Those Pregnancy Craving: The Baby wants what the baby wants!
Pregnancy is a weird time. Apart from dealing with the changes in your body and hormones, you also have to deal with weird pregnancy cravings. While these can range from perfectly normal food cravings to completely weird ones, it can be a trying time for the daddy-to-be who has to ensure that the mommy-to-be is kept happy and satisfied. All of us have heard stories of mommy-to-be who have sent the daddy-to-be out in the middle of the night hunting for some food they’ve been craving.
When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?
For most women, pregnancy cravings generally start in the first trimester, peaking in the second trimester, and abate in the third trimester. For some, the cravings may even continue till after the delivery. Nobody knows why these cravings happen. Maybe this is the body’s way of signaling that there is a deficiency, or it just may be the raging hormones. It could also be the body’s way of making up for all the extra work it needs to do. All one can do is sit back and give in to these cravings.
Some Common Pregnancy Cravings
When I was pregnant, I craved brownies dunked in coffee- Cold or hot. Not a weird craving, but not something you hear of every day either. Here are some common pregnancy cravings; some are weird, some not so much. • Sweet– Most women have sweet cravings. Apple pies, jalebis, ice creams, gulab jamuns, chocolate loaded desserts, and candy are just the common ones. Whipped cream is another popular pregnancy favorite. Have it on fruit and all your desserts. Tacos and whipped cream? Now that’s a weird one. • Alcohol– Some women have alcohol cravings during pregnancy. It has nothing to do with the fact that you may have been a teetotaler before you got pregnant, or you were a regular drinker. I know of many women who weren’t big drinkers but craved alcohol during their pregnancy. • Savory, Sour, and Spicy– A lot of women crave spicy and savory goodies during their pregnancy. Golgappas/ puchkas/ panipuris are a popular pregnancy craving. Some mothers-to-be develop a high spice tolerance and want spicy food. Lemonade and undiluted lemon juice and citrus fruits are also popular pregnancy cravings.
• Non-food cravings– A lot of women start to crave non-food items such as chalk, sand, soap, ash, etc. during pregnancy. This is a condition called ‘Pica’. Ingesting any of these items can be highly dangerous for the mother and the baby, and it is best to speak to your health practitioner for advice if you feel a craving for any of these non-edible items. • Weird Food Cravings– Some women have very weird food cravings. Some of these odd combinations are pickles and ice creams, vanilla ice cream with ketchup, peanut butter and hot sauce, cereal and orange juice, doughnuts with mustard, etc. Share your weird pregnancy cravings with us!
Pregnancy Food Chart
Having cravings during pregnancy is perfectly normal as long as you don’t go overboard with anything. For example, if you are having sweet cravings, it is ok to indulge once in a while, but this is also the time that gestational diabetes can set in. One can look for healthier alternatives such as yogurt topped with fruits and nuts, homemade ice creams with more fruit instead of store-bought, protein bars instead of chocolate bars, etc. Also, if you are having an alcohol craving, try sparkling grape juice as an alternative or non-alcoholic beer, etc. You could also try some nice mocktails to help satiate the craving. While pregnancy cravings are well known, some women also develop pregnancy aversions, which can be quite terrible. I couldn’t tolerate the smell of oil, and that was the year my mom-in-law decided to make mango pickle. I wanted to run away from home. Instead, I settled for keeping the door of my room tightly closed. Indian restaurant food was another one of my aversions. I would throw up right after eating Indian food at restaurants. Such a waste! Chicken and red meat are common aversions, followed by fish and eggs and fried foods. A good way to deal with food aversions is to have mild-tasting foods. Cold foods are generally found to be more preferable than warm foods, which are more aromatic. The smell could be a trigger, giving rise to food aversions.
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