In this Article

    Myths and Facts: Can Heat Inducing Food Cause Miscarriage?

    Safety & Care

    Myths and Facts: Can Heat Inducing Food Cause Miscarriage?

    Updated on 3 November 2023

    Pregnancy is a period of life essential for any woman. However, at this stage, the body loses most of its protective properties, becoming more vulnerable to adverse factors, especially in the case of existing health problems. According to disappointing statistics, about 15% of all clinically confirmed pregnancies end in losing a baby, and every second expectant mother is familiar with the diagnosis of “threatened miscarriage”. There are many myths surrounding this issue. But many people claim that some food cause miscarriage.

    What is a miscarriage?

    Miscarriage is an involuntary termination of pregnancy that occurs up to 20 weeks when the weight of the fetus does not exceed 500 grams. More than 80% of miscarriages occur early, up to 12 weeks. At this time, the initial laying of the fetus's organs occurs, and therefore any impact can be harmful. Often, the woman herself, not knowing about her pregnancy, perceives the bleeding as the monthly onset of the menstrual cycle. This situation is dangerous and can cause severe complications in incomplete expulsion from the fetus.

    If the threat of miscarriage occurs after 22 weeks, we are talking about premature birth and babies weighing over 650 grams.

    Which symptoms should not be ignored at the time of pregnancy?

    Pregnancy at risk of miscarriage is indicated by the onset of vaginal bleeding. Whatever its intensity, duration and colour saturation, this is a signal that you should immediately seek help from a specialist.

    Painful sensations radiating to the sacrum or inguinal region indicate the presence of uterine hypertonicity and an attempt by the body to get rid of the developing fetus.

    Perhaps the causes of bleeding and discomfort are less severe, but such symptoms should not be left unattended. If the expectant mother is given a disappointing diagnosis, the task of the doctors is to do everything possible to keep the pregnancy until a safe period.

    What are the foods that pregnant women should not eat?

    To have a good quality of life, no matter how delicious, avoid some foods that cause abortion. It is required to be even more careful with what you eat during pregnancy. In addition to toxic substances such as excess sugar and alcohol, foods such as raw fish, fried foods, undercooked meat, poorly washed fruits, and vegetables should avoid. They can be contaminated and cause health problems for the baby.

    Therefore, it is recommended to consume foods that are well cooked and have nutritional value, with the presence of vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, iron, vitamins A and C, among others. And also, below, we listed many essential things to avoid during pregnancy that cause miscarriage. So, follow up!

    1. Alcoholic beverages

    One of the main villains of pregnant women is alcohol. It should be avoided, as it accumulates in the fetus' body, which still cannot eliminate this substance, which can cause premature birth, growth retardation and cardiac malformations.

    2. Undercooked fish and meat

    Some fish contain large amounts of mercury, and this substance, if consumed in large quantities, can cause neurological damage to the baby. Shark, marlin, Bluefin tuna, and orange and swordfish are some examples of fish that should avoid during pregnancy.

    In addition, raw foods, such as sushi and oysters, and undercooked foods, such as meats, can be cut out of the diet, as they can be contaminated with the listeria bacteria, which causes abortion and premature birth, or with diseases such as cysticercosis, which can affect the nervous system and impairs the functioning of the brain.

    3. Raw eggs

    Eating a raw egg may not be a common habit for many people, but mayonnaise, Caesar salad, eggnog and hollandaise are often in the diet. To avoid the risk of salmonella contamination, these foods should be avoided and always remember to cook eggs before eating.

    4. Mouldy cheeses

    Cheeses such as blue, feta, brie, camembert and gorgonzola, and any unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized dairy should be avoided as they have listeria. This bacterium can cause fatal complications for the fetus or newborn, triggering miscarriages, premature births, and blood poisoning.

    5. Unripe Papaya

    How can papaya cause miscarriage in early pregnancy? Papaya, especially the green one, is believed to cause miscarriage and is on the list of abortifacient foods. Green papaya has an enzyme that can cause uterine contractions, leading to miscarriage. You may also ask how much unripe papaya can cause abortion. There is no fixed amount but, unripe papaya may lead to premature labour. So, this food must be avoided during pregnancy.

    6. Poorly washed fruits and vegetables

    Make sure you only eat fruits and vegetables that have been properly sanitized. If they are poorly washed, these foods can be sources of contamination of toxoplasmosis, a disease that can cause abortion, premature birth, malformation, and even the baby's death.

    7. Spicy foods

    Spicy food, in some cases, is contraindicated during pregnancy because of its relationship with stomach acid or other gastric complications. However, although it is included in the list of foods that could start labour, there is no objective evidence that it could work.

    8. Pineapple

    Pineapple has many properties. According to some mothers, it is also possible to add it to the list of foods that contribute to the arrival of the baby. It is believed that an enzyme known as bromelain present in fresh pineapple can cause the cervix to lose rigidity.

    However, despite this having a basis of truth, it is known that the amount of bromelain present in pineapples is in fact very low. A woman will have to eat large amounts of fruit to at least be able to relax the intestine.

    9. Spices and herbs

    This is a well-tested idea. It is believed that herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, sage, anise, or cayenne pepper can cause uterine contractions. However, many of these are said to be banned during pregnancy because they could cause a miscarriage.

    Somehow, there is the possibility that they are related to the stimulation of uterine contractions. As a precaution, it is preferable to limit the amounts consumed and always consult the opinion of experts.

    10. Garlic

    In the same way as herbs, garlic could achieve stimulation and movement of the fetus to its final position, suitable for birth. Eating garlic in sufficient quantities is one of the ways that has been used since ancient times to induce labour, whether it is a proven method or not.

    11. A plant called Cohosh

    It's not a very common herb around the world. It is a product of American origin, consumed in the form of tea. Cohosh tea can cause moderate to muscular contractions. Although there is no scientific reason to support this fact, it is best to be cautious and constantly contact our doctor.

    Above mentioned foods cause miscarriage in the second trimester. Along with these, severe stress, heavy physical labour, and an unhealthy lifestyle deplete the expectant mother's body, making it unable to bear the fetus for the required period. Also, uncontrolled use of various medications during pregnancy can provoke a miscarriage. Even seemingly safe herbs should be used only in advance, after consulting with an experienced doctor.

    What to do if you suspect a threatened miscarriage?

    Even at the slightest suspicion, you should immediately contact a specialist. It is crucial to maintain a sober mind and not panic. In most cases, your peace of mind and timely medical care help to keep the pregnancy.

    Having noticed spotting, indicating a possible detachment of the chorion - the membranes of the embryo, with which it is held on the uterus walls, you should lie down and call an ambulance. Trying to get to a medical facility on your own in a similar condition is not worth it.

    If the doctor suspects a threatened miscarriage, tests and examinations will help clarify the situation and identify the degree of danger. First of all, the specialist will check the heartbeat of the developing fetus. Ultrasound examination will help to find out about the condition of the placenta and embryo and show possible pathologies of the structure of the uterus. Inspection by a gynaecologist will determine the presence of tone.

    Considerations before attempting to induce labour

    As we can see, which food can cause miscarriage, but most of the foods and supplements reported above whose properties do induce labour have not been scientifically proven. Furthermore, it can be said that none of them has the support of any institution that has this under control.

    Limit quantities and avoid use in case of direct contraindication. Contact specialists so as not to take unnecessary risks. The decision to use these foods to induce labour is a personal one. However, we recommend that you choose foods that we know can be harmless. For example, in the case of pineapple, there is no possibility that the quantities will be exceeded. Other products such as chocolate can also be consumed on a small scale. The important thing is not to risk our health or our baby. The right time will come. So, the idea is to relax and wait for the moment of delivery in total harmony and well-being.


    1. Adebiyi A, Adaikan PG, Prasad RN. (2002). Papaya (Carica papaya) consumption is unsafe in pregnancy: fact or fable?.
    Is this helpful?



    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

    Read More

    Get baby's diet chart, and growth tips

    Download Mylo today!
    Download Mylo App


    our most recent articles

    Mylo Logo

    Start Exploring

    About Us

    At Mylo, we help young parents raise happy and healthy families with our innovative new-age solutions:

    • Mylo Care: Effective and science-backed personal care and wellness solutions for a joyful you.
    • Mylo Baby: Science-backed, gentle and effective personal care & hygiene range for your little one.
    • Mylo Community: Trusted and empathetic community of 10mn+ parents and experts.