Watermelon During Pregnancy: Health Benefits & Side Effects

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You may reconsider the safety of consuming several fruits during pregnancy, including watermelon during pregnancy. The juicy pulp of the fruit can provide for excellent hydration during summer. Watermelon also contains several nutrients that can be good for your body.

Read this post to learn more about the safety, benefits, and possible side effects of eating watermelons during pregnancy.

In This Article

Is It Safe To Eat Watermelon During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to include watermelon in your pregnancy diet. Watermelon is 92% water and keeps you hydrated in scorching summers. The fruit is also a good source of vital nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. Consuming the fruit in the right quantities can be beneficial for pregnant women.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Watermelon During Pregnancy?

Regular consumption of watermelon during pregnancy will help you reap the following benefits.

  1. Keeps you hydrated: Dehydration during pregnancy could cause certain problems such as low amniotic fluidiXClear, yellow liquid protecting the fetus in the uterus. , Braxton-Hicks contractions, and sometimes major birth defects too. Consuming watermelon during pregnancy helps you stay hydrated. Proper hydration provides cushioning to the baby and also provides you with essential nutrients (1) (2).
Watermelon helps maintain hydration during pregnancy
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  1. Helps with constipation: The hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause constipation problems. This may occur due to low fiber consumption, insufficient fluids, or calcium or iron tablets. Watermelon is a good source of water, hence eating it during pregnancy could help you get relief from bowel concerns (3).
  1. Eliminates toxins: Water-rich fruits such as watermelon help in the detoxification process, thereby flushing out harmful substances from the body.
  1. Treats morning sickness: 70-80% of pregnant women who experience nausea and vomiting are recommended foods rich in vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Watermelon is one of the best sources of vitamin B6 and can provide relief from this common pregnancy condition (4).
  1. Strengthens immune system: Your immune system becomes vulnerable during pregnancy due to various reasons. Include watermelon in your regular diet as it is an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants that play a vital role in strengthening the immune system (5).
  1. Reduces high blood pressure: Pregnant women with high blood pressure are at risk of preeclampsia and toxemiaiXAlso known as blood poisoning, caused when bacteria and other toxins enter the bloodstream. . Eating watermelon during pregnancy can help in reducing blood pressure levels (6).
  1. Relieves heartburn: About 30-70% expecting mothers suffer heartburn, which increases in the second stage of pregnancy. Eating watermelon during this time helps in treating the discomfort and also offers you essential nutrients (7).
  1. Reduces swelling: Medically termed as edema, swelling in the hands and feet is common during pregnancy. Watermelon contains beta caroteneiXA plant pigment that gives fruits and vegetables color and gets converted to vitamin A in the human body. , folic acid, vitamins B and C, and water that helps in reducing the inflammation (8).

An anonymous mother and blogger shares how drinking watermelon juice during her third trimester helped alleviate swelling around her ankles, “So when one day in my third trimester when I noticed my ankle had disappeared, I started all the things I heard about to treat it… Then I read about how watermelon will help… I love to drink watermelon juice, so the first thing the next day, I bought a watermelon, blended it into juice, and started slurping on it. And miraculously, by nighttime, I could already see my ankle bone again, yes, it worked that fast. So every time after that, if I see any sign of edema, I immediately start my watermelon juice, and I would not see swelling at all (i).”

  1. Helps with muscle cramps: During pregnancy, you will require potassium for muscle- functioning. Watermelon is a good source of potassium and will help reduce your cramps (9).

The seeds of this fruit are also eaten by many. Next, we tell you about watermelon seeds.

protip_icon Quick fact
Abundant vitamins A, B6, and C in watermelon help increase collagen formation, which enhances skin suppleness, preventing dry, flaky skin and breakouts (17).

Is It Safe To Eat Watermelon Seeds During Pregnancy?

Eating watermelon seeds moderately is beneficial for both mother and fetus
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Yes, you can have watermelon seeds when pregnant as they are good sources of protein, iron, manganese, zinc, and calcium (10). However, make sure you consume them in moderation for reaping the benefits.

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You can include watermelon seeds as seed bars and barfis or sprinkle them on soups, smoothies, salads, or roast and eat them as a snack.

What Are The Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds For Pregnant Women?

Consuming watermelon seeds when pregnant will help you in the following ways.

  • They have natural diureticiXA substance that helps the body get rid of extra salt and water by prompting the kidneys to infuse more sodium in the urine. effects that help in preventing the build-up of urine and reduce the chances of kidney stones and urinary tract infections (11) (12).
  • Lack of iron in your pregnancy diet could result in anemia, which could increase the risks of low fetal birth weight and certain birth defects during fetal development. Watermelon seeds have sufficient iron and other essential minerals to prevent this complication for pregnant women.

Pregnant women should have watermelon in moderate quantities. Eating too much of the fruit could lead to some unfavorable consequences.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Watermelon When Pregnant?

Yes, excess consumption of watermelon can lead to certain adverse effects in pregnancy. A few of them are:

  1. Loss of nutrients: As watermelon is known to have natural diuretic properties, consuming it too much can also flush out the essential nutrients. Hence, it is recommended that you consume it in moderation.
  1. Allergies: Watermelon contains latexiXA milky white liquid found in certain plants and is released when the plant is mechanically damaged. and should be avoided if you are allergic to latex (13).
  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): If you have IBS, restrict the amount of watermelon in your diet to prevent gastrointestinal issues that could make your pregnancy difficult (14).
  1. Gestational diabetes: High GI food choices could increase the risk of gestational diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gestational diabetes affects anywhere from two to ten percent of pregnancies in the United States annually. Watermelon has a mean GI of 76; hence, consuming excess fruit is not recommended (15).

Different Ways To Consume Watermelon During Pregnancy

There are different ways to enjoy the taste and benefits of watermelon during pregnancy.

1. Watermelon juice:

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 medium-sized watermelon
  • 1 small lemon

How to:

  1. Cut the watermelon in two halves. Then slice it to small strips.
  2. Remove all the seeds from the watermelon slices.
  3. Scoop out the flesh from the rind and blend.
  4. Blend until it is smooth
  5. Strain the mixture into a glass, and squeeze some lemon juice.
  6. Your healthy watermelon juice is ready to relish.

2. Watermelon and mint salad:

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 3 cups watermelon cubes
  • 2tbsp black olives
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

How to:

  1.  Mix watermelon cubes, sliced black olives, and mint leaves in a bowl.
  2. Toss the ingredients well.
  3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and salt and toss them again.

3. Watermelon Gazpacho

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • ½ chopped, seedless cucumber
  • 2tbsp diced jalapeno pepper
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 3tbsp mint leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Mince red onion, mint, and jalapeno pepper together in a food processor.
  2. Add watermelon, cucumber, and tomato and make a smooth puree.
  3. Add olive oil, lime juice, pepper, and salt and mix it properly.
  4. Refrigerate it for about 10 minutes.
  5. You can add some watermelon cubes in the recipe, along with feta cheese and mint leaves for garnishing and serve.

A Word Of Caution

  • Watermelons get spoiled quickly, so do not keep the fruit out in the open for many days. Eating stale fruit may cause vomiting, nausea, and even gastrointestinal problems.
  • Avoid eating watermelon at night or before sleeping as the fruit may not get digested properly due to slowed metabolism at night. Also, the excess water content in watermelon could increase the frequency of urination during the night, thereby disturbing your sleep.

A hot summer day can take a toll on your body, especially if you are pregnant, due to the added weight and intake of extra calories. Nevertheless, don’t worry, as treating yourself with a juicy and fresh watermelon during pregnancy will help keep your body hydrated and cool. This highly nutritional pulp and seeds offer various health benefits such as relief from constipation, heartburn, swelling, and increased iron intake. However, ensure to eat it in moderation and consult your doctor if you have any underlying conditions to ensure safe maternal health.

Have you eaten watermelon during pregnancy? How have you consumed it? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best time to eat watermelon?

Eating watermelon in the morning before lunchtime is ideal to start the day feeling fresh and cool and relieve morning sickness.

2. Can watermelon cause miscarriage?

Several speculations exist regarding foods that can be consumed during pregnancy. In some regions, fruits such as watermelon and bananas are avoided during pregnancy since they are believed to cause miscarriage (16). However, sufficient evidence is unavailable to support this claim.

3. Can watermelon increase amniotic fluid?

For the formation of amniotic fluid during pregnancy, drinking water is important. Therefore, water-rich foods like watermelon are believed to provide the needed nutrition to the mother (18).

4. Can I eat watermelon in early pregnancy?

You may eat watermelon in moderation in early pregnancy, which may help you relieve morning sickness (4).

5. How much watermelon should I eat during pregnancy?

No guidelines or recommendations are available on how much watermelon is safe for pregnant women. You should consult your gynecologist to understand the safe amount for consumption.

6. Can watermelon consumption during pregnancy affect the baby’s development?

Inadequate research is available to pinpoint the direct link between watermelon consumption and a baby’s development. However, research has shown that excessive watermelon may cause gestational diabetes in women, increasing the risk of preterm birth and high birth weight (15) (19).

7. Can watermelon induce labor during pregnancy?

No study has shown the effect of watermelon consumption on inducing labor during pregnancy. If you are approaching your due date and exploring options to induce labor, you should consult your healthcare provider to select the best scientific method.

8. Is it safe to eat watermelon in the first trimester of pregnancy?

If eaten in moderation, watermelon is considered safe for intake. However, consult with your doctor before consuming and understand the required amount because of its high glycemic index and subsequent increase in the risk of gestational diabetes (15).

9. Can eating watermelon during pregnancy lead to excessive weight gain?

Small-scale research has shown that consuming watermelon may help reduce body weight (20) However, moderation may be the key. It is recommended to consult with your gynecologist before consumption.

Infographic: A Few More Ways To Incorporate Watermelon In Your Pregnancy Diet

Watermelons are the ultimate hydrating fruits during pregnancy. You can add a simple twist by making smoothies and variations to juices. This will give you various taste options to cater to your pregnancy cravings. Try out the delectable watermelon recipes in the infographic below.

watermelon fruit and seed recipes during pregnancy (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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Key Pointers

  • Watermelon is a hydrating fruit that can offer expecting mothers essential nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Regular intake of watermelon can keep pregnant women hydrated, maintain healthy bowel movements, and relieve heartburn.
  • Expecting mothers with IBS and gestational diabetes should consume watermelon after consulting a healthcare provider.
watermelon during pregnancy_illustration

Image: Dalle E/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Watermelon, raw; United States Department of Agriculture
2. C. Yu; Dehydration During Pregnancy: What Expecting Mothers Should Know; Dignity Health (2018)
3. Fiber, Digestion, and Health; Cornell Health (2012)
4. Ways to ease the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness; Sanford Health (2017)
5. P. Hull; Why eat watermelons? Because they’re good for you; Clemson University (2012)
6. Pregnancy induced High Blood Pressure (PIH); Awakening Birth
7. Why watermelon is important for your pregnancy diet; Care Point Health (2015)
8. O Coetzee and D Filatova; Lipidema and Lymphedema: the “Leaky Lymph,” Weight Loss Resistance and the Intestinal Permeability Connection; EC Nutrition (2017)
9. W. Zhou; Demand For Watermelon And Application Of Aids Models; University Of Florida (2011)
10. B. Tabiri et al., Watermelon Seeds as Food: Nutrient Composition, Phytochemicals and Antioxidant Activity; International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences (2016)
11. M. Schrank; The Amazing Health Benefits of Watermelon Seeds; Help & Save (2016)
12. I. Purwidyaningrum, Iswandi, and J. Bili; Diuretic Activity of Water Melon Rind Extract (Citrullus vulgaris) and Its Influence on Sodium and Potassium Levels; International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research (2018)
13. D. L. Hepner and M. C. Castells; Latex Allergy: An Update; Harvard Medical Achool
14. Try a FODMAPs diet to manage irritable bowel syndrome; Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School (2015)
15. J. Higdon; Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load; Micronutrient Information Center: Oregon State University (2003)
16. Yassi Azhdari; Ghanaian Immigrant Women in The United States Beliefs About Maternal Nutrition and Fetal Development; Walden University ScholarWorks (2021)
17. Top watermelon health benefits that nutritionist says are backed by research; Northwestern Health Sciences University

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