Hero Moms: How to Protect Your Baby

You are the hero of your mom story. Hero moms are ordinary women with extraordinary love, fueled by hopes and dreams. The future depends on your vision, not others’ expectations or beliefs. Because there are no perfect moms, hero moms replace any past shame and guilt with renewed confidence in their own self-worth. Your dreams are bigger than your flaws

Your mom story is also the beginning of your baby’s story. Together, you create a life built on fierce, unconditional love. There is no place for insecurity or self-doubt in your story. This may require reinventing yourself so painful childhood memories and regrets fade as you focus on making a better life for you and your baby.

Blurry ultrasound pictures, baby flutters and gentle “kicks” remind you babies are “real” and in need of protection. And you vow you will do everything you can to protect your baby, now and forever.

One way to guard your growing baby from harm is to avoid these foods during pregnancy:

  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables: Some fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Wash all fruits and vegetables with clean water.
  • Hot dogs, lunch meats, cold cuts and bologna: Experts recommend pregnant women avoid these foods unless heated. These foods are acceptable for pregnant women if they are heated until steaming hot just before serving.
  • Raw eggs: Some people may be tempted to eat poached or lightly scrambled eggs. Partially cooked and raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria. Stay away from other potential raw egg sources, like hollandaise sauce and homemade salad dressings.

  • Raw fish and shellfish: Raw or undercooked seafood like sushi is off the table for moms-to-be. Uncooked fish is more likely to have harmful parasites and bacteria. Cooked sushi rolls like tempura, however, are safe for expecting moms.
  • High-mercury fish: Shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel (different from chub mackerel) have high levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause brain damage, blindness and deafness in babies. For a safe choice, try 2-3 servings a week of well-done catfish, clams, cod, shrimp, scallops, salmon, herring and tilapia.


  • Raw or undercooked meat: Put rare steaks on the back burner during pregnancy. Make sure meat is steaming hot with no pink center.


  • Unpasteurized cheese or milk: Unpasteurized cheese, like Brie, feta, Camembert, and blue-veined cheeses, like blue cheese, are made from raw milk. They may contain listeria, bacteria that can be very dangerous for unborn babies. Stick with pasteurized cheeses like Colby, cheddar, Monterey Jack, muenster, mozzarella, pasteurized processed American and provolone.

  • Unpasteurized fruit juice: Juices may all look the same, but pasteurized and unpasteurized juices are very different. Pasteurized juices have been heated for a short time to kill bacteria that could harm your baby. Unpasteurized fruit juices are required to have a warning label.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol harms babies. Sips of wine, beer, spirits and hard seltzers are all dangerous for your growing baby. If you are struggling to give up alcohol for the 280 days of pregnancy, talk to your health care provider. Your protective actions can prevent your baby from developing physical, behavioral and learning problems.

Reinvention is the process through which you change so much that you appear to be entirely new. Mothers of reinvention imagine a new life filled with children who feel safe and mothers who feel worthy and wise. Congratulations on the new person you are creating.

For more information on fish choices during pregnancy:


For more information on food safety:


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