What Not To Eat During Pregnancy

what not to eat during pregnancy
What Not To Eat During Your Pregnancy

There are a millions do’s and don’ts that a pregnant lady is advised during those nine months. One of the most important things that she needs to take very good care of is her diet. She needs to have a balanced and nutritious diet during pregnancy because it is through her that the baby gets all its nutrition from, in order to grow from a tiny embryo into a healthy fetus. Along with a huge list of things that she should eat, there is an equally long list of things that what not to eat during pregnancy. Let us look at it.

What Not To Eat During Pregnancy Days

I have always been a black coffee lover. From chugging out at least 4 cups of strong coffee a day, to having none was a difficult thing to do. But caffeine intake needs to be cut down as it is a known diuretic and can cause low birth weight or spontaneous abortions. So if you are pregnant, put away that cup of coffee, tea or energy drink that you may be holding right now.

Love your red wine with dinner or that glass of chilled beer on a hot summer afternoon but also carrying a baby? Not the right combination you see. Alcohol affects the healthy development of a baby and can sometimes lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It is best to avoid it throughout your pregnancy and even while breastfeeding.

Raw papaya
It is one of the best foods to keep your digestive system healthy but it should be totally avoided during pregnancy. Raw papayas contain latex, which is like milky liquid and papain enzyme, which are known to cause miscarriages. Fully ripe papayas are safe to eat but my advice would be to just totally avoid it and not take any risks at all. There are a whole lot of other seasonal fruits that a pregnant lady can gorge on.

Raw non vegetarian food
Raw meat is an excellent source of bacterial contamination such as listeria and toxoplasma. The ardent non-vegetarian food lovers need to ensure that the meat, chicken etc. are stored at optimal temperatures and cooked very well before consumption. Any kind of semi cooked or uncooked food can cause food poisoning, fetal distress, miscarriages etc. Even when you decide to eat out, kindly ensure that it is from a trusted place.

Raw eggs
I love my eggs sunny side up but I had to give up on them during my pregnancy as raw eggs can cause salmonella infection. A small sacrifice made for the greater good.

Street food
Who doesn’t like street food! Does the smell of golgappas and chaat make your mouth water? Kindly avoid these during pregnancy, as there is no surety of the level of hygiene maintained at these places. Try making these things at home and eat to your heart’s content.

Junk food
Pregnancy is known to cause food cravings. You might often feel like munching on those crispy chips or the creamy biscuits. Doing so once in a while is ok but kindly do not make it a habit. These have no nutritional qualities and will only add stubborn pregnancy fat.

Shark meat
Shark meat is considered a delicacy in South India and is fed to lactating mothers as it is considered to increase milk supply. But it is to be avoided during pregnancy as it causes spontaneous abortions. This could probably be due to mercury contamination in the fish. I do not see much logic behind not eating it during pregnancy but during lactation but sometimes it is best to avoid things even with the slightest doubt.

Leftover food
Lastly, no matter how hungry you are and have no time or intentions to make fresh food, kindly avoid having left over food. Even if it is stored under proper refrigeration, there is a still a risk of possible bacterial growth in it. Avoid leftover food till you are pregnant because once the baby comes, you will anyways be eating most of its leftover, half chewed and played with food.

The above list of what not to eat during pregnancy has been compiled based on my own experiences. Kindly consult your own doctor too before deciding what to eat and what to avoid. Have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

I'm a doctor and a public health specialist. I am an expert in Obstetrics and gynecology, vaccinations and preventive health care. I earlier used to work with World Health Organization as a technical consultant to the government machinery at district level. I am now a full time mother to a one year old adorable daughter. Music and books keep me going.


  1. Important piece of information related to for related fads… Thanks for sharing your experience backed up with your clinical expertise..

  2. Super informative stuff. Thanks for compiling the do’s and don’t when it comes to food. What about exercises though? What kind of exercise regime do you recommend for the mothers to be?

    • Hi Apoorva. You can do light workouts, yoga but a supervised one if the pregnancy is absolutely normal. Of course you should consult your doctor before doing anything. As every pregnancy is different. I personally think the best exercise is to do the small household jobs. They take up a lot of energy. Go for a stroll in the evenings. Moreover i will publish my next article on exercises very soon. For best pregnancy tips


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