One thing pregnant women quickly discover is there are many "rules" of pregnancy.

Don’t eat this. Do eat that.
Don’t do this. Do do that.
Take these vitamins. Don’t take those vitamins.

It can get overwhelming! Nonetheless, it is important to understand what is healthy for your pregnancy and what is not. Not only will it benefit both you and your baby in the long run, but you will look and feel great (or at least better) throughout your pregnancy. If you are placing your baby for adoption, the adoptive family will also want to make sure you are staying strong and healthy for your baby.

These tips will help you understand how to live healthily during pregnancy.

Avoid these foods:

Sushi - Raw fish like sushi can be challenging for a pregnant woman’s suppressed immune system. Parasites live in the meat of raw fish. While unlikely, the consequences of a parasitic infection during pregnancy are severe. Avoid sushi. Due to your lowered immune system, you're much more susceptible to serious illness from any food-borne organism.

Deli meat - Deli meat may contain bacteria that is especially dangerous during pregnancy. Deli meat (ham, turkey, salami and bologna) along with hot dogs can cause a form of food poisoning called listeriosis. Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. If it is transmitted to the birth canal this can be devastating for the baby. Miscarriage, early delivery or death can result from eating deli meat or hot dogs contaminated with listeria while pregnant.

Fast food - We all know fast food isn’t good for anyone - pregnant or not. It is especially important to limit fast food during pregnancy. Your body needs to absorb all the necessary nutrients plus more for your growing baby. Fast food has little nutritional value. Filling up on fast food or junk food prevents you from eating the foods you really need for your baby’s health.

Some fish - Fish with high levels of mercury should be avoided. These types of fish include: shark, swordfish, kink mackerel, fresh tuna, sea bass, and tilefish. Canned tuna is safe, but you should not consume more than 6 ounces in a week. Consuming mercury while pregnant has been linked to developmental issues and brain damage in newborns.

Whether you’re placing a baby for adoption or just seeking additional resources, we want all birthmothers to endure a happy and healthy pregnancy. Always consult your doctor with any questions about your pregnancy. He or she is knowledgeable in pregnancy best practices.