9 Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

Masthead Image
Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Tuesday March 26, 2019

Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site. 

When you’re trying to conceive, the right lifestyle is crucial. Several factors can create the right setting for fertilization. From stress to dental hygiene, unlikely habits can help or hurt fertility, and one of those components is a woman’s diet. Surprisingly, there are certain foods to avoid when you’re trying to get pregnant too.

Many women aren’t familiar with the foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant, and their journey toward conception takes longer than normal because of it. Pairing beneficial activities with a healthy diet can reduce some hurdles for those looking to become mothers.

Check out these nine foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant and why they can be harmful.

1. Deli Meat

When considering foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant, lunch meat may not come to mind. However, ready-made deli meats can pose a risk to the health of growing babies.

Hotdogs and deli meat both have a high risk of containing listeria, which is a dangerous bacteria associated with birth defects. Listeria infection is linked to stillbirth, premature delivery and early miscarriage. Even handling the juice from these meats requires caution, so women attempting to conceive should steer clear of processed meats.

2. Unpasteurized Cheese

In the past, the FDA warned women about eating soft cheeses during pregnancy, but the threat didn’t lie in the cheese itself. If cheese doesn’t go through the pasteurization cycle, it’s more likely to hold listeria, the previously mentioned germ.

As long as the cheese is pasteurized, there’s no threat to a newborn’s health. Brie and Gorgonzola are safe if the milk used to make them was properly heated to destroy pathogens. However, individuals on the path to conceive should be wary of unclear labels on soft cheeses.

3. Coffee

In moderation, coffee doesn’t delay pregnancy, but many coffee drinkers exceed the recommended amount, hazarding early pregnancy loss. High consumption of caffeine during early pregnancy is connected with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion. Sticking to the regular advised amount of 200 milligrams or less of caffeine remains the accepted standard.

Abiding by a reasonable intake of coffee may require a change for some. To reach alertness without a morning pick-me-up, perform safe exercises. Fitness can provide health benefits before pregnancy and promote alertness.

4. Green Peas

Although the research for peas and fertility is more controversial, there’s a potential correlation between the two. This legume is rich in protein, but women aiming for pregnancy may want to bypass the food. It’s possible that peas can serve as a natural contraceptive due to a component called m-xylohydroquinone. The chemical may disrupt estrogen levels, which could inhibit pregnancy.

5. Mercury-Rich Fish

Seafood with plenty of mercury can put a fetus in jeopardy, and even prior to conception, consuming mercury can affect a baby’s health later on. Mercury can stay in the system, slowly building up. This substance can lead to developmental delays for children, like a greater likelihood of ADHD.

Mackerel, swordfish and tuna all are packed with mercury, and the presence of mercury can impact a baby’s nervous system once it begins to develop.

6. Low-Fat Dairy

Dairy foods that filter out fat can impact fertility because of the presence of androgens. These male hormones can stick around in the milk, and after people eat them, they can also produce androgens. Low-fat dairy products can cause an increase in women’s risk of ovulation-related infertility.

Swapping out low-fat yogurt and cheese for full-fat products can solve this issue. Healthy fats can normalize the pre-conceptive cycle and enhance fertility.

7. Soda

Carbonated beverages full of sugar can alter reproductive health. Drinking soda can have a 20 percent reduction in the average monthly probability of conception for each gender.

Preservatives, fructose and artificial flavoring are all in the majority of soft drinks, among other unhealthy ingredients. With no nutritional benefits, sodas hold substantially more negatives than positives when it comes to fertility.

8. Alcohol

Restricting alcohol isn’t supposed to come until after pregnancy, but too much booze can be detrimental to fetuses. Because it saps important fertility nutrients like vitamin B, drinking excessive alcohol can prevent conception.

Limiting alcohol early can help women reach pregnancy. There are plenty of alternative beverages to strengthen reproductive health — even though there won’t be the appealing intoxicating effect.

9. Turmeric

While this spice lends helpful qualities, there’s support for its ability to diminish sperm function. Curcumin, a component in turmeric, can block conception when it’s in a concentrated state.

Cooking with turmeric in low doses is suitable for women on their way to pregnancy, but supplements of curcumin or turmeric can stop fertilization.

Know Which Foods to Avoid When Trying to Get Pregnant

Preparing to welcome a baby into the world is exciting, but getting to that point can take time and adjustments. While some foods can encourage fertility, others can hold people back. Incorporate the right dietary changes to spur on conception.

Previous ArticleWhat Is Interstitial Cystitis? Next ArticleWhat Causes TSS?
Subscribe CTA Image

Subscribers get even more tailored tips & deets delivered directly to their inboxes!