Pregnancy cravings – a truth or myth?

Categories Advice, PregnancyPosted on
pregnancy cravings

Ok, so we’ve all heard about pregnancy food cravings right? But the surprising thing is that researchers still don’t seem to know what causes them. Many experts in the field think that pregnancy cravings could just be due to the hormonal changes and others speculate that it’s the body’s way of letting you know about dietary deficiencies.

But this second speculation is a little complicated. For example they may say that if a pregnancy craving is for ice cream, the mother must be lacking calcium. But then there is no one way in which this can go. Are you craving ice cream because you lack calcium or are you lacking calcium because you keep eating so much ice cream and your diet is imbalanced?

pregnancy cravings

Common pregnancy cravings

One thing is very clear about pregnancy cravings. You are definitely not alone if you are experiencing these right now. Almost two out of three women would say that they have experienced this. They have actually been documented all the way back in ancient Greece. However some modern day foods seem to be the focal point of cravings than others. They include;

  • Milk and chocolate milk
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Sweets in general
  • Strawberries, grapefruit and pineapple
  • Fish
  • Spicy, salty, fatty or sour foods
  • Comfort foods like mashed potatoes, cereal and toast

Some of the more rare ones include; frozen pickle juice, cheese and crackers, meat, tea, salads, nuts, pizza, broccoli and tacos.

pregnancy cravings

Pica and pregnancy cravings

Then there are the intense pregnancy cravings for non-food items like dirt, soap, or clay. If you’ve got a craving for one of these, you may have a condition called pica.  Common pica cravings include:

  • Ice
  • Dirt or clay
  • Soap or laundry detergent
  • Paint chips
  • Ashes
  • Clothes
  • Plants
  • Paper
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cornstarch

Though pica is somewhat common during pregnancy, it’s not good for you or your baby. If you’re craving something that isn’t food, talk to your doctor right away. It can be a sign you’re short on a vital nutrient such as iron.

How to calm your pregnancy cravings

Usually cravings go away after the first trimester but they can be hard to handle. You can however cope with them as you would have done before you were pregnant like indulging in moderation. Start the day with a good and healthy breakfast and snack with things like yogurt, fruit or wholegrain is great.

pregnancy cravings


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