Foods to avoid

Eating well during pregnancy isn't rocket science, but there are a few foods you'll want to steer clear of, just in case.

It’s best to avoid:

  • Soft mould-ripened and blue cheeses like camembert, brie, chevre, gorgonzola and roquefort
  • Unpasteurised milk
  • Pâté, including vegetable pâté
  • Raw meat, including cured raw meats like parma ham
  • Liver
  • Raw or uncooked eggs, including undercooked scrambled eggs and recipes that call for raw eggs
  • Raw shellfish
  • Shark, swordfish and marlin

These foods are okay in limited quantities:

  • Tuna – it’s best to have no more than two steaks or four cans a week
  • Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon – the fatty acids they contain are good for you, but it's best not to have more than two portions a week

Download our handy guide

We’ve put together a simple little guide to healthy eating during your pregnancy. It’s the perfect size to pop in your bag when you’re out and about. Download it here now.

Simply put, there's no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, so your best bet is to avoid it completely. This is especially important in the first three months, as drinking can increase the risk of early miscarriage. (However, if you had a drink or two before you realised you were pregnant, don't panic! Check with your midwife or GP if you're concerned.)

Any alcohol you consume will pass through the placenta to your baby, so if you do choose to drink, try not to have more than 1 to 2 units, no more than once or twice a week.

One unit of alcohol is half a pint of ordinary-strength beer, lager or cider, half a standard (175ml) glass of wine or a single 25ml measure of spirits. (For more information, visit

Is it okay to eat peanuts?

Peanuts used to be a no-no during pregnancy, especially if someone in the family had food allergies, asthma or eczema. These days, however, doctors have concluded there's no evidence that what you eat will affect your baby's risk of a food allergy, so there's no reason to avoid peanuts if you enjoy them.

Do I have to stop drinking coffee and tea?

If you love your morning pick-me-up, don't worry; there's no need to go cold-turkey. However, it’s best to limit the total amount of caffeine you have in a day to 200mg.

Here's how your favourite beverages add up:

  • Mug of instant coffee = 100mg
  • Mug of filter coffee = 140mg
  • Mug of black tea = 75mg
  • Can of cola = around 40mg
  • Can of 'energy' drink = around 80mg
  • 50-gram bar of milk chocolate = around 25 mg (dark chocolate has about twice as much caffeine)