What foods to avoid while pregnant?

June 25, 2012

I first wanted to thank you guys so much for all of the amazing advice, tips and help that you have given me in the comments of these HRG baby posts.  I read all of the comments about 4 times so that I can really learn from you and read about your experiences so THANK YOU!

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When I first found out I was pregnant I googled the heck out of what I should and should not eat.   Since the pregnancy was a surprise I remember feeling AWFUL because I had eaten a ton of sushi when I was actually pregnant but didn’t know it.  I am pretty sure that kept me up worrying for 3 nights in a row.  Thank you mother for passing down your lovely obsession of worrying to me.

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(Picture of me and my favorite hot dog in the whole wide world…J-Dawgs)

Gone were my hot-dog days, medium-rare steaks, sushi, soft cheeses and deli-meats (along with the thousands of other foods that the internet tells you to cut out when you are pregnant…real reliable sources;)  I have never actually had alcohol or coffee so I didn’t have to worry about cutting those things out but believe me, the lack of tuna tataki in my life has almost killed me.

At my first doctor’s appointment Billy and I asked what foods he thought I should avoid while pregnant.  His answer was that I COULD eat hot-dogs, soft cheese (pasteurized) and deli meats as long as they were coming from a safe source and served at the correct temperature.  REALLY?  I thought he was kidding but he wasn’t.   I wasn’t convinced and since I go to an OBGYN group I made sure to ask all of the different doctors and so far they have all said the same things.

I haven’t really craved any of the ‘no-no list foods’ that badly but I really can’t get enough turkey deli meat and so I have definitely gone to town eating that and I have also eaten lots of pasteurized soft cheeses.  If I was craving a hot dog and really wanted one, I probably would eat one but I haven’t had that craving yet.

What foods did you avoid while pregnant?  What were you told to avoid?  What were the hardest things for you to give up?

PS Will someone give me some more details about what Braxton Hicks felt like for them?  I think I have experienced it but I am not sure.

Kris @ www.kris-lawrence.com June 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I was told to avoid the same foods you listed. The Nitrates in deli meats are a no no and anything raw (raw egg, sushi, etc.) is out too. I limited my coffee intake and totally eliminated my diet soda habit too. The weird thing though. I could not STAND the smell of Ranch dressing. Normally it is my favorite and I couldn’t eat it at all or sit next to the Mr. when he was eating it.

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Holly June 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I CANNOT wait for sushi again….cooked sushi is just NOT the same.
I also cannot wait for a mojito. Now that it’s summer time & I see them EVERYWHERE I’m quite envious!
I was REALLY REALLY extra cautious at the beginning- like you said. No sandwich meat, no coffee, etc. But then I spoke to my doctor & she said the same- that sandwich meat was ok, especially Boars Head brand, and if it’s not that, then just heat it up a bit.
My doctor also said 2 cups of coffee is ok, but I’m still not big on drinking any coffee.

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Katelyn June 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Braxton hicks feels like your stomach getting tight and hard. Sometimes mine even felt like menstrual cramps but they never got super painful. I’m sure you have had them since you are definitely far along enough to get them. I was told to avoid the same things but didn’t know that until I was around 30 weeks or so. I felt awful because my biggest craving was deli meat. My oldest son turned out just fine :) and I was a lot more careful with my second.

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Pam June 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

We’re right opposite. Alcohol and coffee would be my only problems. lol I don’t eat any of those things on your no-no list anyway.

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Erin @ The Grass Skirt June 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

My doctor basically told me the same things. He even said that I can drink caffeinated coffee 2x a day! I’m honestly a bit paranoid about that though, so I still avoid it.

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Mary June 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I avoided it almost completely the first time around. But this time, toddler night mares and waking up at strange times of the day, I have given in and have one (small) cup in the morning and sometimes a glass of ice tea for lunch if I really need it

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char eats greens June 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Power to ya for no alcohol and coffee! I honestly never drank coffee before last year (I was a huge tea junkie). Even still, I don’t drink hot coffee, but I like an iced coffee (aka today to get me through studying and I was wired haha…hence, I don’t drink it a lot and I’m like a little kid on candy lol). But sometimes after a nice long run, I’ll just wanna have a glass of wine!!!

I had a sip of the hubby’s when we were out to dinner last week and I kinda wanted more than a sip, but that’s just wrong!!!

I don’t eat meat or cheese or fish, so I guess that eliminates all the other foods to avoid while preggers!

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runinboise June 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I actually don’t remember what I avoided during my pregnancy. All I remember eating was pizza and sugary things :-)

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diana June 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I avoided most of the foods on the standard do not eat while pregnant list. I never liked sushi and didn’t drink alcohol often, but diet coke and deli meat were foods I kept eating in moderation. I bought fresh deli meat and ate it quickly, usually heating it on the griddle or microwave first. Made for a tasty grilled hame and cheese. I also kept up my 1 diet a day. I’ve tried several times to stop drinking diet coke, but just can’t do it.

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Holly {our interestingly boring life} June 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm

i’ve never actually been with child myself but I’m around babies allllll the time because of my occupation and around lots of smart baby docs.. I asked one of our NPs about caffeine and she said that with her first baby she was super careful and never had caffeine at all and then with her second she drank caffeine and both babies were around the same weight and came out absolutely perfect… which was good news for me because i LOVE coffee!

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Meghan Rene @ Uncooked & UnWalked June 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I have zero advice for you! No baby bumps here. I am impressed with your ability to stay away from sushi – I would find it so hard! It means you’re gonna be a good mama!

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Kara June 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

My mean doctors said no to deli meat unless I microwaved it until it was steaming first (yuck!).

Braxton Hicks can be painless and feel like a temporary tightening and sometimes they hurt…a LOT. If you’re getting a bunch of them, try sitting down and putting your feet up while drinking a ton of water. It’s your body saying you need to slow down (unless you’re full term, then just keep moving). As long as it isn’t happening at regular intervals, it’s just your body getting ready for D-Day and no worries. If you get them while running though, you should stop. Trust me, I know that sucks, but it’s what the (or my) doctors insist on.

Not stop running forever, just stop running at that moment. :)

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More June 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm

For me Braxton Hicks felt like my stomach was getting tight all across it. And hard, sometimes crampy. Sometimes it was irritating and sometimes it was painful.

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Jenny @ simply be me June 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

With my first I was definitely more strict about staying away from certain foods – I switched to decaf, stopped eating deli meat, etc. but this time around I’m a lot more casual about it all. I feel like I’m just as likely to get sick from contaminated produce as I am from bad meat and just make sure I wash everything (ok, most things) and make sure my meat comes from a reliable source. I still have coffee with this one too because sometimes I need the pick me up to deal with our 3 year old :)

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Kristi June 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

My doc told me that sushi was actually fine as long as it was from a reputable source (as in don’t buy it at the gas station) and I stayed away from fish known to be high in mercury (though which one(s) that is, I can’t remember right now). She looked at me when I asked and she said “Sushi is a staple in parts of Asia, do you think women there stop eating for 9 months?” She said the biggest concern (in addition to the mercury) is food poisoning. I definitely didn’t eat it as much as normal, but I did eat it during both of my pregnancies.

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Skye June 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Oh Janae you are so cute! I’m so happy for you! I think it is so awesome that you’ve been so healthy during your pregnancy. I’m sure it will pay off in the end. Can’t wait to see what your cute baby looks like!

For me braxton hicks sometimes felt like cramps, but sometimes I couldn’t feel them at all. But I could always tell when I had them because my tummy would get really hard and tight and become kind of cone shaped.

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Kathee June 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I had very distinct cravings with each kids. Bean with bacon soup, grapefruits; next kid – strawberry pop tarts and BK whoppers; next kid – chocolate whoppers! I don’t remember being told to avoid any certain foods. The book, “what to expect when expecting” had just come out with my first kid and I was just very careful. I did not smoke or drink booze or coffee and I also avoided any soda. I ate a LOT of bagels as they were the new “thing”. I also gained about 80 lbs. Oh how hindsight is 20/20! I never even took a tylenol and there was no such thing as ZOFRAN for nausea! It’s almost like I walked the plains!
I had Braxton Hicks with my daughter every 5 minutes for 3 days straight. Even went into the hospital. They can be painful and annoying and feel like your whole belly is tight!
Good luck to you!!

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Ruth June 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Your stomach clenches (well your uterus) like you are doing a crunch, your abdomen becomes completely rock solid and then relaxes and repeats :) at least that’s what I experienced… I had them mostly after working out hard and when I was dehydrated. (weeks 29+) Hope that helps!!

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Sharsti June 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

braxton hicks made my whole stomach tighten. My Dr. told me that if I couldn’t push in on my belly and have it squish down then I was experiencing a braxton hicks. I had them all the time and actually starting dilating at 30 weeks. They would be slightly uncomfortable and sometimes take my breath away. How many are you having? is it often?

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Ali Mc June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

they fell like a tightening, they usually don’t hurt. Don’t worry – you’ll know when you’re in labour ;)

I am surprised you’ve never tried alcohol! I thought for sure maybe you’d be a wine drinker :D

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Andrea June 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

The biggest things I was told to avoid were unpasteurized cheese (no goat cheese – sigh!), and canned tuna, which makes me gag anyway. I had such weird food aversions in all four of my pregnancies, that I just ate what I could. Seriously, who would think the sight of raw carrots would make me sick?!

My Braxton-Hicks just felt like my tummy was getting really, really tight. Occasionally they’d be uncomfortable, like mild menstrual cramps. The only time you should really worry over them is if they get intense and don’t subside – I went one day without drinking enough water while at work last fall and scared myself silly, they were so bad! They got better once I realized what was wrong, thank goodness!

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Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever June 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I didn’t avoid too much other than the big things like wine and sushi. She turned out perfectly healthy. I think it is all about moderation too, like a sandwich here and there is fine just don’t eat pounds of deli meat daily.

My braxton hicks were just a tightening of the stomach, not really painful. If you press on your belly and it rock hard that is not your abs, it’s a braxton hicks. I personally never went into labor on my own, had to be induced but from what I understand it will be a pretty clear difference and you will KNOW when it’s real.

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Renee June 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I’ve been given the same list…and honestly I’ve pretty much ignored it and ate what I want. Microwaved lunch meat is nasty and I like sandwiches. I don’t eat an overabundance of those things and the cheeses and eggs we get are pasteurized and I figure I’m just not going to worry. I have an occasional coffee, but since being pregnant it doesn’t sound good.

Braxton Hicks usually just feel like everything is super tight, but can be painful like menstrual cramps.

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Jacqueline Cochran June 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I was told all the same things. but i looooove deli meats so to cut down on nitrates i just heated it up and then it was okay. i didnt have any problems with spicy foods, and i ate my faves with happy vigor until grace was born. and she likes spicy foods now too.

the very end of pregnancy was really scary, since nobody can tell you exactly how things feel (i mean, besides the general description) because everybody is different. i lived on babycenter.com asking questions in all the pregnant mommy forums for hours because i was constantly worried that something was wrong. true story. except of course there wasnt anything wrong, i was just pregnant! and it was an entirely new experience (duoih)

but if you want a general description, braxton hicks just felt like a tightening of the lower lower stomach muscles and mine were really brief until right before i went into labor and then they happened more frequently. what i felt the most were rounding ligament pains, and those just felt like crampys. grace came a little early at 35 weeks but that’s because she was induced. (not by choice)

i started bleeding a lot so i went in (i think its because i had my membranes stripped twice in the space of two days, my doc did it and then a nurse did it and she had these long fingernails. it was awful) they thought i had a placental abruption, so i sat in a triage room thinking grace was dead and that i was going to die for six hours bleeding through three bed pads, and then they admitted me and induced me showed me grace was fine, and gave me drugs and i was a happy girl again. i loved my doctors, and nurses especially make the entire experience. and after seven hours of random puking (drugs made me nauseous i think) free ice pops, and lots of naps, i woke up- the nurse said to push and grace elaine came into the world 27 minutes later.

it was a wonderful experience. i mean, post triage room.

if i could go back i would and tell myself not to worry so much, and not to eat spicy cookies and do stairs when i was so pregnant, but i know myself- and i’m just a worrier. :] i’m really good at it.

labor and delivery will be just like a marathon for you- and you’re a champion!

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 26, 2012 at 4:44 am

I just stopped drinking coffee recently because I figured I might as well try to cut out caffiene now, before we start thinking about having a baby. The first few days weren’t fun, but I’ve been fine since then! :)

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Kari @ Running Ricig June 26, 2012 at 5:52 am

I have enough food cravings now, I can’t imagine how ridiculous my cravings would be if I was pregnant.

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Angie June 26, 2012 at 6:16 am

I avoided turkey sandwiches too when I first learned I was pregnant but was relieved my obgynnsaud that turkey was fine! I have a huge craving for turkey sandwiches on bagels or delis!

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Angie June 26, 2012 at 6:17 am

I avoided turkey sandwiches too when I first learned I was pregnant but was relieved my obgyn said that turkey was fine! I have a huge craving for turkey sandwiches on bagels or delis!

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Michele @ nycrunningmama June 26, 2012 at 6:31 am

Braxton Hicks was like menstrual cramps for me. Felt like my stomach was tightening a bit and then loosening – I didn’t get them bad at all. I heard one of the reasons females get them is if they are dehydrated. Your uterus becomes the biggest muscle in your body so if you don’t drink enough water that is the first muscle to cramp up (and hence Braxton hicks can start)…I made sure to always be drinking a ton of water which I think helped!
I didn’t crave any foods that I wasn’t supposed to eat. I splurged and had some red wine when I felt like I wanted some. My dr said the same thing about cheeses, deli meats, steaks, etc. =)

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Crissy June 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

My doctor said the same thing about the deli meat and soft cheeses. I still tried to limit the amount of deli meat so I just ate a lot of cheese sandwiches for lunch! For some reason the smell of Mexican food made me sick. It was so sad because I LOVE Mexican food. The one thing I missed was taking Advil and then cold medicine when I got a bit congested. But it really wasn’t that bad.

I’m glad you are enjoying your summer!

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Liz Dean June 26, 2012 at 7:43 am

I don’t drink alcohol or coffee so that’s no biggie for me. I do however like a good diet soda or regular specialty soda every now and again. Having some caffeine is totally fine, won’t hurt your or baby. I had caffeine when I was pregnant with my first and he’s healthy and happy as can be. I also ate some deli meat, but not much. I’m not a huge sushi fan, so thankfully I didn’t miss that :) I like others, remember and currently eat tons of fruit, carby, sugary foods, as it satisfies her sweet tooth here at 35 weeks, ha! :)

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Jill June 26, 2012 at 8:01 am

With my first pregnancy I cut out all caffiene, deli meat and bc I hate sushi I stayed away from that as well lol. Baby came out at a healthy 9lbs after 8hrs of labour :)
I’m currently pregnant and I’m a vegetarian now so again no deli meat but I did pick up drinking a cup of coffee a day when I hit the second trimester. I have a 2 year old at home and coffee helps perk me up in the afternoon when I feel like taking a nap on the playground slide while he plays haha.

Hope your pregnancy is going well! Getting close to the home stretch hey?!

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Lauri June 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

I thought I had to avoid all the same foods you mentioned and for the most part I did…I think I ate a couple hot dogs at baseball games b/c honestly what baseball game is complete withOUT a hot dog?? I don’t like my deli meat heated so I avoided that….

As far as caffeine and alcohol – I def drank a lot of alcholo before I knew I was pregnant – Whoops! For the remainder of my pregnancy I had a few sips of my husband’s beers, and took part in the champagne toast at a couple weddings, as well as a white wine spritzer when on vacation (mostly club soda) and at a friend’s bachelorette party. In the beginning I had a coffee aversion but later I probably had one cup of coffee or a diet soda on most days. I had no idea that diet soda was a no no b/c of the fake sugar. Whoops again! i also didn’t eat raw sushi but has some cooked stuff and California rolls, etc.

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Christine June 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

My doctor told me to avoid the same things when I was pregnant. Most of those things I didn’t care for, so that made it easy for me. I didn’t have a lot of braxton hicks with my first baby, but he came at 34.5 weeks. My second I had a lot of braxton hicks. They feel like your tummy is tightening. Most of the time they will be more random, as in the contractions will not be the consistently getting closer together (5 minutes apart then 2 minutes then 5 minutes apart). Real labor contractions will consistently get closer together. I always felt like if I could not sleep through the contractions, I was in labor. If you have a lot of contractions, your tummy will most likely be sore like you did lots of sit ups. If you are unsure or feeling off, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Trust me, they don’t mind answering questions. It’s what they are there for and who better to ask? Hope you are feeling well and having a blast! You are such a cute mama!

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Julie June 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

I hated that I couldn’t take a bite of cookie dough when baking! I thought I was having braxton hicks because I had a lot of tightening but no pain so I didn’t think it was a big deal. When I went for a check up at 35 weeks my doc said I was dilated to 5! I couldn’t believe it! I had my baby the next day. Thankfully he was fine, only had jaundice, then he could go home. I thought I was just worrying too much because everyone told me you’ll know when you are in labor, but I didn’t! Always try the water and rest and pay close attention because you just never know!

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Emily June 26, 2012 at 9:40 am

my doctor said the only thing she wanted me to avoid was tuna because of mercury. Otherwise, she said to just use common sense. For some reason, hot dogs always sounded good to me – I probably ate more hot dogs while pregnant than the whole rest of my life combined! The thought of salad really grossed me out, and I normally love salad. I also ate deli turkey sandwiches all the time because, honestly they are delicious and convenient.

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Jade June 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

I’ve never had braxton hicks :( and when actual labor started all I felt was like I had broken my pelvis and a whole lot of pressure down there, I don’t know if I ever had contractions like they show on TV. I just had the feeling like I had to push, which was everytime the machine showed that I had a contraction. It was way easier than I thought it would be, and the freak that I am was a little disappointed, LOL! I was all prepared for the marathon and contractions of labor and within 2hrs it was all done!

I craved beer, am an avid beer lover so I did have a couple NA beer throughout. I heated some deli meat, do not like sushi, and held off on caffeine until 35 weeks, and then I needed it to get through my 12hr night shifts as a nurse, because I was swollen up to my waste and waddled like a I’d think a beached whale did! (I was no where as cute as your little belly!)

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Regina June 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

I’m due the exact same day as you but we’re having a little boy :)

We were inactively trying when we got pregnant but it was still a huge surprise that it happened so fast (I had a history of infertility issues). The first 6 weeks of pregnancy we didn’t know I was pregnant and I ate raw sushi, drank wine and margaritas (we were celebrating the hubs graduating from college and it was Christmas time), etc. etc. As soon as we found out we went to the grocery store and bought all fresh veggies, fruit and meat. I googled everything I couldn’t do including not eating sunflower seeds or pineapple. Then morning sickness blew me away and I was lucky to keep anything down the first 13 weeks. But I learned that what I SHOULD eat and what I SHOULDN’T really weren’t that big of a deal aside from the raw foods and alcohol. I eat sushi, just the cooked kind (I miss philly rolls). I drink tea, eat hot dogs sometimes and I even had a lunchable at 8 weeks pregnant (I was lucky to WANT to eat anything). I think there are a lot of things you’ll be told NOT to do during pregnancy and some of them are right on the money because they can hurt your baby and the probability of them doing so are greater (think alcohol). But others, if they’re in moderation, really don’t need to be stressed over. There’s enough to stress about once your baby actually gets here.

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Regina June 26, 2012 at 10:03 am

P.S. For me braxton hicks feel like menstrual cramps almost. You get a crampy, tightening feeling down yonder and it subsides fairly quickly. Sometimes it’s almost like round ligament pain but lower.

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Alecia@tincantreader June 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

I’m the worst. I’m in my third pregnancy and the only thing I have really given up is tuna. I’ll have a glass of wine on occasion and I still have coffee with my husband on the weekends. Under normal hormone levels, I can be a bit cranky and stressed out and after reading about what stress can do to your baby, I decided that my occasional wine and coffee aren’t that bad. Especially when you have two other kids doing their best to make you crazy.

I never experienced a Braxton contraction, but the real ones feel just like period cramps… x1,000 when you’re close to birth.

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kiersten June 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

so the only thing i avoided with both of my babies was raw sushi, i still ate the tempura rolls….yummy, any ways but i was really commenting to tell you about braxton hicks. with my first it was just an uncomfortable tightening of the belly that just felt annoying. but with the second oh. my. gosh. i was in the shower crying telling my husband to call the doctor ,they were awful and there is really nothing you can do, your body is just getting ready. it might be comforting to know that i think braxton hicks are way worse than actaul labor. good luck though pregnancy and labor are some of the coolest things you will ever do!

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Kattrina June 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I think everyone has their own idea of what is good to avoid. I avoid deli meat and hot dogs anyway because they have high nitrate levels in them (I do buy nitrate-free for the house but can’t do that if I get a hot dog at a baseball game). I’ve also avoided most caffeine and never really drink soda. Someone also told me to avoid fro yo because the listeria could grow in the machines. I ignored them though (they weren’t doctors or anything – just someone that had read it on the internet or something) and eat fro yo all the time. I avoid fish with high levels of mercury (King Mackerel, certain tuna, etc.) and unpasteurized stuff but that’s about it. Oh, and I eat only organic fruits/veggies that are on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. And I’ve avoided any scented things (perfume, scented soap, scented face wash, candles, etc.) because they have those fake hormones in them. I can be a bit crazy though because I work in pesticide safety and am exposed to pesticide/chemical info on a daily basis – it’s hard to ignore. I do eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup and Tostitos though….

I’ve had a lot of Braxton-Hicks but they have never been painful. My belly just goes rock hard. I asked my midwife about it yesterday and she said DRINK MORE WATER! I said that I got them when I walked and asked if I should quit walking and she said no – I needed to drink more water and they would stop. So, I’m trying to drink more water. It’s practically impossible though. I can’t drink that much! So, maybe drink more water if you are getting them.

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kelsey June 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I was paranoid with my first pregnancy, and kept giving evil looks to other pregnant women if they were eating a hot dog! Ha. I’ve become more relaxed, and there are a lot more options now too. Hormel makes AMAZING deli meats without the nitrates/nitrites called “Natural Choice.” We love them. There are also hot dogs now that are made the same way (and taste so much better too). I think it’s just being aware of where your food comes from, and that it’s been handled properly.

Braxton hicks haunt me my entire last trimester every time! I’m glad you only “think” that you’ve had them! I feel like I could be in labor at any minute during the end! Good luck!

Have someone bring you sushi in the hospital after birth, you’ll be famished!

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Jessica June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I asked about deli meats again after reading one of your posts saying you were told it was ok as long as it came from good source and I was told yo still avoid them…so I haven’t eaten any lunch meat since being pregnant…and man do I miss turkey!!! And, i was told no unpasteurized cheeses either especially brie…so i stay away from anything questionable! And I was told I can’t eat a hot dog every day…which I am pretty sure I wouldn’t do anyways. I have also heard/read conflicting information regarding eat soy products during pregnancy…so if I am craving something containing soy, I eat it but I don’t go overboard. I also don’t drink now and I do limit myself to one small cup of coffee a day and stay away from other sources of caffeine.

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kderoll June 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I really didn’t focus much on the “things to avoid list.” I didn’t go all crazy and eat sushi every day or continue chugging red bulls, but a soft-serve ice cream cone wasn’t going to kill me (or her).
I don’t know if I ever figured out what a braxton hicks contraction felt like. It took me hours to figure out that I was having contractions (the real ones). I had gone running early in the day and figured I was just sore. It felt like the tops of my legs and hips were burning/tight. I even attempted to cover myself with icy hot thinking that somehow that would help.

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Jessica June 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Oh and about contractions — my dr explained how to tell when I am contracting…lay on your back put your hands on your uterus and squish lightly…it will feel like a beach ball when not contracting and it will feel like a bowling ball when it is…our bodies are truly amazing!

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Sarah June 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I was REALLY strict with myself when I first found out I was pregnant. I didn’t drink coffee, no soda, no lunch meat, etc. Once I hit 12 weeks (I will be 15 weeks tomorrow) I relaxed a little. I love sandwiches, and I need my cup of coffee in the am. I am still going to avoid alcohol and sashimi, but I figure women have been having babies for all time and it is only recent medical intervention that is telling us what we can and can’t eat. :)

And as soon as I figure out what the heck Braxton hicks feel like I will let you know…but you will probably already have had your little girl at that point. :)

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Coreyanne Armstrong June 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I debated on whether or not to comment, but after reading most of the comments decided I would since my comment will be a little different – probably not useful to you since I think you seem a lot more cautious than me, but hey, maybe you’d like to hear my comments anyway :)

I’ll be totally honest and say that I still drink alcohol when pregnant – about half a beer, half a cider, or half a glass of wine while eating dinner or snacks at the bar (I played the bagpipes with an Irish band in a pub throughout my fifth pregnancy and needed to bring nuts and pretzels to snack on and would often have a bit of a Guinness or a cider – drinking til I felt a certain way – usually a little more than half – and giving the rest to whatever friend I was with). I am certain that throughout human history until recent years, fermented drinks may have been healthier than water because of bacteria issues. But either way, I can easily tell when I shouldn’t have another sip because after about 4-6 sips of wine I can feel a jelly-like feeling in my legs and arms, and that’s the sign for me that I’ve had enough. I probably have some about twice a month – usually when out for a nice dinner and having red meat, or like I said, in the bar with snacks.

I don’t drink any caffeine anymore because when I only had four children I stopped my iced coffee addiction because I felt like the iced coffees were relaxing me and that I was starting to turn into a crazy woman when I couldn’t get one. I was truly addicted. I switched to iced tea (with caffeine) which is what I normally drink now – either decaf coffee or regular tea — but with THIS pregnancy (number 6) I have found that any caffeine makes me jittery, so I’ve had to switch to decaf tea. I think you should really listen to your body and respond accordingly. But like you said, alcohol and caffeine have never been in your diet anyway :)

You might want to be careful, though, with your carbs – because as you know, all carbs are not created equal! I have found that certain combinations of foods leave me feeling just as jittery as caffeine in this pregnancy – I think I’m just a lot more in tune with my body – and I can’t do sugary things (cereals, yogurts with sugar, fruit) in the morning or I feel horrible an hour later. So I have to have eggs or meat. You didn’t ask about that but I’m pointing it out to say you need to respond to what your body needs :)

As far as raw eggs, lunch meat, sushi, soft cheese, etc, I have NEVER avoided any of these things. In the UK they tell you not to eat ANY SHELLFISH but I eat mussels (cooked) almost every day to help with my iron intake. Of course in America the only prohibition is on raw shellfish, not all shellfish like over here. The doctors over here never said a thing about the lunch meats either, but I already knew about that. We just buy the kind without nitrates, etc, and I am careful to keep them refrigerated, etc. I also eat cookie dough when I make it – which is about twice a year – pregnant or not, because I buy organic free-range eggs, and many health experts will tell you that raw eggs are healthy. Sure there is a slight chance of bacteria, etc, but the chance is almost nil when it comes to reputable sources of eggs. When you buy eggs in America off the shelf they’re usually already about a week or so old (or older), and my eggs are collected on Monday, delivered to me on Tuesday. In the UK, at the grocery stores they don’t even put the eggs in the refrigerator section but have them on the regular shelves!! So anyway, my point is that a good healthy egg isn’t as dangerous as they say.

I had sushi just last week because I really wanted some, but I don’t make a habit of it. I think probably it’s because this is my sixth baby, and all my babies have been fine, and are the healthiest children I’ve ever met. ( Not a single ear infection, no actual doctor visits except for checkups – and that’s for 5 kids, the oldest being nine.) Anyway, I think that a lot of stuff just gets passed on to the general public where you’d really have to have some pretty special circumstances to be affected by the things they recommend against. Probably if anyone else reads this, though, they’d say I’m not being careful with my baby’s health. Oh well.

As far as B-H go, I’ve had my share of those – and they’re USUALLY in the afternoon/evening. A few times I’ve had them first thing in the morning when I haven’t slept well, but overall, they are late in the day. So I try to run first thing always before I do anything else, so that they don’t have a chance to sneak up on me during a run. So far I haven’t had any while running, and I’m 37 1/2 weeks. When I have had them sometimes they are all across the belly with the general tightening like others said, but something no one else mentioned that I get is that they are really low and make the tops of my legs (right where your panty leg line would be in the front) feel really strange and like I’m going to collapse and must sit right away. I wouldn’t recognize this as contractions if I hadn’t had them so many times before. Sitting down (with your feet up!) makes them slow down or go away. Then when I get back up, often I’ll have one more or so – do a few things around the house – and then have to sit back down. If I get to the point in the day where I’m getting them, it’s hard for me to make them truly stop for the rest of the day, and I generally just need to take it is. Okay, that’s all for my huuuuuuge comment — oh, and try not to worry so much :)

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Losing Lindy June 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm

OH I wasn’t allowed to eat deli meat unless it was HOT. I missed sandwiches so much. After V was born, I mainly ate sandwiches. 1. They were fast and easy to eat, 2. they were somewhat healthy

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Elizabeth June 26, 2012 at 9:38 pm

TURKEY deli meat was SO hard to give up. I had to nuke it prior to eating it! YUK! but I sure are a lot of warm turkey sandwiches. Braxton Hicks feels just like real labor only VERY minimal! Kinda like menstrual cramping only worse! e

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Christina Marie June 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Never been prego here but my mom was preggers with me while living in NYC in 81/82 and she COULDN’T pass a hot-dog cart without eating one. She gained like 80lbs with me and I was basically made of hot-dogs.

Times/doctors always change about what you should/shouldn’t eat. Outside of sushi and unpasteurized cheese I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

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Katie T June 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’m pretty freaked out by all the above commenters who copped to drinking during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is an absolutely devastating condition and is 100% preventable. There is NO “safe amount” to drink during pregnancy!!

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Anon June 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm
Katie T June 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

First off, this is ONE study. It takes a lot more than than to make a convincing argument.
Secondly, most of my lecturers (I am in medical school) have emphasized that up to 80% of FASD cases are undiagnosed because problems don’t manifest as obvious deficits early in life. What is most affected are higher-level functions such as judgement, multi-tasking, budgeting, and other prefrontal cortex executive functions.
That being said, it’s obviously up to each person to decide what risks they want to take during pregnancy. I just know that for me, alcohol is not going to be one of them.

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Chantelle June 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

27 weeks with my second and I’ve mostly just kept to the same eating plan as ore pregnancy. I am more conscious of caffeine and will have a chai latte once a week as a treat if I’m out. I found alcohol easy to get rid of as it’s just empty calories anyway!
I love ham and haven’t cut it out, like you said I just make sure it’s fresh and from a reputable source. I can’t get enough of fresh fruit and I’m not super keen on meat lately.
Braxton hicks for me feel like menstrual cramps-painful ones.

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Amy June 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

i was at a fair the other day and was dying for a hot dog!!! i thought it might be ok…but i couldn’t decide so i didnt get one… i love hot dogs!! i cant wait for sushi and deli meats again..i miss my turkey sandwiches at subway

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Coreyanne Armstrong July 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

oh and one more thing – Oscar Meyer makes an all-angus beef hot dog now, free from nitrates and nitrites – I can only occasionally find them here at the US commissary here in England, but I know they exist! And they’re yummy!!

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Katy @ Fit In Heels July 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

Bah! I am SO craving goat cheese but I keep hearing different things from different people, including my OB. I’ve had a little bit of it here and there… but I’m talking I want to eat an entire block of it, with maybe a piece or two of lettuce so I can call it a salad. Otherwise I’ve eaten enough Kraft Dinner to feed a large army.

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