Papaya In Pregnancy – Benefits And Precautions

Papaya In Pregnancy – Benefits And Precautions

28 Jul 2022 | 6 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 531 Articles

The internet is flooded with so many do’s and don’ts about pregnancy. One such myth revolving around is that eating papaya can be harmful to the expecting mum and the developing baby.

Now the question is, “Is papaya good for pregnancy?” Eating papaya in pregnancy is safe but in moderate amounts. Ripe papayas are loaded with Vitamin C, an important nutrient during pregnancy. A small papaya in pregnancy can provide about 95 mg of Vitamin C and that’s more than the daily recommended value of 85 mg for expecting mums. This fruit also contains fibre, which helps ease constipation in pregnancy. Read on to know more.

Is it Safe To Eat Papaya During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women should avoid raw papaya during pregnancy because it is rich in a substance called latex. Studies have shown that latex might trigger uterine contractions. Plus, latex is a common allergen that can trigger a dangerous reaction.

It contains papain that your body might mistake for prostaglandins, sometimes used to induce labour. It can also weaken vital membranes that support the foetus.

Nutritional Value of Papaya

Papaya in pregnancy can be a healthy choice if it’s ripe as ripe papaya is packed with the following healthy nutrients:

  • Choline
  • Beta-carotene
  • Folate
  • Fibre
  • Vitamins A, B, and C
  • Potassium

All these nutrients are integral to a healthy pregnancy.

12 Benefits of Papaya During Pregnancy

Papayas have a plethora of health benefits for the expectant mum. Here’s a list of papaya benefits in pregnancy:

  1. Ripe papayas are enriched with Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, and beta-carotene, all of which have high antioxidant content and boost immunity.
  2. The vitamin supply from papaya improves immunity and prevents various infections.
  3. Vitamin adequacy also prevents ulcers and skin problems in the expecting mum.
  4. The fibre content in papaya aids digestion. Papaya also eases constipation during pregnancy. That is why papaya in pregnancy in the first trimester is highly recommended.
  5. Papayas can also ease morning sickness, a common complaint during pregnancy.
  6. Papayas also contain folic acid, which is vital during pregnancy for the neurological development of the baby.
  7. Eating papaya during pregnancy promotes better heart health and is believed to prevent colon cancer.
  8. Having papaya in pregnancy to treat viral illnesses during pregnancy might also help increase platelet counts.
  9. Having the right amount of ripe papayas aids to increase milk production.
  10. It keeps you hydrated during this crucial phase.
  11. Papaya in pregnancy helps to increase haemoglobin levels in your body. If you’re suffering from anaemia during your pregnancy, you can consume well-ripened papaya, in moderation, as it helps in the formation of red blood cells (RBC).
  12. It helps in controlling respiratory disorders.

How Can You Include Papaya In Your Diet During Pregnancy?

Can pregnant woman eat papaya? Yes, you can include ripe papaya in your pregnancy diet in the following ways:

  1. You can cut them into pieces and enjoy this nutritious fruit.
  2. You can also use it as an addition to your fruit salad.

It is not advisable to convert papayas into juice as converting into juice, the fibre content is not retained. Plus, papaya juice which is available in tetra packs might contain papaya concentrate that can trigger uterine concentration. The preservatives and added sugar might reduce its beneficial properties.

papaya during pregnancy
It is not advisable to convert papayas into juice as they might lose fibre content. | Image Source: freepik

How Much Papayas Should You Take In Pregnancy?

Eating one cup (100 g) of fully ripened papaya twice or thrice a week is considered beneficial for the expecting mums.

It is advisable to consult a doctor before consuming papayas during pregnancy.

Consuming Papaya In Early Pregnancy

Often expecting mums raise a question: “can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?” and “can papaya stop early pregnancy?”

It is advisable to avoid unripe papaya during early pregnancy, especially in the early months or stages of pregnancy as the foetus is delicate and must be taken utmost care of.

Even the slightest amount of harmful substances, like latex, can impact the foetus.

Consuming Papaya During Pregnancy Third Trimester

It is advisable to avoid unripe papaya in the third trimester as it might induce early labour by causing uterine contractions due to the enzyme ‘papain’ present in it.

Consumption of raw papaya in pregnancy can also cause bleeding or haemorrhages from the edge of the placenta.

When Should You Start Taking Papaya During Pregnancy?

As mentioned above, it is advisable to avoid unripe papaya during pregnancy. You can include ripe papaya in your pregnancy diet at any time during pregnancy after consulting with your doctor.

can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy
It is advisable to avoid ingesting the seeds and leaves of papaya, as they might harm the growing foetus. | Image Source: freepik

Why Papaya Is Not Good for Pregnancy?

Papaya is good for pregnancy as long as the following precautions are kept in mind:

  1. Try to avoid unripe papayas that contain concentrated harmful enzymes, which might lead to miscarriage and bleeding.
  2. It is advisable to avoid ingesting the seeds and leaves of papaya, as they might harm the growing foetus.
  3. While opting for papayas, you can pick slightly greenish papaya that can be ripened at home. It is better to avoid papayas with black spots or bruises.
  4. Expecting mums with a previous history of fertility problems and miscarriages should avoid papayas.

Papaya and pregnancy resonate well as long as it is consumed in moderation. You can check the ripeness in papaya by its odour, particularly near the stem. If it has no smell, it is unripe and if it smells sweet, it is ripe. On the other hand, if it has an unpleasant smell, it is overripe. If you are unable to choose ripe papaya over unripe papaya, it’s better to just avoid papaya during pregnancy.

FAQs

Can papaya stop one month’s pregnancy?

Unripe pregnancy contains concentrated harmful enzymes and might cause uterine cramps and lead to miscarriage and bleeding and hinder the growth of the foetus.

Is consuming papaya safe during early pregnancy?

It is advisable to avoid unripe papaya during early pregnancy as during this time the foetus is delicate and even the slightest amount of latex can impact it.

Can raw papaya lead to abortion?

Unripe papayas contain latex that can trigger uterine contractions and can lead to bleeding and miscarriage.

Papaya shake benefits in Pregnancy?

It is not advisable to consume a milkshake of papayas as converting into a milkshake, the fibre content is not retained. Plus, the papaya milkshake which is available in the market might contain papaya concentrate that can trigger uterine concentration. The preservatives and added sugar further reduce its beneficial properties.

How much unripe papaya can cause abortion?

Although unripe papaya can lead to premature labour, it might not lead to abortion as such. 

Also Read: Top 7 Super Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy

Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Fruits That You Must Avoid During Pregnancy

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