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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can I eat chili during pregnancy?

    Can I eat chilli during pregnancy? For instance, raw chilli or chilli sauce.
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  • 14

    Thanks

    Dr Gary Sykes

    Obstetrician

    Specialist Obstetrician Gynaecologist, servicing Norwest Private Hospital, Bella Vista and the Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San), Wahroonga. Extremely affordable. Lots of extras such as free … View Profile

    Eating chili will not harm you or your baby.

    But it may exacerbate pregnancy problems such as heartburn and nausea.

    Pregnant women get some interesting cravings and so chili may have some appeal as such. I had one pregnant patient  years ago who said that hamburgers was the best way for her to overcome her morning sickness.

  • 9

    Thanks

    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Yes. It's fine to eat spicy or hot food while pregnant or breastfeeding. And although a tiny fraction of what you ingest does go into your milk supply, it's unlikely that eating spicy food will affect your baby.

    Eating garlic may even be beneficial to breastfeeding. Two studies have shown that the babies of mums who eat garlic tend to feed for a longer time, and many babies seem to prefer a variety of flavour in breastmilk.

    Go by trial and error. If you suffer from heartburn after you've eaten a fiery curry when you are pregnant, or your baby seems upset or irritable, then opt for a milder diet until she's slightly older.

    Women from parts of the world where spicy dishes are the cultural norm don't make big changes to their diet when they become pregnant or are breastfeeding. The key is to stick to a healthy, varied diet, and avoid foods that make you feel uncomfortable.

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