In a nutshell

No, you should not eat liver or liver products if you are pregnant or trying for a baby, and only take supplements if advised to


The expert view

Avoid liver or liver products, such as liver pâté or liver sausage, as they may contain a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can potentially cause birth defects.

Nutritionist Dr Rana Conway explains: "Pregnant women and even women trying for a baby are advised not to eat liver or liver products. They should also avoid supplements containing vitamin A, such as cod liver oil, unless advised by their doctor to take them."

However, it’s important to distinguish between vitamin A from animal/meat sources (called retinol) and from veggie sources (called beta-carotene).

Dr Conway says in her book What to Eat When You’re Pregnant that "some experts believe women need to increase their intake of beta-carotene during pregnancy".

More like this

This is because "vitamin A deficiency can be a real risk, particularly for women having twins or babies close together", she adds.

Mums on our forum say

“[At Christmas] I had to be a little more careful with the food, no rare beef to accompany the goose, no pate starters, no liver in the stuffing.” Nicolette

“I believe that unless you are extremely careful what you eat you will at some point have eaten things you are not supposed to, I do avoid soft cheeses and i cant stand liver, pate or shellfish so I am safe there.” Swishswoo

Read more about safe foods in pregnancy


Confused about eating pâté when pregnant?


Magda Ibrahim is a freelance writer who has written for publications including The Times and Sunday Times, The Sun, Time Out, and the London Evening Standard, as well for MadeForMums.