Foods to Avoid


Eating uncooked meat or fish can make a pregnant woman sick. You can pass bad germs from the raw meat to your baby. Don't eat raw hot dogs, uncooked deli meat or sushi.

Make sure eggs are fully cooked.

If a food is pasteurized, it's been heated to kill bad germs. Look for the word "pasteurized" on the label of milk, yogurt, cheeses and juices.

Mercury is a metal that can harm your baby. Fish get mercury from the water they swim in. Some fish have a lot of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.


It's okay to eat a limited amount of these fish during pregnancy. You can eat up to twelve ounces a week. The twelve ounces can include:

  • Shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish and canned light tuna. Don't eat more than six ounces of albacore tuna in a week.

Limit caffeine to 200 milligrams per day. That's about the amount in one twelve-ounce cup of coffee. Caffeine is also found in regular tea, chocolate, soda and some over-the-counter medicines. Read labels on food, drinks and medicines to know how much caffeine you are getting.

If you crave non-food items, tell your provider. Non-food items can be harmful to a woman and her baby. Don't eat non-foods like ice, clay, laundry starch, dirt, chalk, charcoal, milk of magnesia or coffee grounds.