Cravings in Pregnancy
We are often asked by our patients why women have certain “cravings” and if cravings are normal and to be expected when they are pregnant. Cravings during pregnancy are common and are experienced by the majority of pregnant women at various times throughout their pregnancy. Keeping that in mind, there really is no good explanation as to why pregnant women “crave” certain foods.
Various theories exist as to why cravings take place with the two most common being attributed to hormonal changes that happen with pregnancy or as a result of the loss of vitamins and minerals that women experience during pregnancy. An example of the latter would be craving dairy (ice cream) because your body needs more calcium. Unfortunately, current research does not validate either of these two schools of thought. A third hypothesis is that during pregnancy women have a heightened sense of taste and smell, and therefore, tend to crave certain foods that smell or taste comforting. That is why some women suddenly report craving “spicy foods” that did not enjoy spicy foods before, or a more commonly reported craving – ice cream.
Finally, culturally we are taught that craving certain foods is a natural part of being pregnant, which also plays a role in how women expect to crave different foods; therefore, certain women just “expect” to have cravings as a normal part of being pregnant. The most important thing to remember is that you should try to be as healthy as possible when pregnant. Additionally, maintaining an appropriate weight and eating a balanced diet are pivotal.
Dr. Jenny Jaque OBGYN/Co-Founder of Health Goes Female www.healthgoesfemale.com.