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Why Shouldn't Pregnant Women Eat Papaya?

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Is Papaya in pregnancy safe or not?

What to eat during pregnancy, is a central hub for what to and what not to eat, but here we will discuss the specific topic of papaya and pregnancy:

There are so many old wives tales and information flooding the media that people should or should not have certin foods to eat during pregnancy. But there is one specific food which I get asked about so regularly that I need to write about it. That's Papaya, is it Safe?

There have been many research projects into the effects of foods on pregnant women and papaya is no exception, click the link on the right to see the official British journal of nutrition report on Papaya.


Dangers of Unripe Papaya in Pregnancy

Now The problem with Papaya is that in an unripe state the Papaya contains high concentrations of a Latex, this latex concentration reduces upon ripening and once completely ripe has almost no latex left.

The Papaya latex's main constitiuants are papain and chymopapain which have teratogenic (abnormalities of physiological development) and abortifacient (Can induce an abortion) effects . It does this by increasing the chances of uterine contractions as the papain acts like prostaglandin and oxytocin which are known to put a mothers body into labour and hence an adverse effect on the babies and mothers health.

The Latex can also cause marked oedema and haemorrhagic placentas which are bleeding and hemorrhaging from the edge of the placenta, this can result in severe complications in pregnancy and normally an early delivery.

Papaya and Pregnancy

It is safe to eat ripe Papaya and unsafe to eat unripe papaya when Pregnant.

It is safe to eat ripe Papaya and unsafe to eat unripe papaya when Pregnant.

Can Pregnant Woman Eat Papaya?

To sum up is is advised that women in pregnancy do NOT eat raw papaya for the added risk of complications, however it is perfectly safe for them to eat a fully ripened Papaya as the concentrations of Papaya Latex is so small.

Fruits and vegetables are an extremely important part of nutrition during pregnancy and you should not let all information you read on the internet affect you. If you did you probably wouldn't eat anything. Make sure that you check the sources of all information, for example this article is based on a peer reviewed article which is listed in the British Journal of Nutrition and a link can be found in the link below. I want to emphasise It is completely safe to eat RIPE papaya during pregnancy.

For other foods which you should avoid checkout my hub Pregnancy - What to eat?

Is Papaya Safe when Pregnant

British Journal of Nutrition

  • Is Papaya safe during pregnancy
    Papaya (Carica papaya) consumption is unsafe in pregnancy: fact or fable? Scientific evaluation of a common belief in some parts of Asia using a rat model


asma on May 13, 2014:

Papaya has good medicinal properties contains papain and pepsin which r digestive enzymes

Shadaan Alam from India on February 24, 2013:

thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information, voted hub up!!!

dipless (author) from Manchester on June 24, 2012:

I'm really sorry to hear that Lizzy, that is a painful and sad thing to happen and my thoughts are with you, although you would not be able to attribute the semi ripe papaya as a direct cause. Again i'm sorry for your loss.

Lizzy on June 22, 2012:

So Papaya is bad,i now realise why i lost my baby at 38week 4days,i ate semi riped papaya 3 days before i lost d baby at term,so painful

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dipless (author) from Manchester on February 06, 2012:

Thank you for your information

VINOD KUMAR on February 06, 2012:

In INDIA, from ancient times, there was knowledge about Papaya causing danger to pregnant women. It was a local practice that at early stages of pregnancy, i.e, weeks old pregnancy, could be aborted by eating raw papaya. But it is not so safe, it caused bleeding and complications. Yet it was being done. Please note Ayurveda(Treatment by herbals) was widely practiced from ancient times in INDIA. Still it is a major and safe mode of treatment that Allopathy cannot cure.

dipless (author) from Manchester on December 27, 2011:

As the article states, Papaya is safe in it's ripe form and unsafe in it's unripe form. So please feel free to eat it when ripe.

hope that it helps clear up any confusion. If you need any further information please feel free to ask

ubah vera on November 20, 2011:

Thanx so much for this research on papaya. But,i took lots of riped papaya with banana and sqeezed oranges mixed up together and i didn't have any bad experience,my baby was ok. And her skin was so smooth and beautiful with her vibrant IQ,tho i took pregnacare with lots of vegetable. Now i'm in my 1st trimester with heavy riped papayas in my front. Pls do feel free and eat ur riped papaya and lots of water. Thank u.

Eric on November 17, 2011:

Let's not be the doubting thomases. Papaya is bad, I did't understand why my wife has this endless abdominal pain and all sorts of complications until I read this article, she eats papaya like I don't know what!! Avoid papaya pregnant women, ripe or unripe.

anup maity on June 29, 2011:

safe or non safe

Pomme on January 18, 2011:

In that case I will avoid papaya altogether. As for watermelon, yes it is perfectly safe. I am unsure about mango tho but pineapples are a NO NO

zahraa on October 17, 2010:

Really Really thank you, I'm just pregnant and "accidentally" ate a ripe one, now your article make me feel so much relieved :D

swati on August 10, 2010:

thanx a lot, i was really confused abt this.

dipless (author) from Manchester on July 30, 2010:

Fruits do give good vitimins it is the papain and chymopapain specific to under ripe papaya's which are the problem. But fully ripe there is no problem.

Ravi on June 26, 2010:

Feeling gret to know unknown things, thanks a lot

how to get pregnant fast on June 01, 2010:


I think all fruits suppose to give good vitamins to pregnant women. I don't think it can give bad effect..

dipless (author) from Manchester on February 05, 2010:

Get-pregnant-fast, did you look at the research it sheds some intersting light 12536, just make sure if you do eat papaya, that it is really Ripe.

12536_dk on January 19, 2010:

oh my gosh... i always ate papaya and i am pregnant... i hope that nothing can bad effects to my baby....

Get-Pregnant-Fast on September 29, 2009:

Is it true? Thanks for information

Nisha shan on September 19, 2009:

I have heard about this before. But I haven't got the exact detail. Thanks for providing such a valuable information.

dipless (author) from Manchester on June 04, 2009:

Thanks, just saw a question i could answer quickly always nice :)

Gin G from Canada on June 04, 2009:

Always good to share our knowledge. Great Hub! :)

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