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Today I went out with a friend to a Chinese restaurant. I wanted to try something different, and I ate sauteed bitter melon with peppers and other veggies. I only ate 3 or 4 pieces (it is REALLY bitter)... Then I came home and researched the recipe because I liked it, and... TO MY DISMAY I found bitter melon can cause an early abortion or BIRTH DEFECTS and it's contraindicated during pregnancy.. I had NO IDEA!! I mean, what are the chances of that?!
Anyways, I'm trying to calm myself down since I only had a few pieces (and no seeds)... But I'm freaking out, I'll never forgive myself if I hurt my baby I'm 9w 2d.
There are some concerns that medicinal usages of bitter melon in animals has stimulated menstrual bleeding, so bitter melon taken as a supplement is not recommended for use by pregnant women. But as a food, bitter melon is eaten by Asian populations, suggesting that safety concerns for regular consumption of this food are minimal. Nonetheless, experts recommend that bitter melon be eaten moderately, if at all, during pregnancy. Better safe than sorry! Once you get pregnant, it may be time to stop
So I think it might be ok...its like they don't recommend it, but if its common in asian populations then probably won't have an effect, especially as little as you ate!
Are you experiencing any cramping or lower back aches? From what I can tell bitter melon is supposed to cause uterus stimulation.
I can't find much on it really, other then websites that say it is bad, but they are all very vague. I haven't found anything that gives percentages, amounts, or trimester information. I think I would call my OB's after hours line, just to see what they say.
I know you're worried. I probably would be too, but think about the amount you ingested. It's really not much. Most pages I see say "likely unsafe"- not that it is guaranteed or known for sure, and I've run across a couple pages that list it as a beneficial:
I'd just relax, and listen to your body. If you start feeling ill, then you probably ingested too much- but at 3-4 pieces, I doubt this is the case. Call your OB if you're very concerned, and get some peace of mind.
Thanks so much, girls. I ate around 12:30, it's 7:15 now and I feel just fine. I don't think it's gonna cause a miscarriage, but when I read "birth defects" also, that alarmed me. I'll just try to relax and not go crazy about this.
It sounds like it's contraindicated more as a theoretical risk than any actual case of known miscarrige with the real food version. I think you'll be fine, but I would have been upset too in your shoes!