Give advice on women's health concerns.

Is It Safe to Eat Papaya During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe to Eat Papaya During Pregnancy?

Papaya is a fruit that is loved by most people. Confused about whether or not you can eat papaya during pregnancy? Read this article to clear your doubts.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Pregnant young woman
"A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die." - Mary Mason

"A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone." - Author Unknown

A woman never glows more than when she's carrying a baby. Being pregnant is God's greatest gift to women, and it is our duty to make sure that we take good care of this wondrous gift handed to us. This involves eating right. And when it comes to a healthy pregnancy diet, one of the most confusing food items is papaya. Women are constantly asking themselves, "Can we eat papaya during pregnancy?" Well, read this article to find out.

The papaya (Carica papaya, genus: Carica) is one of the most delicious and healthy fruits. It was planted for the first time in Mexico but is now seen in many tropical countries. The whole papaya tree can be used for different things. Its stem can be used to make ropes. The leaves are made into tea in some parts of the world. The fruit has the maximum uses though. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw. It is used as a remedy to ease digestion. The unripe fruit can be cooked and eaten. The seeds can be ground and used as a substitute for black pepper. The latex in the unripe fruit is used to soften meat while cooking.

Eating Papaya During Pregnancy
Many people, especially in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc., believe that papaya has properties that can induce problems in childbirth like miscarriage or abortion. To discuss this further, both the sides of the issue must be known.

Read ahead for some of the reasons why eating papaya during pregnancy is a good prenatal care measure.
  • Indigestion is a common problem that pregnant women face. To help ease the trouble caused by the indigestion, papaya is highly recommended.
  • Papaya is rich in vitamins. The raw skin of papaya has large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • Besides these, papaya also is very effective against other digestive problems like inflammatory bowel syndrome or heartburn.
  • Slightly unripe papaya is used as a natural method to induce labor towards the final stages of pregnancy.
Adverse Effects
Here are some of the reasons why eating papaya during pregnancy is avoided.
  • It is safe to eat only ripe papaya during pregnancy. The enzyme that soothes indigestion is called papain.
  • However, care must be taken that only fully ripe papaya is eaten. Even slightly unripe papaya has a latex like substance in it. This latex substance acts like prostaglandin and oxytocin which are generally used to induce labor.
  • Consuming papaya during the early weeks of pregnancy should be avoided unless you are absolutely sure that it is fully ripe.
  • This is because eating unripe papaya during the early stages of pregnancy may induce early labor and in some case, even miscarriage.
  • Hence, papaya is generally avoided by most women as a precautionary measure.
These were some of the benefits and ill effects of eating papaya during pregnancy. Hope this article has cleared your doubts. Make sure you eat healthy during pregnancy. You'll be rewarded with a bundle of joy and you will cherish the entire experience forever!