What are the common pregnancy cravings?

What are the common pregnancy cravings?

Do you have these weird pregnancy cravings? Let’s face it, being pregnant can be a weird experience. There’s so much happening to your body and mind during this time that it’s no surprise if you’re having some weird cravings.

Over the years as a midwife, I’ve spoken to many expectant mums about some of the cravings they’re having. Some have been very strange, some quite dangerous and others very funny. I’ve sat in maternity suites with women having such a laugh about their cravings, for many women it’s a relief to get it off their chest.

However, there have been occasions when cravings have been quite dangerous and mums to be have felt like they can’t talk about it.

In this article, I hope to break down some of the embarrassment and the taboo and help women understand that it’s perfectly normal to have even the most extreme cravings.

Why do I have pregnancy cravings?

Nobody really knows. We know that there’s a lot going on in your body during this time and it could be a number of factors. Many women have an increased sense of smell and taste due to hormonal changes so this could lead to more fragrant foods being preferred over pungent items.

There’s a huge shift in your nutritional needs too. You need more iron and calcium to help keep you and your baby developing. So a craving for ice cream can be completely justified. Make sure you grab a tub of your favourite flavour and dig in – that’s why maternity pants are stretchy.

When do pregnancy cravings start?

Pregnancy cravings can occur at any time during the 9 months. However, they usually start around the end of the first trimester and peak throughout the second trimester. With the arrival of the third trimester, cravings will usually subside.

But all women are different, and so if you’re having cravings in your first and third trimester or they are coming and going through the pregnancy, don’t worry. That’s just your body’s way of responding to the changes in hormones.

Are my pregnancy cravings normal?

Generally speaking, what’s normal about pregnancy cravings anyway? If we’re talking about the notion of your body wanting to gauge on 100 custard creams in 20 minutes or for you to eat a jar of pickled onions, well then yes, that can be considered normal during pregnancy.

Although, as a midwife, I’ve heard of some very strange cravings over the years. Everything from eating big yellow sponges to one woman wanting to drink petrol (yes, petrol!). What these two women had in common was that they were both embarrassed to talk about their cravings. They thought that somehow they’d be judged as bad parents.

But actually, once they talked about it, they felt a whole lot better. The woman who wanted to drink petrol was of course aware of the dangers and found it very hard to satiate the cravings. After talking about it, we were able to provide some help and she went on to have a very healthy baby.

So really, if you’re having a strange craving, especially one that’s dangerous, please know that your midwife will never judge you. You’ll feel a lot better talking about it too.

    How to get rid of pregnancy cravings?

    It can be frustrating to have cravings that never seem to be satiated. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do about it:

     

    • Drink plenty of water
    • Eat regularly to prevent hunger
    • Choose slow release energy foods that will keep you feeling full for longer
    • Get more sleep – studies have shown that less sleep leads to us making poorer food choices
    • Don’t shop when you’re hungry
    • Have health snacks available
    • Give in to the cravings if they’re safe

    You deserve to enjoy your labour, birth, and parenthood journey.

    Know what to expect, feel in control, and be heard with our online, midwife-led hypnobirthing course.

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