Everything that a woman eats during her pregnancy affects the child. That’s the reason why it is essential to know what a to-be mother should or shouldn’t consume. A lot of harmless looking food items may prove to be dangerous for the vulnerable developing child. One of many such food items is – Papaya.
Benefits of Eating Papaya in Pregnancy
- Fully ripe papayas are generally considered safe and often beneficial during pregnancy.
- Latex, an ingredient in papayas works like prostaglandin and oxytocin which helps in controlling respiratory disorders.
- Ripe papayas are rich in Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, and beta-carotene, all of which have high antioxidant content and boost immunity.
- Vitamin supply from papaya improves immunity which prevents various infections.
- Vitamin adequacy also prevents ulcers and skin problems.
- Fibers contained in papaya facilitate digestion: A common problem of constipation during pregnancy can be countered naturally through papayas. However, consult your obstetrician regarding regular consumption.
- Papayas can help overcome morning sickness.
- Papayas also contain folic acid, which is essential during pregnancy for the neurological development of the baby.
- Papayas also help promote better heart health and are believed to prevent colon cancer.
Having papaya in viral illnesses during pregnancy may help increase the platelet counts, although this fact is not supported by scientific data.
- Having the right amount of ripe papayas helps increase the milk production.
Effects of Eating Papaya during Pregnancy
Here are some other effects of eating papaya during pregnancy
- Causes Uterine Contractions
- Latex in unripe papaya or even partially ripe papaya has papain which may stimulate prostaglandin and oxytocin, hormones that can lead to uterine contractions and can lead to premature labor. Papaya can lead to miscarriage as it is a potent emmenagogue. It must be avoided completely in early pregnancy. This is the period when the placenta is being formed, and the presence of an insignificant amount of latex can potentially harm the womb.
Weakens the vital Fetal Membranes
- Papain is often used for cell dissociation as it is a proteolytic enzyme. It is known to retard cell growth and hamper the development of the tissue in the fetus.
Impedes Fetal Development
- Pepsin and papain can be detrimental to fetal survival and development. Studies report that having papayas during pregnancy can hamper implantation, increase the risk of pregnancy loss post implantation and pose potential harm to the embryo.
- May cause haemorrhage and edema:
Unripe papaya can raise the vascular pressure and even lead to internal haemorrhage or bleeding in the placenta. Placental bleeding or haemorrhage leads to pregnancy and delivery-related complications. Papaya can affect the development and function of the placenta.
An excess bowel movement can cause miscarriage
- Papaya increases the gut motility. However, excess bowel movement can create pressure in and around the uterus and cause miscarriage. Papaya is fiber-rich and the pressure it puts on the stomach and intestines and can possibly lead to miscarriage.
- Stimulates estrogen production
- The papain in papaya also helps to regularize menstrual cycle. While menstruation never happens during pregnancy. Bleeding through the vagina is a red flag sign of impending abortion or ectopic pregnancy. Papaya raises the body temperature and enhances estrogen production in the body.
- Causes kidney stones and raises intraabdominal pressure: Papayas have vitamin C which is good for immunity but an excess may cause kidney stones. Vitamin C metabolism produces oxalate that can promote stone formation. Calculi or stones may cause colicky pains and this ultimately increases the intraabdominal pressure which affects pregnancy.