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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can pregnant women eat pineapples and papaya?

    I am nearing the end of my 1st trimester and I recently ate a few slices of pineapple only to be told by a friend that papaya and pineapple are contraindicated during all stages of pregnancy as they both contain elements that stimulate uterine contraction.

    I then took to “Dr Google” and was completely alarmed to see this info all over the net! This is my second pregnancy and my Ob has never ever mentioned this to me nor is it in any of the literature given to pregnant women about food choices. Needless to say I am now really nervous to eat either fruit! I will be asking my Ob for sure but only see him again in a few weeks.

    Please can a professional set the record straight. Is it safe to eat or not??Thanks!
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 100

    Thanks

    Dr Karen Osborne

    GP (General Practitioner)

    Sydney GP specialising in Reproductive & Sexual Health for both women and men. At Clinic 66, we deal with a wide range of reproductive and … View Profile

    There are old wives tales about eating fruits such as pineapple to bring on labour.
    I don't know about papaya but FRESH (not canned) pineapple does contain a substance that, in theory could help to ripen the cervix but my understanding of the quantities of pineapple required are so immense that it is not possible to eat that much.
    I also know plenty of overdue pregnant patients have tried eating pineapple to bring on delivery. In practice I have never known this to actually work.
    Both pineapple and papaya are rich in nutrients and are good for you - don't worry about eating them in small quantities.

  • 137

    Thanks

    Dr Gary Sykes

    Obstetrician

    Dr Gary Sykes is a graduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B, B.S.) from Sydney University. He commenced his initial postgraduate training at … View Profile

    While many say eating pineapples and papaya should be avoided in pregnancy because they can trigger miscarriage and the onset of premature labour, this opinion are based on theoretical consideration and some laboratory animal studies.
     
    I am not aware of any clinical studies in humans, anecdotal reports or conclusions at clinical or scientific medical meetings, etc. that eating pineapples and papaya in pregnancy have caused miscarriage or premature labour. I have personally managed many thousands of pregnant women and pineapples and papayas causing miscarriage or preterm labour has never been an issue.
     
    So I consider pineapples and papayas safe to eat in moderation and I have never advised a patient to avoid them.
     
    Papayas and pineapples are an excellent source of vitamins and other nutrients.
     
    Some pregnant woman may not tolerate pineapples especially if heartburn is an issue. In contrast some pregnant women have found papayas help reduce heartburn. Obviously if there is an allergy concern then there should be avoidance. 

  • 106

    Thanks

    SemiMax

    HealthShare Member

    I am 24 weeks pregnant and i was eating papaya's slices since yesterday because of heat burning sensation. I just came across through a friend that  it's not safe during pregnancy esp if it's unripened. I am really very worried now cuz i ate half ripened papaya :(.  Can u please reply it's ok to eat half ripened papaya too ??

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