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To eat or not to eat

To eat or not to eat

As friends and family learn of your pregnancy, you’ll be bombarded with advice, especially on what food (and drinks) to take and avoid.

Here’s help to sift the fact from fallacies.

1. Is coffee bad for my baby?

Fact: A few studies have linked coffee with reduced birth weight and an increased risk of preterm birth or stillbirth. It has also been found to speed up the fetus’ metabolism. Coffee and tea also contain compounds that make it harder for your body to absorb iron.

If you can’t do without it, play safe by diluting your coffee as you wean yourself off it.

2. Is it safe to eat sushi?

Fact: No. It is best to eat fish and shellfish that is well cooked. Stay away not only from raw fish but also raw seafood, raw eggs and raw meat during pregnancy.

3. Can I drink alcohol?

Fact: Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can give rise to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders – a range of physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities.

4. Will spicy food induce labor?

Fact: There’s no scientific basis to this. You can continue eating spicy food as long as you can tolerate it. However, if you suffer from heartburn, spicy foods can aggravate it.

5. Can I eat satay?

Fact: Satay may be well charred on the outside but slightly raw on the inside. Undercooked meat can contain salmonella or E.coli. Check for pink areas that indicate the meat has not been cooked through. Raw vegetables such as the onions and cucumber served with the satay may carry bacteria and parasites if they are not washed well. 

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