“Can I eat pineapple when I’m pregnant?” A patient asked during a routine office visit this week.
“Yes, pineapple is great.” I replied, a little perplexed by the odd question.
“Are you sure? Because my friend’s mom’s sister is a nurse and she said I shouldn’t.” she replied.
“Yes, pineapple is fine. Some people think it helps to bring on labor but studies show it doesn’t really work for that. It is definitely not harmful. If pineapple is something that you are craving, then go for it.” I replied nonchalantly.
Later, I as thought back to this conversation, I began to chuckle.
Where are people coming up with this nonsense?
Must be the Internet.
A quick Google search lead me to several legitimate appearing websites that were declaring the dangers of many foods in pregnancy. The sensational headlines read:
“Pineapples cause preterm birth and miscarriage.”
“Peaches can lead to gestational diabetes.”
“Strawberries can make your baby develop food allergies.”
At first, I laughed at the ridiculousness of these pages.
But wait, I thought, What if a mom who had recently suffered a miscarriage came across that site? In her search for answers, she suddenly remembers that she ate some pineapple during her pregnancy and begins to needlessly blame herself for her loss.
My laughter quickly turned to anger.
Hopefully most women would not believe such hogwash, but what if they did? I shudder to think how these women would feel. Pregnancy loss is painful enough without the element of guilt involved, especially the completely undeserved variety.
Even worse would be all the well meaning friends and relatives that might have ‘suggestions’ as to the reason for their loss after reading such a site. For hundreds of years we’ve had ‘old wives tales’ floating around. Now we have the Internet is full of glossy blogs perpetuating myths and half truths that confuse and condemn pregnant moms.
The truth is most fruits and vegetables are safe in pregnancy. Pineapple, strawberries and peaches are all great sources of fiber and nutrients that are wonderful to eat during pregnancy. And don’t even get me started on lunch meat. For a review of the foods that should be avoided or eaten with caution check out this previous post.
If you read something fishy on the web, then check with a legitimate site like WebMD or talk with your provider. On days when I wonder if the time and effort I put into this site are really worth it, I think about conversations like the one I had this week and keep typing away.
What are the craziest things that people have told you to eat or not eat during pregnancy?