Just as pineapple, eating papaya during pregnancy is also a matter of contradiction as there are a lot of questions regarding its safety. Hence, before including papaya in your fruit salads and smoothies, it is essential to take its pros and cons into consideration to avoid any risks.
Is papaya good for pregnancy?
Eating ripe papaya in moderate amounts is considered safe as it comes with certain health benefits because of its Vitamin C, E, folic acid, and fiber content, considered helpful, especially for constipation and heartburn. It is still recommended to consult your doctor before including ripe papaya in your diet in the first, second, or third trimester.
Safety and risks of raw papaya and its enzyme while pregnant
Unripe or semi-ripe papaya can be harmful during pregnancy as the latex functions like the prostaglandin and oxytocin hormones that prepare your body for labor, thus triggering uterine contraction and increasing risks of miscarriage or stillbirth, as shown in an animal study. The seeds and skin of ripe and unripe papaya should not be eaten either since they are concentrated with latex.
Papain, an enzyme found in papaya latex and leaves and predominantly present in green or raw papaya, is said to be effective in relieving heartburn. However, as it is present in the latex known for its labor-inducing properties, you would need to consult your doctor if you consider using it.
If you fall sick or face discomfort after having papaya, do not delay talking to your medical practitioner.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.