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Blog / Pregnancy

Healthy alternatives for pregnant women

“Everyone keeps telling me what I can’t eat”, moaned a newly pregnant Yinova patient, “but no one is telling me what to eat instead”. So Eileen, this blog’s for you (and for anyone else who wants some help making healthy food choices when pregnant).

Fear not! I know we’ve asked you to limit the coffee and cut the sushi but there are plenty of alternatives that mean you won’t end up feeling too deprived for the next nine months.

We ask our pregnant Yinova Moms not to eat hot dogs, deli meats (such as turkey, ham, salami and bologna), refrigerated patés or meat spreads because of the risk of listeria which can cause miscarriage or premature birth.

So what to eat instead? If you’re really craving a hot dog you could try a nitrate free brand such as Applegate Farms or a veggie dog. Just make sure you heat them thoroughly. Are you jones’ing for a turkey sandwich with all the fixings? We advise against the kind of deli meats that stand in a cooling cabinet all day, but cooking and slicing a chicken or turkey breast is no problem. For a paté substitute we suggest hummus which is delicious in a whole grain wrap with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.

What about coffee? We ask our Mom’s-to-be to either cut out coffee or limit themselves to 1 small cup a day. If you’re having trouble giving up your daily venti frappucino, have a look at this article by YinOva’s Liz Carlson. In it Liz talks about breaking up with your daily cup of Joe and offers suggestions that will help you replace coffee with something healthier.

Pregnant women are told to avoid raw fish, shellfish and smoked fish. Fish is a topic we’ve covered recently on the blog but I know that many of you miss sushi. If you’re eating in a Japanese restaurant you can make a meal of veggie sushi, seaweed salad and edamame. As for smoked fish, the risk is negligible if the fish is cooked, so if you are missing smoked salmon you could try baking it into a quiche or in a creamy pasta sauce.

Because of the risk of listeria you should avoid soft cheeses made with un-pasteurized milk such brie, camembert, feta, roquefort, queso blanco, and queso fresco. However many soft cheeses are pasteurized and therefore safe to eat so check your labels carefully. If you are looking for a soft cheese alternative try making yogurt cheese by draining pasteurized yogurt through cheese cloth. Cottage cheese is also a safe choice and delicious if you dress it up with some chopped fresh herbs.

Alcohol is something that most pregnant women give up completely. Some of you tell me that you have trouble finding a grown up drink for festive occasions. Personally I like to mix a small amount of fruit juice with lots of sparkling water for a alcohol free spritzer.

Here at the Yinova Center we wish you all a healthy, happy stress-free pregnancy.

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