For a mom to be, Thanksgiving Day may seem like a dream come true with so many options to fulfill food cravings. Although tempting, an expert at Baylor College of Medicine says pregnant women should avoid overindulging on Thanksgiving foods for the sake of themselves and their unborn babies.

“The unborn baby relies on mother’s nutrition for healthy development, and the environment in the womb may affect baby's health long term,” said Dr. Nina Ali, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor. “For example, women who have uncontrolled gestational diabetes have children who are more likely to develop insulin resistance and diabetes.”

Ali says pregnant women should avoid these foods and drinks:

  • High salt foods
  • Undercooked meats
  • Unpasteurized dairy
  • Excessive sweets
  • Cold turkey
  • Stuffing cooked inside a turkey
  • Alcohol

Pregnant women who consume or over consume any of the foods listed above may experience uncomfortable swelling in the hands or even more serious illness caused by bacteria like listeria and salmonella. In addition, blood sugars are harder to regulate in pregnancy, so eating smaller portions of sweets is the best bet.

Ali suggests indulging in all the delicious vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, corn, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.

“To help avoid overeating, try eating smaller portions throughout the day rather than one huge meal. You should also make it a point to be active during the holidays and take a walk after the big meal,” she said.