You CAN eat these 6 foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding, even if your granny says no

You’ve just taken the test, and there’s nothing that makes you happier than thinking about the little life growing in your belly. Except for the violent throwing up once a day and a slight weight gain around your cheeks, you haven’t noticed any of the other signs of pregnancy yet. But you can’t wait to tell your relatives the good news, so within the week, you’ve received congratulatory messages from everyone you know. Along with the blessings you crave, you’re also showered with a lot of confusing advice. What you shouldn’t do, and most importantly, what you shouldn’t eat.

It’s no wonder, then, that over centuries, several myths have sprung up around the eating part, and you definitely face a problem when you aren’t able to tell the difference between myth and medicine. That’s why we think it’s a good idea to draw a clear line between the two. We’ve picked up some of the most popular food taboos around pregnancy and busted them, so here goes:

1. Papayas and miscarriages:

Most grandmothers love enforcing the no-papaya rule. But the truth is, while raw papaya is said to contain chymopapin, which could induce a termination of pregnancy or early labour, ripe papaya really is quite safe. And it’s a great Vitamin A source. Why give up on it, unless your doctor has specifically asked you to stay away from this incredibly tasty fruit?

2. Pining for pineapple:

Excuse the alliteration. If you are craving the fruit, however, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a bowlful. Pineapple contains bromelain, a chemical that can lead to abnormal bleeding, which is why tablets with bromelain are avoided at this time. But here’s the fact: for that level of protein breakdown to occur, you need to eat eight to 10 whole pineapples at a time. Pregnant or not, we don’t think you’ll ever feel like stuffing your face with that much.

3. Spicy food for early labour:

Aha. Tell us, what Indian food palette discourages spice in its diet? Even the boring brahmin satvik food allows for as much green and red chilli as you like. Suddenly giving up spice for nine months can be torture to the average foodie. Don’t worry, you don’t have to struggle through a bland diet anymore. As long as you’re eating your Guntur specialty in moderation, you’re not in threat of early labour. Keep in mind that acidity and heartburn are real problems during pregnancy, though, so you might want to deflate spice levels just a bit.

4. Caffeine and baby weight:

You used to drink three mugs of coffee when you were a working professional sitting at your desk all day. You can’t do that anymore, for sure. Still, no one said that one cup to shake off your sleep in the morning and just another to make you happy in the evening aren’t okay. More than that and your baby could be born with a lower birthweight than you’d like. Same when you start nursing. The key is moderation. Similar to alcohol, it may be a good idea to consume caffeine directly after a breastfeeding session so that two full hours can pass before nursing again, thus decreasing the chance that some of the substance will pass through breast milk.

5. Fish and fish oil:

Mercury. Certainly, some fish contain high levels of this substance, consuming which you might impede the development of your child’s nervous system. But that isn’t any reason to completely shun fish. Pick out those kinds that have minimal mercury in them, like shrimp, tuna and salmon, and stay away from swordfish and king mackerel.

6. Go back to pre-baby diet:

Many women believe they should return to eating the same amount of food as before they were pregnant so they can lose the baby weight. False! Breastfeeding women should actually be consuming slightly more calories than when pregnant. The amount of energy needed to support lactation is equal to about 500 calories a day (versus the 200-300 extra calories needed during pregnancy) so the baby weight will come off anyway. Try to consume an extra two healthy snacks - examples include bananas, nuts, curd, idlis and whole wheat crackers.

Eat away, mommies-to-be. If you need a second opinion about anything we’ve said, call the doctor!

This article was published in association with Teddyy’s Diapers.