Pregnancy brings dramatic changes to your body, digestive system, and immune system. As a result, pregnant women need to pay special attention to what they eat to protect the health of both themselves and their unborn baby \u2014 which may mean forgoing some of your favorite foods.\nHere are a few common items that may need to be on your dietary “no” list for the next nine months:\nFood and Drink to Avoid While Pregnant\n1. Alcohol\nThe consensus on alcohol is clear \u2014 it should not be consumed during pregnancy. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.\nDrinking while pregnant poses a risk of fetal defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, and premature birth. Try trading your favorite mixed drinks for a virgin version instead.\nMake an appointment to speak with an expert at the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC for more.\n2. Raw batter or dough\nCookie dough and cake batter made with uncooked eggs can carry salmonella, and pre-made cookie dough has been linked to E. coli infections. It’s best to bake cookies and cake first to these desserts don’t put you at risk\n3. Feta, brie, queso fresco, any soft cheese made from raw milk\nSoft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk can harbor listeria or E.coli. Hard cheeses, like cheddar and mozzarella, are still safe for snacking.\n4. High-mercury fish\nShark, tilefish, king mackerel, and others can contain high levels of mercury. This mercury can lead to a variety of birth defects in babies, including visual and hearing impairment and brain and spinal cord developmental issues.\nOther seafood favorites, like salmon, tilapia, and shrimp can be a healthy part of your pregnancy.\n5. Sushi and other undercooked fish and seafood\nWhile we’re talking about seafood, undercooked fish may house bacteria that’s dangerous to you and your baby.\nIf you’re pregnant, always thoroughly cook fish before eating. Raw oysters and clams can house Vibrio bacteria and should be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. For more information, see this guide to eating seafood during pregnancy.\n6. Unpasteurized milk and juices\nRaw cider and milk may contain harmful bacteria \u2014 so pour a glass of the pasteurized variety instead.\nRaw cider may hold E.coli. Unpasteurized milk can contain a host of bacteria, including salmonella, listeria, and campylobacter, in addition to E.coli.\nPasteurization, however, makes these beverages safe, so be sure to check labels before you buy.\n7. Raw or undercooked vegetable sprouts\nRaw sprouts seem like a healthy option. But sprouts that have been grown in the ground cannot be easily washed to remove or kill bacteria. Mung bean, radish, clover, and alfalfa sprouts should be thoroughly cooked before you munch on them.\n8. Grocery store\u00a0chicken salad and tuna salad\nMake salads with mayonnaise-based dressings at home.\u00a0Ham, chicken, and seafood salads made in grocery stores may not have been properly prepared \u2014 leading to risk of listeria exposure.\nMake these salads at home to ensure each ingredient has been thoroughly cooked and safely refrigerated to prevent bacteria growth.