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Birth defects: Can eating papaya cause miscarriage? Check Facts vs Myths health news


Pregnancy is one of the most precious times in a woman’s life while giving birth is a wonder of nature. But this is a time when parents get the most advice – from well-to-do relatives, friends and colleagues; Also, in an information-loaded world, a lot of advice is floating around the Internet. As Dr Gitanjali Ingale, Consultant – Paediatrics, Manipal Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, points out, “People often give advice on what to do and what not to do during this time. Some advice is based on science, others are just myths. Misconceptions . often confuses the true nature of congenital abnormalities, creating false beliefs that hinder support and understanding.” As the doctor points out, it is important to know the difference between myth and truth in order to encourage correct knowledge in the community.

Birth Defects: Myths vs. Facts

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes January as Birth Defects Awareness Month. Below are some of the myths and facts highlighted by Dr. Gitanjali Ingale that will provide the necessary information for a better understanding of birth defects.

Myth 1: Birth defects are only due to genetics

Facts: Genetics play an important role in birth defects. But environmental factors, infections and medications also play an important role during pregnancy. For detailed and thorough information it is important to understand that many different factors contribute to a situation.

Myth 2: Birth defects are always visible

Facts: Not every congenital abnormality is visible; Others affect internal organs or cognitive processes. Understanding this nuance is essential for both early intervention and comprehensive support.

Myth 3: Birth defects can only show up as physical problems

Facts: Some birth defects can damage internal organs or mental abilities and are not always obvious. Understanding these hidden issues is essential for immediate support and intervention.

Myth 4: Eating papaya causes miscarriage

Fact: TIts deep-rooted myth in Indian culture prevents even the most knowledgeable people from eating papaya. Green papaya is the only green papaya with a high latex concentration that mimics labor-inducing chemicals like prostaglandins and oxytocin. However, latex levels decrease as papaya ripens, making it safe to eat. Therefore, a pregnant woman can safely eat ripe papaya without endangering the unborn child. Papaya controls and prevents heartburn and constipation. Additionally, it improves gastrointestinal problems and bloating, which are frequent during pregnancy.

Prevention of Birth Defects: Things to be aware of

Dr Ingaale lists the following precautions that parents should take during and before pregnancy:

Avoid prenatal care: Regular check-ups during pregnancy are crucial to monitor the baby’s development and identify potential problems early. Skipping appointments may result in missed opportunities for intervention.

Ignoring Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and certain medications can increase the risk of birth defects. It is important to discuss lifestyle choices with healthcare providers to reduce risk.

Dismissing genetic counseling: Genetic counseling can provide insightful information to couples with a family history of birth defects or other risk factors. Ignoring this resource can lead to missed opportunities to take preventive measures.

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