When do your craving start?
Craving usually starts in the first trimester and you may feel its increasing after 12 weeks. But in the third and last trimester, it will go away simultaneously. The interesting thing about craving is that you will experience a different craving everyday. You will feel like eating ice cream the whole day and the next day you think of eating extra spicy or fried and the other day different craving and it goes on.
During your 12 weeks of pregnancy, you suddenly crave for spicy food nachos or extra cheesy. We all know that most pregnant women get cravings during pregnancy that range from simple pieces of fresh watermelon to dipping french fries into chocolate sauce. These are normal cravings and should all be eaten in moderation to make sure that your diet stays balanced and nutritious.
What you usually crave for?
Is it happening to you when you suddenly crave for something special and just want to eat on the spot? Yes, this is very common in pregnant moms.
You urge to eat usually ice cream, chocolates and something tangy, sweets, dairy products and just rush for it. That’s a sudden urge of eating a particular type of food. Sometimes you feel eating something unusual combination of food, which you never tried before, or anything-different combination of juice or fruits. But most of the women they have a sudden dislike for strong taste or smell that is an aversion in pregnancy.
Why you crave?
This is a normal phenomenon and the reason is still unclear. Hormonal changes during pregnancy play a role to make you this way. With the effects of hormones, it changes the way you taste or smell. It might be due to the increasing demand for vitamins and minerals or anything which you missing in your diet. However, this is not proved by any researches.
Common cravings during pregnancy include:
- Chocolates and sweets
- Spicy foods or salty foods
- Fruits or a particular type of vegetable
- Mashed potatoes and pizza
- Craving for sour tangy food
- The unusual combination of food or drinks like juice
On the other side, if pregnant women crave for something, many women have food aversions also. It means they don’t like to eat some type of foods or they develop an aversion for certain tastes and strong taste or smell.
When you crave for foods that are a part of a healthy diet it is totally fine to eat them. But still, you should try to avoid fast food and processed foods.
What about a particular food aversions?
If you are experiencing food aversion during pregnancy or don’t ever want to eat a particular food it can be problematic. Your body needs essential nutrients this time so you should talk to your health care provider if this is happening to you. Your doctor can suggest you other food supplements to make up, and your body doesn’t lack important nutrients in your diet.
Are you having unhealthy food craving?
Don’t worry here are some healthy tips to control your unhealthy craving.
- Build your habit to eat healthy regularly so you don’t feel hungry all the time.
- Make your list of healthy snacks and stoke them to eat between your meal.
- Get enough sleep during the day.
- You can have little naps because lack of sleep can make you crave for junk food than healthy food.
- Drink plenty of water and prefer fresh fruit and whole-grain bread and unsweetened oats.
- When you urge to eat, make sure you should not be eating raw eggs, sushi, and under cooked food. It can harm you and your growing baby as this kind of food may contain harmful bacteria.
- Stay away from alcohol is always good.
Non-food craving or PICA
Some pregnant women crave for things, which are not food items. You may like to eat particular substances like chalk, laundry soup, soil, starch, cigarette ashes, clay or any strange substance. This problem is called PICA. These kinds of things do not contain any nutritional value for you.
This condition may be due to anaemia and deficiency of any dietary nutrients in your diet. It may be specific vitamin or mineral deficiency. This kind of condition is rare in women who are healthy or well-nourished and women from well healthy countries.
If you have this kind of unusual things eating problem and have eaten non-food items because it can be harmful to you and your baby. It is important to talk to your doctor.
Know more about your cravings
The reasons for cravings during pregnancy have been linked to the answer that the craving is for something which a pregnant woman is not getting in her diet. You may crave for certain food if you missed it from your diet. This has not been determined, but it still makes good sense.
Some women crave the sweetest of the sweets while pregnant. Cakes and chocolate are quite common. Others crave more of the comfort foods like bread and mashed potatoes. Spicy foods are on the list although doctors warn woman to eat these items in moderation so that heartburn is kept to a minimum. Fresh fruit is a craving that is great for health reasons and the taste cannot be beaten.
Craving foods are known, as pica can be harmful to you and your unborn child. These are non-food items such as clay, dirt, laundry starch, or cornstarch. Although women crave these items, they should not be ingested. Talk to your doctor immediately if you have any of these cravings.
Some women crave caffeinated beverages like sodas, tea, or coffee. You should be drinking all caffeinated products in moderation or can be switched to decaffeinate. Drinking too many can actually cause a miscarriage. Some women crave salt during their pregnancy, which may explain why pickles are a popular food to eat while pregnant.
Some cravings can cause serious weight gain or an imbalance in your diet. If you are craving ice cream, substitute it with low-fat frozen yogurt. Make sure your diet is full of nutritious items and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is okay to treat yourself with those cravings and remember most of the cravings stop after the first three months of pregnancy anyway.
10 Nutritional Tips to Deal with Pregnancy food Cravings
1. Eat Healthy
Forget about the old saying that recommends you to eat for two, as a healthy way to live your pregnancy, or simply understand the true meaning or concept behind those words.
Certainly, you are going to eat for two, you and your baby, but for many, many years, women have understood that they need to eat twice the servings that they used to eat before getting pregnant.
2. Change your dietary habits
Dietary habits changes are as important as it is necessary. Your doctor will usually suggest those changes that along with some nutritional tips that can ensure you are getting a healthy diet during pregnancy:
3. Eat variety of food
Different variety of foods is very important to get all the nutrients that your body must have to function properly and feed the developing baby, but also to break the monotony of 2 or 3 discouraging foods that eventually make you eat junk food in response to alimentary boredom.
4. Take pregnancy multivitamins
Although monotony in food intake can lead to vitamins and mineral deprivation, a variety of food and also lack of some of them or is insufficient for your needs. Ask your doctor to determine if you need prenatal vitamins and mineral supplements to guarantee you are getting enough.
5. Plan your meal
Get back to the food pyramid every day when planning your meals. Eat more foods from the bottom, where the grains are, then add protein, vegetables and fruits, followed by dairy and finally a small amount of fatty foods. You can get that pyramid online, at groceries stores or health care and nutrition centers, just hang it in your kitchen.
6. Fresh food always good
Eat foods that remember where they came from! The closer to the source of the original food the better. For examples: green beans that are fresh contain more of the good stuff than those in a can. Bananas are better than fried banana chips or a banana split!
7.Take enough protein
Adequate protein intake protects you against problems with eclampsia and other common disorders, ensuring your baby has enough because protein makes the building block of every cell in the baby’s body. 75 grams of protein a day is enough for this purpose.
8. Eat little and frequent
Nausea, morning sickness and food cravings can be avoided by eating smaller and frequent meals. This also contributes to alleviating heartburn or reduced stomach space later in pregnancy. Changing the 3 typical meals for 5 or 6 small ones can also reduce the level of sugar in your blood, contributing to your wellness.
9. Drink adequate water
Stay hydrated drinking natural fruit juices but most of all, plenty of water. Fluids are necessary for a healthy pregnancy, labour and delivery, but many pregnant women have the misconception that water contributes to swelling when that is not true. Water contributes to avoiding swelling, constipation and it’s needed for healthy, elastic skin.
10.Cut down on sugar
It is important that you should not eat food which is high in sugar, fat because it can make you gain excessive weight and gestational diabetes or can lead to other health problem which can harm you and your baby. So make sure you avoid unhealthy food and maintain a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Eating well during your pregnancy is probably one of the most important things that you can do. It helps with your baby’s healthy growth and development. You not only have to eat more you have to eat better. An extra 300 calories a day is required to keep mom and baby in the best health that they can be in. Whatever you put into your body becomes nourishment for your unborn child.
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I am experienced health professional (B.Sc. Nursing, P.GD Nursing). I am passionate to provide valuable information about Maternal and child Health. My goal is to provide the right and trustworthy information about pregnancy and baby care.