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What Foods Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

This is a common question among pregnant women, and one that often gets conflicting responses!

I chatted with my friend Caitlin Cipriano who is a Nutritionist over on Instagram (watch the replay HERE) to break down the facts and about common food groups and items that are in question and our recommendations!

Here's the gist!


Caffeine is a stimulate. It passes through the placenta and is something to keep tabs on for multiple reasons. The safe limit is 200mg per day, which equates to about one 12oz cup of coffee. Keep in mind that other foods also contain caffeine (green tea, chocolate, etc) - so pay attention to everything you're consuming in a day.


Fish is okay to consume, but you want to avoid fish that is high in mercury (tuna, swordfish, king mackeral). Options like salmon, tilapia, and shrimp are great to incorporate 1-3x a week for the nutritional benefits for mom and baby (hellp omega 3s!!). Omega-3 is great for babies brain development, especially. The general recommendation is to steer clear of raw fish due to the risk of bacteria. Another tip is to try to look for seafood that is wild caught, not farmed.


Always check the labels, but general rule of thumb is to make sure it is pasteurized. Avoid soft cheese like brie (listeria risk).

Deli Meats

Deli meat is often on the no go list due to the listeria risk (like soft cheese). If you are reallyyyyy jonesing for a turkey on rye, make sure to heat up the meat first so that it is steaming. This will kill off any potential bacteria!

Fermented Foods

Steer clear of homemade versions of kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Store bought versions *might* be okay, but I recommend checking with your doctor first. Kombucha is also a tricky one (always check for pasteurization and alcohol content) - but might be wise to err on the side of caution and avoid!

Have other questions? Feel free to drop them below!

Caitlin and I go live every Thursday evening at 7:30pm EST over on Instagram, so catch us there for in the moment Q&As!

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