Ranch dressing straight from the bottle? Orange juice? Potato chips even if you don’t LIKE potato chips?
You’ve seen it joked about on T.V. shows and in movies, but make no mistake: pregnancy cravings are real and they can be quite strange.
Let’s face it: pregnancy is a weird, wonderful, scary, and sometimes funny, journey filled with the unexpected. And while pregnancy is different for everyone, one thing many mothers-to-be have in common is pregnancy cravings.
Whether cravings are weird (pickle juice, anyone?) or non-existent (which is normal), it’s important to pay attention to them because they might be a sign that your body needs a specific nutrient. It could also be attributed to changes in hormones which affect your sense of smell and taste during pregnancy. While there’s no real link other than anecdotal evidence, there are a few cravings you should pay attention to.
Here are a few common cravings, plus a certain craving you should probably see a doctor about.
4 Pregnancy Cravings and What They Could Mean for You
Bagels and Pasta
During the 1st trimester, many women aren’t craving much of anything. Even if you aren’t dealing with vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, you could be feeling tired and nauseous, both of which contribute to a desire for carbohydrates. This is because your brain might be needing glucose, which eating carbs will give you. Consuming pasta, toast, crackers, or bagels could help you to satisfy this craving and ease some of that nausea and fatigue.
Sweets and Sugar
While it’s a common movie trope to see a pregnant woman consuming ice cream directly out of the carton, this is actually a real thing! Many pregnant women in the U.S. actually do experience pregnancy cravings for sweet treats. However, a word of caution. If you find yourself experiencing strong cravings for huge amounts of sweets during your 2nd trimester, you may want to talk about it with a doctor, especially if a sweet tooth isn’t normal for you. Some women develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy which can lead to a strong desire for sugar and sweet foods.
Salty and Spicy Foods
Because pregnancy increases your blood volume, some practitioners believe that the sudden desire for salty foods such as fries, popcorn, spicy sauces, or nuts might be contributed to low sodium levels.
However, it’s more likely that if you live in the U.S., you’re more likely to have plenty of sodium in your diet already, so be sure to consume with caution.
This is one pregnancy craving that you shouldn’t take lightly. If you find yourself craving non-food items such as starch, large amounts of ice, clay, wax, chalk, coffee grounds, or more, tell your doctor or midwife.
Craving non-food items is a symptom of pica, which may indicate a mineral deficiency or severe anaemia. Giving in to cravings like this can cause harm to you and your growing baby, so be sure to seek medical attention right away. On the positive side, pica is relatively rare in well-nourished women from developed countries.
Pregnancy cravings are often relatively harmless, but if you feel unsure or concerned about what you’re feeling, be sure to check in with your OB/Gyn.
Your doctor or midwife has a lot of experience with pregnant women just like you. Be open about your concerns and your eating habits, and ask a lot of questions. They’ll be able to guide you in the right direction and help to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you and your baby need.
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn and live in San Tan Valley? Let us join you on your pregnancy journey and help you find a path to motherhood that works for you. Book an appointment today!