You can eat papaya while pregnant, but you’ll want to make sure it’s ripe and has yellow skin.


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 good 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 back by scientific evidence.

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.

Ripe papaya (yellow skin)

Ripe papaya is a natural and healthy source of:

Unripe papaya (green skin)

Unripe papaya is a rich source of:

Why you should avoid latex in papaya

The type of latex in unripe papaya 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. It may also weaken vital membranes that support the fetus.
  • It is a common allergen that could trigger a dangerous reaction.

The takeaway

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.