To Eat or Not to Eat
Pregnant women should definitely steer clear of raw fish (it could contain harmful bacteria) and alcohol (which could lead to fetal alcohol syndrome). You should also avoid soft or mold-ripened cheeses (like Brie and Stilton) because of the risk of listeria, and raw eggs, which might contain salmonella. Talk to your doctor about caffeine, which a recent study has linked to an increased risk of miscarriage.
As for concerns about the danger of pesticides, Danner recommends giving fresh produce a good 20- to 30-second wash with warm water to remove dirt, germs, and any trace amounts of pesticide residue. If you're really worried, you can always go organic, but most experts say that produce from your local grocery store is just fine. "In my opinion, we have one of the safest food supplies in the world," she says. "I would hate for moms-to-be to completely avoid fresh fruits and vegetables."
Tracey Zemitis is a freelance writer based in Santa Monica, CA.