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What My Mother Tells Me: Don’t Eat Pineapple And Other Pregnancy Myths

What My Mother Tells Me: Don’t Eat Pineapple And Other Pregnancy Myths

Tasneem Nazari

All over the world, pregnant women are advised about what they should and should not eat when expecting a baby by friends, family members and even strangers.

Though well-meaning, the range of opinions and reasons why something should be avoided can be bewildering – can spicy food really make my baby an angry person?

Dark foods make the baby dark-skinned, but light colour foods like soy and milk will give the baby fair skin. Drinking jamu can help ease the birthing process and pineapples will either cause a miscarriage or…trigger labour?

It’s no wonder pregnant women are confused. 

Before you shun tasty and probably nutritious food that might be good for both you and your baby, here are some facts for you to feast on.

DISCLAIMER: All the information in this article has been verified by a Dr. Rusyainie Binti Ramli. That being said, if you have any health concerns, do visit a doctor for proper advice, diagnosis and treatment.

Can I eat pineapple while pregnant?

How dangerous is this fruit? (Credit: Freepik)

Yes, pineapples are absolutely safe to consume while pregnant. 

Pineapples cannot cause miscarriages or help you meet your baby sooner. This is a myth and it has not been supported by any scientific evidence.

If someone mentions that it’s the enzyme bromelain contained in the pineapple that causes miscarriages, it still isn’t true even though it sounds scientific.

Bromelain is an enzyme derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant. It is commonly consumed as a health supplement and not recommended for pregnant women as it’s safety hasn’t been properly researched and may cause abnormal bleeding.

However, the amount of bromelain contained in a single serving of pineapple won’t likely affect you. 

Bromelain tablets sold as health supplements. (Credit: Dewcare Concept)

Even if you eat more than a single serving, we assure you the acidity of the pineapple will probably hurt your tongue and give you a stomach ache long before you can eat enough to harm the baby.

In fact, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of pineapple can contain almost 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for a pregnant woman.

Pineapples are also high in folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper and vitamin B6, all the healthy vitamins and minerals your baby needs to grow strong and healthy in the tummy.

It (should) go without saying, if you’re allergic to pineapples, then please disregard this section. Also, if you’re still worried about consuming pineapples, it’s best to speak to your doctor for more information on pregnancy-safe foods.

Will dark-coloured foods make my baby’s skin dark?

Chocolates are also dark coloured foods. Are you sure you wanna give these up for 9 months? (Credit: Freepik)

This is taking the saying “you are what you eat” a little bit too far. The colour of your skin and the baby’s skin largely depends on genetics, not your diet.

Genetics dictates how much melanin you have in your skin cells. Generally, the more melanin you have, the darker your skin will be. And this won’t change no matter how much light coloured foods you eat.

The only thing that might affect your baby’s skin tone (and yours too) is something called carotenemia – where your baby’s skin tone appears yellow, or even orange.

Carotenemia happens when you only feed your baby food that’s high in carotene. Such food includes carrots, squash, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Babies that are being breastfed can also develop carotenemia if their mother is eating only these foods too.

Generally, foods high in beta carotene are also orange in colour. (Credit: Wellness Suite)

Carotenemia is completely harmless and goes away on its own as a wider variety of food is introduced to the diet. You should not restrict these foods from your child’s diet or your own.

Jaundice and carotenemia are two completely different things but they appear similar – yellow/orange skin. Jaundice is caused by a high level of bilirubin in the bloodstream.

It occurs in babies when the baby’s liver isn’t mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood. If you suspect your baby has jaundice, you need to take your baby to the doctor for treatment.

Can jamu help ease my labour?

Jamu is often consumed as a drink. (Credit: Eat Simple Food)

Jamu is a type of Malay traditional medicine believed to come from Indonesia. It is technically a herbal concoction made from natural materials such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves, and fruits, as well as animal-derived materials such as honey, royal jelly, milk, and eggs.

There has been some evidence that jamu has been used as a type of traditional medicine for as long as 1300 years ago, and considering the various natural ingredients used, it is believed to work as an effective health supplement.

Unfortunately, the industry of making and selling jamu has not been regulated. As such, there has been a rise of concern among health professionals on the quality, consistency, and cleanliness of distributed jamu.

Some distributors make the jamu at home, but their process has not been deemed safe by any regulatory board for medicines. (Credit: Mingguan Wanita)

Scientifically, there has not been enough research done to confirm the effectiveness or even safety of consuming jamu. Many local jamu distributers also have not gotten their products approved by the Health Ministry, or their products have only been approved as a safe food – not medicine.

Due to this, it is best to stay away from jamu during a sensitive health period such as pregnancy and stick to things that have been marked safe for consumption for pregnant women.


Now, I hope some of this information cleared up any pregnancy doubts you might’ve had. Congratulations to you, we’re confident that you are going to rock motherhood!

What other myths have you heard while being pregnant? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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