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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Weight Gain, Diet & Exercise > Foods to Be Avoided in the Last Trimester of Pregnancy

Foods to Be Avoided in the Last Trimester of Pregnancy


Pregnant mothers should be careful about what they eat during each trimester of pregnancy. Let us take a look at foods to be avoided in the last trimester of pregnancy.


By the time you reach the last stage of your pregnancy, you are well versed about what is best for your baby. You know what food is best for the proper growth and development of your baby but are you aware of the foods you should avoid in the last trimester of your pregnancy?

Understanding what foods and beverages to avoid during the last lap of your journey to motherhood can help safeguard your baby’s health and ensure that you and your baby both remain healthy.


Avoid Seafood Rich in Mercury

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it was recommended that pregnant mothers should consume at least 8-12 ounces of seafood a week. Seafood is a rich source of protein and essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that can promote your baby’s cognitive features. However, certain fishes contain potentially harmful levels of mercury that could lead to inhibition of your baby’s developing nervous system. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourage pregnant ladies in their last trimester to avoid consuming certain sea fishes comprising of the following due to presence of mercury in excessive amounts:
  • Shark

  • Swordfish

  • King mackerel

  • Tilefish
Also, be aware that canned tuna can also contain varying levels of mercury as shown by some tests recently. Limit your albacore tuna and tuna steak intake to only 5-6 ounces a week to be on safe side. It is also preferable to avoid consuming shell fish.


Avoid Uncooked or Raw Seafood and Poultry

To prevent any harmful medical complication for yourself and your baby during birth or after, avoid the following:
  • Raw fish and shellfish (Examples: Raw oysters, sushi, scallops, clams and sashimi)

  • Refrigerated or uncooked seafood (Examples: Seafood labeled nova style, jerky, lox or kippered)

  • Refrigerated pates and meat spreads

  • Hot dogs and luncheon meats ( Source of rare but potentially harmful food borne illness known as Listeriosis)

  • Raw eggs (Preparations made with raw egg comprise of eggnog, mayonnaise, raw batter and Caesar salad dressing)

  • Any undercooked meat (Leading cause of food poisoning among pregnant women, especially in third trimester)

Avoid Consuming Unpasteurized Foods

Unpasteurized dairy products could lead to various food borne illnesses that could harm the growth and development of your baby. You should avoid soft cheeses like Brie, Feta and Blue cheese unless they are labeled pasteurized. Instead of unpasteurized dairy products, you can opt for low fat dairy products such as skim milk, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese after consulting your doctor. 


Avoid Unwashed Vegetables and Fruits

To prevent food poisoning by intake of harmful bacteria and increase the health risk to your unborn child, avoid consuming unwashed vegetables and fruits. Avoid consuming raw sprouts such as alfalfa, radish, clover and mung bean as they might contain numerous disease causing bacteria. To prevent any food poisoning, always cook sprouts thoroughly and consume only clean fruits and vegetables.


Avoid Caffeine, Herbal Tea and Alcohol

According to scientific studies, consuming too much caffeine in the last trimester during pregnancy can be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and brain damage of the foetus. As caffeine has the ability to cross placenta, it can affect your baby’s heart rate and deteriorate its health. Because of its potential health effects on your unborn baby, you should avoid consuming caffeine in any form.

Additionally, intake of specific herbs can harm the developing baby making herbal tea a dangerous option in your last trimester of pregnancy.

Drinking alcohol in pregnancy has been scientifically proven to have a higher risk of miscarriage and possibility of still birth. Even moderate consumption of alcohol can harm your baby’s development and hence, should be avoided at all costs.

By avoiding intake of these certain food items, you can make the healthiest choices for you and your baby.


What kind of foods should be avoided in the last trimester of pregnancy? Is it safe to eat fish during pregnancy? What kind of fruits and vegetables are unsafe during pregnancy? Discuss here.

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