Myths & facts on certain food consumption during pregnancy

Submitted by the Waidyawaraya Magazine
Written by Dr. R. N. G. Rajapaksha
Specialist Gynecologist

 

Usually pregnant mothers choose their food with special care. They avoid certain food due to loss of appetite. Some adults do not allow pregnant mothers to consume certain varieties of food, due to the belief that they would harm the child in the womb. We shall discuss some of these food.

 

Papaya

Papaya also known as papaw contain an enzyme called “Papain”. Papain can reduce the levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone once it enters the mother’s circulation. But this enzyme is only available in raw or half ripe papayas.

 

Harmfulness in taking pine apple during the first trimester

Prostaglandin is a compound present in pine apple. This can induce contraction of the womb. These are also mostly found in raw and half ripe pine apples. Therefore it should be avoided as fresh fruit or even cooked form. Researches are still in the process of validating these facts.

 

Allergic conditions with the intake of Balayaa fish

Huge amount of Histamine is present in balayaa and dark colored fish varieties. Pregnant mothers can develop allergic conditions due to the histamine content. Itching of the body, inflammation, formation of blisters, increase in body temperature and headache are the symptoms of this allergic condition.

 

Prawns and crabs

Abnormal types of proteins present in these kinds of food can create an allergic condition. Diarrhea and difficulty in breathing may occur as a result. These situations are not suitable for a pregnant mother.

 

Beverages like orange and king coconut

Our ancestors, ayurvedic medicine and local medicine identify these beverages as cooling food. These food have the ability to increase phlegm and lead to difficulty in breathing. It is better for pregnant mothers with such allergic conditions to avoid such food.

 

Be careful in consuming yams other than potatoes

Kiri ala can cause allergies in some people. They are not good for pregnant mothers who may develop allergies.

 

Overall food message

A pregnant mother should select foods during pregnancy wisely. If there is an experience of facing an abnormality due to a certain food, that food should be totally avoided. She should be away from foods resulting in constipation. Especially food with artificial coloring and preservatives must be strictly avoided. Oily foods, roasted and fried food also must be avoided. Fruits and vegetables should be compulsory in meals.

 

She should be highly concerned to take nutritional foods throughout the day.

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