Papaya in Pregnancy- Is it good or bad?

Eating fruits during pregnancy is suggested by doctors. But not all fruits are good for the pregnant female. There is a lot of confusion around eating papaya in pregnancy. The simple answer to it is that eating ripe papaya can be beneficial for the pregnant female but unripe papaya is not good for the pregnancy. 

Unripe papaya has a component known as latex. The presence of latex in unripe papaya can trigger uterine contractions, which can often cause miscarriage or early labor. 

Papaya in Early Pregnancy

diced papaya in a bowl

In the early months of pregnancy, the fetus is delicate and requires the utmost care. Even the slightest amount of harmful substances, such as latex, can be very harmful. Unripe papaya has a latex, which can cause uterine contractions. Abnormal or such induced and unnatural uterine contractions in pregnancy can cause miscarriage or premature birth. It can also weaken the vital membranes of the fetus. Hence, in early pregnancy, unripe papaya should be completely avoided.

Papaya in Third Trimester

In the third trimester (last three months of pregnancy), papaya can induce early labor by giving rise to uterine contractions due to the presence of enzyme ‘papain’ present in it. Given the complications, many females choose to refrain from eating unripe papaya in pregnancy. Raw or unripe papaya during pregnancy can also cause bleeding or hemorrhages from the edge of the placenta.

Negative Effects of Eating Papaya During Pregnancy

Young pregnant female having pain

Unripe papaya in pregnancy can be very harmful to the female. Here are some negative effects of eating papaya in pregnancy-

  • Cause uterine contractions
  • Hampers fetal development
  • Harmful to the female with a history of abortion or premature labor
  • Can cause kidney stones 
  • May raise intraabdominal pressure
  • Affects blood sugar levels (harmful for a female with diabetes or a history of diabetes)
  • Can cause skin discoloration
  • Weakens vital fetal membranes
  • Can cause hemorrhage and edema
  • Increases bowel movements
  • Affects the nervous system
  • Is abortifacient in nature (abortion-causing)
  • Is teratogenic in nature (harmful for the development of the fetus)

Can You Drink Papaya Juice During Pregnancy?

pregnant female making papaya juice

No, drinking papaya juice in pregnancy is not considered safe. It is also recommended that drinking papaya juice available in the market should be avoided. Converting papaya into juice negates its major benefit of fiber. Additionally, papaya juice available in tetra packs may contain papaya concentrate, which can be very harmful to pregnancy. 

Is Papaya Good For Pregnant Females?

Eating a small amount of ripe papaya is beneficial for pregnant women. It has been established that pregnant females can eat ripe papayas. It is a myth that papaya causes miscarriage, but the truth is, unripe papaya can pose risks to pregnancy. But ripe papaya in moderate quantities can be consumed safely.  In fact, ripe papaya is rich in nutrients that can benefit the pregnancy diet and can also treat pregnancy ailments such as morning sickness, heartburn, and constipation. 


What fruits can a pregnant woman eat instead of Papaya?

pregnant female cutting apples

If the female does not want to risk her pregnancy and wants to avoid papaya, she can consume other fruits mentioned ahead as a substitute to fulfill her nutritional needs-

  • Orange
  • Grapes
  • Apple
  • Pomegranate
  • Guava


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