The birth of a child is a new phase in a woman’s life. Every passing day teaches you something more about the baby, the parenting and many a time yourself. Even the most confident and strong women find themselves to be confused when it comes to giving the best to your baby. One of the major ‘issues’ arise at the time of breastfeeding. “how to increase breast milk”, “what are the best lactation foods”, “can I eat papaya during breastfeeding”, “how to increase breast milk naturally”, “what should be the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk”, “what to eat when breastfeeding”, are a few of the numerous questions that continue to bother a new mother.
If you or someone you know, are going through the same confusion, then you should know that breastfeeding can at times be quite overwhelming and it is perfectly normal to have so many questions. You have suggestions pouring in from all sides and from just about everyone. Many women are advised not to have papaya during their pregnancy, but whether they can have papaya during breastfeeding still confuses many. Let us see, can papaya affect breast milk.
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Can I Eat Papaya While Breastfeeding?
Many women are apprehensive about eating papaya during pregnancy. It is because raw papaya contains latex, which may cause uterine contractions. But once the baby is born, it is time to include the super fruit in your diet. Papaya is filled with minerals and vitamins and can be regarded as one of the best lactation foods. Even unripe papaya can greatly improve the quality of breast milk and is highly recommended. So, if you have been wondering can breastfeeding moms eat papaya, then in most cases, the answer is ‘Yes’, having papaya while nursing is a very healthy option.
Benefits Of Eating Papaya During Breastfeeding
Papaya, being a tropical fruit, is loaded with goodness. It is a great source of magnesium, calcium, Vitamins A, C and E. Here's a list of the many benefits of eating papaya during breastfeeding.
1. Boosts Immunity
Papaya is a great food to eat when breastfeeding. A breastfeeding mother’s requirements of antioxidants are more than others. The vitamin C rich fruit helps in boosting immunity.
2. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Diseases
The presence of folic acid, antioxidants and potassium in papaya make it beneficial in strengthening the circulatory system and also reduce the chances of cholesterol oxidation. Add a few cubes of papaya to your bowl of fruits and enjoy the tasty fruit salad.
3. Postnatal Weight Management
Papaya is one of the most recommended of the foods to eat when breastfeeding. The best part is, papaya being a low-cal fruit, doesn’t add too many calories to your diet. It is very filling so you don’t feel hungry very soon.
4. Relieves From Stomach Problems
Eating papaya while breastfeeding not only increases breast milk production but also keeps the stomach issues like constipation and haemorrhoids at bay. The fibre content of papaya is pretty high and this helps in clearing the stomach and promoting healthy bowel movements.
5. Milk Booster
If you have been thinking how to increase breast milk, papaya has the answers to your queries. It is one of the most popular lactation foods that promote the production of oxytocin. Even raw papaya is said to be a milk booster. You may want to have a papaya smoothie as a drink with your breakfast or as a mid-day meal, around 12.
6. Great For The Eyes
Including papaya in the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk is not the only benefit of papayas. Loaded with vitamin A and carotenoids, papaya can greatly delay degeneration of eyes and night-blindness.
7. Relieves Menstrual Pain
A few weeks after delivery the periods start to normalise, these can be a little uncomfortable and painful. Having a few servings of papaya during breastfeeding can help in easing the menstrual flow and reducing the pain.
8. Keeps Your Stress Levels In Control
Being a new mom can be often very stressful. Fitting into the perfect Mom’s role can be quite challenging. Apart from the mental worries, the physical exhaustion can drain you. The solution is a plate full of papaya while breastfeeding. The super fruit contains nutrients including Vitamin C that can help in reducing the levels of stress.
9. Helps In Having A Healthy Skin
Having the little one around isn’t going to leave you much time for beauty parlours, don’t worry papaya will help you here too. If you have papaya during breastfeeding the vitamin C and E along with the antioxidants will keep your skin blemish free and will also help delay the early signs of ageing.
Benefits Of Raw Papaya While Breastfeeding
Eating raw or ripe papaya are both considered to be very rewarding. The benefits of eating ripe papaya or raw papaya are a bit different as ripe papaya is said to help in preventing constipation whereas raw papaya can help in managing diarrhoea. Raw/green papaya is believed to increase breast milk production, as it promotes the growth of the oxytocin hormone which controls the production of milk in the mother’s body. Being a source of vitamins, minerals and folate, it helps in improving the milk quality as well. If you find the taste of the raw papaya to be too much to bear, you may cook it. Stir fry it and season with a few herbs, you may cook it with other veggies or add to your curries and soups.
Safety When Having Papaya While Breastfeeding
The papaya effects on the baby will be positive only, but if you are going to make some sudden changes in your diet or are allergic to papaya, it is advised that you avoid it completely. The fruit comes under the category of GRAS, “generally recognised as safe”, by the US Food and Drug Administration. Though allergic reactions, like skin rashes and asthma, owing to papaya are very rare, it is recommended that just like all other food products you eat papaya in moderation. And if you ever feel any difference in your bodily functions or in the baby’s mood or routine could be because of suddenly including papaya in your diet, it is better to consult your doctor.
So, hopefully, your doubts about can a breastfeeding mother eat papaya are clear now. Papaya is a superfruit with numerous benefits to the new mother and her baby. Most mothers safely eat papaya during breastfeeding and they as well as their babies have enjoyed the goodness of the fruit. Just keep the above-mentioned precautions in mind and do not hesitate to call your doctor whenever in confusion. Also remember, the most thing to do while breastfeeding is to stay positive and stay happy!
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