Monday June 9 2014

What not to eat when pregnant

By Christine Katende

Most times, when a woman conceives, their appetite goes up. Many get cravings for foods they would not ordinarily like. Today, we find out what is safe to eat and in what proportions. Dr Alex Kakoraki, a general practitioner at Murchison Bay Hospital in Luzira, says most foods can be eaten during pregnancy.

He says as the pregnancy progresses, the woman has to eat more regularly though in small amounts. “Always remember to eat a balanced diet and have things like pineapple, raw mangoes after a meal not on an empty stomach to avoid discomfort,” he advises.

However, Dr Kakoraki explains that although most of the things can be eaten throughout, there are a few foods that a pregnant woman should not attempt for the good of the unborn child.
One should avoid raw or undercooked eggs and any foods that contain them, such as homemade mayonnaise to avoid salmonella food poisoning.

Do not drink raw milk, avoid undercooked meat and be particularly careful with sausages and minced meat. “You should avoid drinking alcohol when pregnant because too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect the baby’s development,” he cautions.

With caffeine, Kakoraki says it should be limited during pregnancy; High levels of caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight or even cause miscarriages. He cautions to always wash fruits, vegetables and salads to remove all traces of soil, which may contain toxoplasma, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis ( a condition that infects the placenta and your unborn baby).