lead to continued bleeding. You must consume it in a limited quantity in your pregnancy. Wash this fruit with water properly before consuming it. This lessens the risk of throat irritation that can cause continued coughing in pregnancy. You may feel uninvited pressure on your lower abdomen due to continuous coughing.
9. Wild Apple
Pregnant women should stay away from wild apples because they may experience unwanted contractions of the uterus due to the acidic nature of apples. This may be responsible for premature labor or cause several complications in your pregnancy.
These are certain foods that induce abortion in your pregnancy.
10. Unpasteurised dairy products
If you consume unpasteurised dairy, your chances of getting infected with Salmonella and/or listeria become extremely high. Consuming such foods can cause life-threatening complications for a foetus, such as neurological disorders, and can even cause miscarriage. You should also avoid consuming certain varieties of cheese, including gorgonzola, mozzarella, feta, and brie.
These are certain foods that induce abortion in your pregnancy.
Foods that are safe to consume during pregnancy
Now that you know which foods can cause abortion, here are some food items you can enjoy during your pregnancy:
- Pasteurised or unpasteurised hard cheeses, inducing cheddar, gruyere, and parmesan
- Pasteurised semi-hard and soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, and pasteurised milk, yogurt, and ice cream
- Well-cooked meat, such as chicken, pork, and beef, without any traces of blood
- Well-cooked eggs
- Sushi made with properly cooked fish
- Herbal tea in limited amount
- Properly washed and clean fruits and vegetables
- Peanuts and its products including peanut butter
Tips to reduce the risk of miscarriage
Many cases of pregnant women having miscarriages have been reported without any known cause. However, you can reduce the risk of a miscarriage with the help of following tips:
- Quit smoking before you are planning to get pregnant and do not smoke at all during the pregnancy. Not smoking during breastfeeding is also recommended to ensure the health of the baby.
- Do not indulge in any illegal drugs during pregnancy.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet full of nutritious vegetables and fruits after properly washing and/or cooking them.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting regular exercise with regular check-ups and discussion with your obstetrician and gynaecologist.
- Avoid places where rubella (German measles) is spreading.
Common causes of miscarriage
Eating right and maintaining good health play a very important role during pregnancy. But there are other factors that can impact your pregnancy and cause a miscarriage, including the following:
- Uncontrolled diabetes, hormonal problems, thyroid disease, lupus, kidney disease, and problems with the uterus/cervix affecting the mother
- Smoking and drug use
- Severe high blood pressure
- Infections such as rubella, HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and malaria
- Food poising
- Fibroids or non-cancerous growths in the womb
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Misconceptions about miscarriages
You may hear people giving all kinds of advice to you when you are pregnant, but some of them can be just superstitious beliefs. The following things are not linked with an increased risk of miscarriage:
- Getting frightened or shocked
- Exercising during pregnancy (it’s better to discuss which type of exercise is suitable for you with your doctor first)
- Lifting weights or straining
- Having sex
- Air travel
- Eating spicy food
- Work that involves sitting/standing for long hours
- Being stressed
The Bottom Line
During your pregnancy, you must avoid certain foods and beverages that will enhance the risk for you and your baby. Though most vegetables and fruits can be consumed as they are safe, still avoid some food items, like raw fish, unpasteurized dairy, alcohol, and high mercury fish. Always choose your beverage carefully to promote a healthy and happy pregnancy.
What food causes miscarriage?
There are numerous foods that can cause abortion, including the following:
• Certain types of undercooked, raw, and processed meat
• Unpasteurised dairy products
• Fish containing a high amount of mercury
• Raw eggs
• Raw or green papaya
• Excessive caffeine
• Organ meat
• Raw sprouts
• Wild apple
What drinks can cause you to miscarry?
Drinking alcohol, excessive caffeine, and unpasteurised milk are some examples of foods that can cause abortion. A pregnant woman is advised to stray clear of beverages that contain caffeine (such as tea and coffee), all alcoholic beverages, and smoothies or milkshakes made with unpasteurised milk.