Spicy Food And Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

| Last Updated: September 5, 2019 |

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Pregnant pepper lovers, rejoice: you’re about to learn everything you need to know about spicy food and pregnancy!

You may be wondering if eating spicy food during pregnancy is safe or if there are any potential side effects you should be aware of. Find the answers to your questions below.

Is it safe to eat spicy foods while pregnant?

Generally speaking, there is no medical reason to skip the spicy stuff while growing a new human. The old wives’ tale that suggests spicy foods will cause contractions or trigger pre-term labor is just that: an old wives’ tale.

Whether you prefer Mexican cuisine, Indian food or just an extra dash of hot sauce on your eggs in the morning, you can safely indulge these cravings throughout your pregnancy.

However, there is a caveat. As any heat-lover knows, spicy foods can sometimes cause heartburn. This is especially true during pregnancy when heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues can make mealtimes worrisome.

There is good news, though. According to the American Pregnancy Association, Tums antacid tablets are generally recognized as a safe way to treat heartburn during pregnancy.

As always, consult your physician for any questions or concerns regarding your health or the health of your child.

Spicy food And pregnancy: A recipe for a pepper-loving baby?

According to this NPR report, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have determined what you eat during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can have an influence on a baby’s future flavor preferences.

Researchers used carrots in their study, but their results likely apply to almost any flavor profile in any food a pregnant woman may eat.

In the study, babies who were exposed to carrot juice every day either in utero or through breast milk after birth responded more favorably to eating carrots when they began solid food than the control group.

The author of the study explained how researchers compiled their results. “When we analyzed videotapes [of the babies eating carrots], they made less negative faces while eating it.”

So, if your goal is to raise children who will one day share in your love of all things spicy, the key may be to start them young – as in, before they are even born!

When to avoid spicy food during pregnancy

While safe to eat, many women may find spicy foods make morning sickness more unbearable. For this reason, it may be best to avoid them until the worst of your symptoms pass.

Later, during the third trimester, some women experience increased sensitivity to things like spicy foods, carbonated beverages and other indigestion-inducing culprits. This is because as baby gets bigger, there’s less room for Mom’s dinner. Even a bland meal can leave some women feeling very uncomfortable at this stage, and more adventurous fare can result in even more of these symptoms.

If this is true for you, it would be wise to avoid anything that seems to trigger your discomfort during the final weeks of pregnancy.

When you do indulge, use moderation to temper discomfort. To mitigate any stomach upset, eat more slowly, eat smaller portions and sample new dishes with more caution than you might ordinarily use.

In conclusion, when it comes to spicy foods and pregnancy, let your taste buds and your stomach’s reaction be your guide!

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