Pregnancy cravings are a common phenomenon experienced by many expectant mothers. These cravings can range from the ordinary to the bizarre, with some women developing a taste for unusual or downright strange foods.
In this post. we’ve outlined 12 weird pregnancy cravings you definitely don’t know about.
When do cravings start?
Cravings begin in the first trimester for most women, peak in the second, and decline in the third. Doctors say that few cravings persist after delivery so that you won’t eat the same strange foods indefinitely. Many women have one craving for a day or two, another for another day or two, and so on.
Why do cravings occur?
The exact cause of pregnancy cravings is not fully understood, but several theories exist. One theory is that pregnancy hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, play a role in causing cravings. These hormones can affect the taste and smell receptors in the body, making certain foods more appealing to pregnant women.
Another theory is that cravings are the body’s way of signaling a need for certain nutrients. For example, a craving for red meat may indicate a need for more iron, while a craving for dairy may signal a need for calcium.
However, this theory has not been conclusively proven, and some cravings may not be related to nutritional needs.
Finally, some experts believe pregnancy cravings may be linked to psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and emotional well-being. Pregnant women may turn to comfort foods as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety of pregnancy or as a way to satisfy emotional cravings.
The exact cause of pregnancy cravings is likely a complex interplay of hormonal, nutritional, and psychological factors. While cravings can be a regular part of pregnancy, expectant mothers need to talk to their healthcare provider if they have any concerns about their cravings or if they are craving non-food items.
Here are 12 of the weirdest pregnancy cravings that women have reported.
- Ice cream and pickles: This is a classic pregnancy craving that has been around for decades. The combination of sweet and salty seems to be irresistible for some pregnant women.
- Toothpaste: Some pregnant women have reported craving the taste of toothpaste, which may be due to the refreshing minty flavour.
- Hot sauce: Some expectant mothers develop a taste for spicy food during pregnancy, and hot sauce is a common craving.
- Lemons: Many pregnant women crave sour foods, and lemons are famous. Some even eat them whole, including the rind!
- Mayonnaise: Some women crave mayonnaise during pregnancy, eating it by itself or adding it to everything.
- Soap: The smell of soap may appeal to some pregnant women, and some have even reported eating it.
- Vinegar: Many pregnant women crave sour flavours, and vinegar is popular. Some even drink it straight from the bottle!
- Cheeseburgers with jelly: This is a unique craving that some women develop during pregnancy. The combination of savory and sweet may be irresistible for some.
- Raw meat: Some pregnant women crave raw meat, which can be dangerous due to the risk of foodborne illness.
- Fruit with salt: This is a popular combination for some pregnant women, with watermelon and mango being common choices.
- Candy, sweets and chocolate
- Savory, high-calorie carbohydrates (pizza and chips)
Tips for managing cravings
Managing pregnancy cravings can be challenging, but there are several strategies that expectant mothers can use to help control their cravings and make healthy choices. Here are six tips for managing pregnancy cravings:
- Keep healthy snacks on hand: Stock up on healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. These foods can help satisfy cravings while providing essential nutrients for both mother and baby.
- Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and take time to savour and enjoy each bite of food. This can help prevent overeating and make meals more satisfying.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help reduce cravings and keep the body hydrated, which is vital for both mother and baby.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can contribute to cravings, so expectant mothers need to get enough rest each night.
- Find alternative ways to cope with stress: Stress can trigger cravings, so finding healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a friend, can help reduce cravings.
- Indulge in moderation: It’s okay to indulge in cravings occasionally, but try to do so in moderation. For example, if you’re craving ice cream, have a small scoop instead of a whole pint.
Managing pregnancy cravings is all about balancing indulging in cravings and making healthy choices. By practicing mindfulness, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep, expectant mothers can help control their cravings and stay healthy during pregnancy.
To make things easier, here’s a list of 10 healthy breakfast options to try out during pregnancy.
Cravings for things other than food
Studies also show that some pregnant women crave non-food items such as chalk, cigarette ashes, clay, laundry starch, or soap. This is a condition known as pica.
Pica can be caused by a mineral deficiency or by severe anemia. If you crave non-food items at any point during pregnancy, please consult your doctor.
Pregnancy cravings can be strange and unpredictable, and many women experience them at some point during their pregnancy. While some cravings are harmless, others can be dangerous, especially if they involve non-food items. Expectant mothers need to talk to their healthcare provider if they have concerns about their cravings or are craving non-food items.