Foods to Avoid
Raw or Undercooked Fish
This has been known to contain strains of bacteria and viruses. Such are like salmonella, norovirus listeria and vibrio, which often leave a mother dehydrated and weak. Some infections may even pass to the baby, leaving fatal consequences.
Raw and Undercooked or Processed Meat
Bacteria and parasites such as E. coli, Toxoplasma, listeria and salmonella present in such meat may also be detrimental to you and your baby.
Processed meat such as hot dogs, smokies and brawn should be reheated before consumption as some bacteria may enter during the processing and storage phase.
Mutura (African sausage) usually consisting of entrails and very popular is high in bacteria and shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women.
Raw eggs are notorious for salmonella. Some of the complications of this bacteria are, fever, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. In rare cases infection may cause cramps in the uterus resulting in premature or stillbirth.
Foods that contain raw eggs are:
- Cake icing
- Salad dressing
- Lightly scrambled eggs
- Poached eggs
The surface of unwashed fruits may contain several parasites and bacteria. Toxoplasma, is especially prevalent here. Toxoplasmosis a condition caused by this parasite usually has no symptoms but is especially dangerous when it affects your baby. Your child may be born with disabilities such as blindness because of this parasite.
Pregnant women are sensitized to stay away from alcohol completely. Alcohol, even in small amounts may cause premature labour and stillbirths.
Your baby may also be born with foetal alcohol syndrome characterised by intellectual disability, facial deformities and heart defects.
Caffeine usually present in coffee, tea and energy drinks should be restricted during pregnancies. This is because caffeine may pass through the placenta to your baby. Your unborn baby doesn’t have the enzymes needed to metabolize caffeine and instead stores them. High levels of caffeine in your baby may result in low birth weight and a restricted growth.
Makaa (charcoal) and Mawe (stone)
Eating mawe and makaa is prevalent in Kenya. It is, however, not advisable to ingest non-food items such as these as they are usually hosts of harmful bacteria, parasites and pathogens.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.
Last reviewed March 2019