Why you should not Eat Unripe Papaya (pawpaw) during Pregnancy?

Last updated on March 25th, 2023 at 08:45 pm


5 minutes read.    


Diet and nutrition are important for pregnant women. Throughout their pregnancy, women are given recommendations of food to eat while pregnant and foods to avoid.

Although fruit is part of a well-balanced diet, certain fruits including papaya pregnant women are told to avoid include:

Grapes: There are various opinions about grapes and pregnancy based on the resveratrol in grapes and the difficulty in digesting grape skins.

Pineapple: There’s an opinion that pineapple may cause miscarriage, but this isn’t backed by scientific evidence.

Why should I avoid papaya while pregnant?

Yes and no. There’s confusion around eating papaya while pregnant because ripe papaya is good for pregnant women while unripe papaya isn’t safe. I can relate to this one.

Some people may generalize that eating papaya fruit isn’t good for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers but in my opinion and observation, I don’t believe that because ripped papaya (pawpaw) fruit was one of my mother’s favorite fruit during pregnancy, and even while breastfeeding her baby.

She gave birth to eight children and had never had any birth complications or issues related to eating ripped papaya. However, she normally avoids unripe papaya fruit, leaf and seeds while pregnant.

So don’t get confused, ripped papaya fruit is a healthy fruit to behold during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but unripe papaya fruit isn’t recommended at all because it contains latex and papain that have been found to be unsafe for the growing foetus, and breastmilk production.

Ripe papaya (yellow skin) Nutrition

Ripe papaya is a natural and healthy source of:

  • beta-carotene
  • choline
  • fiber
  • folate
  • potassium
  • vitamins A, B, and C

Unripe papaya (green skin)

Unripe papaya is a rich source of:

  • latex
  • papain

Why you should avoid eating Unripe Papaya fruit during pregnancy.

The type of latex found in unripe papaya including the seeds should be avoided by pregnant women because:

  • It might trigger marked uterine contractions, leading to early labor.
  • It contains papain which your body may mistake for the prostaglandins sometimes used to induce labor. Not only that, but it may also weaken vital membranes that support the foetus.
  • It is a common allergen that could trigger a dangerous reaction.


Although ripe papaya can be a beneficial part of nutrition for pregnant women, unripe papaya can be very dangerous.

Some pregnant women continue to eat ripe papaya throughout their pregnancy.

However, some women decide to eliminate all papaya from their diet until after they give birth, as there are many other sources of nutrition to enjoy safely during pregnancy.

If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about proper nutrition, including foods to avoid.

I hope you get the worth your time. I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment if you find this post helpful. Do you have any other questions as regards this topic I didn’t touch here? Feel free to share with me in the comment below.


The content provided in living Good Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good Blog takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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