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Insatiable: What You Need to Know About Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy brings in a lot of changes—weird changes often. Case in point: food cravings. Sometimes, you want to binge on a snack you would have never eaten if you weren’t pregnant; other times, you crave for something sweet, salty or—dirty, like mud (don’t worry, almost everyone expecting went through this embarrassing phase). All the same, what’s up with these strange food cravings? Here are some facts you should know:

There’s no exact cause

The truth is that there’s no exact reason why pregnancy creates this weird appetite for certain food. There are a few theories, though. First on the list, of course, has something to do with hormones. Rapidly fluctuating hormones alter your senses of taste and smell, so you want to reach for something sweet or something that smells like detergent. Changes in the hormones also mean spikes and dips in emotions. One moment, you’re feeling down, wanting ice cream or yogurt to soothe the sudden slump, and then the next, you’re feeling cheery and adventurous, wanting to put every possible sauce on your nachos. Some experts also say that pregnancy cravings are caused by nutritional deficiencies. Deficiencies become more apparent during pregnancy precisely because your baby needs nutrients for their growth. For this reason, doctors often recommend certain diets and supplements, addressing such issue.

Non-edible food cravings should be monitored

Pica refers to the condition of eating things that have little or no nutritional value. In the context of pregnancy, women often crave for inedible stuff like chalk, dirt, or burnt matches. While this is normal because of the reasons mentioned above, you shouldn’t, of course, indulge yourself. Non-food items may hinder baby’s absorption of nutrients. Plus, they may contain harmful substances, like lead that can put your pregnancy more at risk. Hence, how do you manage strong cravings for non-food items? Your first step should be to talk to your doctor about it. If you go to a clinic in Provo, ob-gyns run tests so that they can accurately diagnose what’s happening to your body. From there, they’ll recommend lifestyle changes, such as diet plans and exercise, which can help reduce the urges. The next thing you want to do is to inform your spouse or other people at your home about your condition. They should be able to stop you from reaching soap or cigarette ashes.

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Cravings and aversions go hand in hand

As many as the food you want to binge on, so are the food you want to avoid at all costs, to the point that even their smell is repulsive to you. The reason you’re having these aversions is the same reason you’re having cravings. Hormones. There’s nothing wrong with skipping food you don’t like. In most cases, you want to lean toward what your body says. But if the food you hate is a source of key nutrients for your baby, you will have to find other ways to fill that up. For instance, if you don’t like to eat meat, you should consume plenty of beans and nuts for your protein fix.

Your food cravings are among the many weird changes that come with pregnancy. Consult your doctor about it if you’re having trouble coping. All the same, embrace it as part of the journey.

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