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- Alcohol: There is no safe level of alcohol consumption while pregnant.
- Smoking: Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the baby. Smoking results in increased risk of premature deliver, miscarriage, stillbirth and low birth weight babies. It is not safe to smoke cigarettes or cigars during pregnancy. Studies have shown that infants who are exposed to cigarettes or cigars are at high risk for developing lung disease and are 2-3 times more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Nictotine patches: Patches are not safe to use during pregnancy
- Caffeine: The studies on caffeine use are inconclusive, although some indicate that high doses of caffeine may increase the frequency of birth defects. It is recommended that you switch to decaffeinated products, or try to limit your intake to no more that 200 – 400 mg. of caffeine per day, which is one to two cups of regular coffee.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Moderate use of foods and beverages sweetened with Nurtrasweet (Aspartame) or Splenda has not been shown to be a hazard to the mother or baby. The exception would be any women who has been diagnosed with PKU as an infant or child Saccharin is not recommended in pregnancy or when breast-feeding. Because some diet items contain both Nutrasweet and Saccharin, you will need to read the label before consuming diet food or drink. Diet fountain drinks may contain Saccharin. Stevian, a natural sweetener, has been deemed by the FDA as safe during pregnancy.
- Undercooked meat: Toxoplasnosis is a parasitic infection that can be transferred to humans through eating uncooked or undercooked meat.
- Certain Fish: Swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish may contain high levels of mercury and should be avoided. The FDA advises that pregnant women can safely eat 12 ounces per week of other cooked fish. You should limit fresh fish caught by family members to one serving (3-6oz.) per week. YOU SHOULD NOT EACH FISH CAUGHT IN INDIANA RIVERS. It is considered safe to eat up to two cans of regular tuna or one can of albacore tuna per week.
- Listerosis: This is an illness caused by bacteria found in certain foods – specifically unpasteurized milk, soft cheese, raw vegetables and shellfish. Symptoms can occur weeks after you are exposed and can include fever, chills, muscle aches and back pain. There may be no symptoms at all. When a pregnant woman is infected, the disease can cause serious problems for the fetus, including miscarriage or stillbirth. To prevent listeriosis, wash all fruits and vegetables before using them. While you are pregnant, don’t eat: unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses, raw or undercooked meat or poultry, prepared meats such as hot dogs or deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot. ALWAYS be sure to wash your hands and any utensils, countertops or cutting boards that have been in contact with uncooked meats.
- Marijuana: It is illegal and is a dangerous drug that crosses the placenta and will appear in breast milk. It should be completely avoided.
- Street drugs: They are illegal, dangerous to your pregnancy and should be completely avoided.
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