The Papaya-pineapple conspiracy

Once you have declared your pregnancy, it is impossible to run away from dietary advice. It follows you like the sins of all lives past! Don’t drink coffee, don’t eat processed food, don’t eat raw vegetables, don’t eat spicy food, don’t … don’t … don’t … the list is longer than the ten commandments and its much more severe!

I was told by almost all the ladies of the house that I should not eat pineapple and papaya because they are so lethal to pregnant women that they can even lead to a miscarriage! I asked my doctor and she said it was all old wives tales and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that pineapple could be the pregnant woman’s kryptonite. She added that I should still stay away from the fruits, just to avoid any kind of psychosomatic stress. This struggle between real and imagined fears is one of the worst hurdles of pregnancy. Toss in the pregnancy hormones into the confusion and you have a maudlin mad house inside your brain!

What’s even more difficult is to wade through the deluge of advice which threatens to drown you through every conversation that you have with anyone who has even remotely experienced pregnancy, either directly or indirectly! This is not a post about what is a good diet to have and what not. What I really want to talk about is the need to handle the multiple advice attacks, when they come from the elders in the family and especially when it clashes with what you are able to/want to eat.

I lost about 6 kgs in the first trimester and that was more than just about the extreme food aversion I had developed. I was not able to handle the food being cooked at home and whatever I craved for turned out to be ‘not good’ for ‘my condition’. Living in a joint family, it was not possible to always eat what I wanted, when I wanted and that lead to extreme weakness and discomfort. I learnt the hard way how to be assertive about my food choices.

It is usually a tough juggle between being respectful about the feelings and sentiments of the elder family members and eating (literally, just eating!). It is very very important to make sure that you politely tell your elders to trust your intelligence and have faith in your ability to decide what you can/want to eat. Do make sure that you consult your doctor and try to include all things healthy in your diet. Your little one (and you) are going to be thankful for it in  the long run!

Don’t give in to dietary pressures just to be politically correct or because you trust someone else’s judgement more than yours. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a fetus (in her womb) is going to experience it differently (from all other women who have been through the experience before). So, when someone tells you to eat something because they wanted to eat it when they were pregnant, politely tell them what you actually feel. Since no one can understand or guess what you are going through, you have to make your and your baby’s health a priority and assert your choices. There is literally no one more important than the two of you at this time and your baby depends on you to be able to eat well and stay happy about your food and other choices 🙂