Pregnancy cravings are a common occurrence during pregnancy, with most women experiencing them at some point. Little is actually known about the exact cause of pregnancy cravings but it is likely that hormone changes, as well as food aversions and heightened senses, are the main culprits. In this article, we will explore pregnancy cravings and what they might mean.
Here are some common pregnancy cravings:
- Ice cream or other cold desserts
- French fries or other salty snacks
- Spicy foods
- Red meat
- Citrus fruits
Some people believe that pregnancy cravings can be a sign of a deficiency in certain nutrients, however, it is important to note that there is very little evidence to support this. For example, it is thought that if a woman is craving chocolate this may indicate a magnesium deficiency.
Pregnancy cravings are different for everyone. Some women crave specific foods, while others have more general pregnancy cravings, such as a craving for sweets or carbs. Pregnancy cravings can also vary in intensity. Some women have mild pregnancy cravings, while others have strong pregnancy cravings and won’t stop until they get the food they want! Late-night drive to the supermarket anyone?
Food cravings can start as early as 5 weeks into your pregnancy, we do know that cravings are linked with food aversions so these go hand in hand with one another. Some women find their cravings intensifying during their second trimester once morning sickness starts to fade and then completely go by their third trimester. However, as we know by now, there is no ‘one rule fits all’ during pregnancy and every woman experiences cravings differently! Pregnancy cravings can be difficult to resist, but it is important to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy. Here are a few tips for dealing with pregnancy cravings:
- If you are craving a particular food, try to find a healthy alternative. For example, if you are craving chocolate, try a dark chocolate bar instead of a milk chocolate bar as this has more nutritional value.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. This will help to keep you hydrated and may help to reduce pregnancy cravings.
- Avoid sugary drinks, such as fizzy pop, as these drinks can increase pregnancy cravings.
- Get plenty of rest and exercise. This will help to reduce stress levels, which can trigger pregnancy cravings.
If you are having trouble managing your pregnancy cravings, be sure to speak to your midwife. They can offer additional tips and resources for dealing with pregnancy cravings.
Pregnancy cravings can sometimes be strange and unexpected. Craving non-food items, like sponges and soap, is called ‘pica’, this is a medical condition and could be a sign of a severe mineral deficiency or anaemia so it’s really important to speak to your GP or midwife if you are.
Here are a few of the strangest pregnancy cravings:
- Ice cubes
Craving ice cubes, which are considered to be non-food items, for example, during pregnancy can be a sign of an iron deficiency so be sure to speak to your midwife or GP if you are experiencing a desire for anything other than food!
Pregnancy cravings can be a mystery, but they can also be a sign of something else going on in the body. It’s important to discuss all of your cravings with your midwife or GP as they can offer additional insight into what pregnancy cravings mean and how to manage them.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.