Do pregnancy cravings mean anything?
Many women experience cravings while pregnant. Food cravings are characterized by a sudden desire to eat a specific food. During pregnancy, these cravings can be anything from normal foods to unusual food combinations, such as pickles and ice cream or mustard on everything. Pregnancy cravings can happen at any time during pregnancy but are most common during the first trimester.
Pregnancy cravings remain a mystery as the cause is not sure, yet experts have made some guesses. Some believe cravings have to do with the hormonal changes during pregnancy that have an impact on smell and taste.
What do pregnancy cravings mean?
Some experts have theorized that pregnancy cravings are in part due to the body’s nutritional needs during certain times of a pregnancy. Some food cravings can be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as the desire to eat non-food substances like dirt or paint chips (which can signify an iron deficiency). Although this school of thought makes sense, there has not been enough research to determine the actual cause of cravings.
Should you give in to your cravings?
Experts suggest that pregnant moms should listen to their pregnancy cravings – or at least some of them. If your cravings are healthy, such as craving a big bowl of fruit salad every day, then go for it. But if you crave a massive serving of ice cream every night, there would be wisdom in looking for alternatives to satisfy your cravings, such as frozen bananas blended with a little milk to make an icy sweet treat. This does not mean you cannot give in to your unhealthy cravings on occasion – just don’t make it a regular habit. Just like everything else, moderation is key. It is always important that you ensure your diet includes plenty of nutritious foods and you get enough rest for your benefit and that of your growing bundle of joy.
- Olivia, mom & a pediatric nurse
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