What Causes Pregnancy Cravings
Studies have found that around 84% of pregnant women around the world experience food cravings. So, what is it exactly that gets you all weak in the knees to bow down to your cravings? Well, the exact etiology of cravings is still unknown. However, there are many other theoretical causes.
- Nutritional deficiency: It is believed that, generally, food cravings are symbolic of a dietary deficiency . This means that when your body lacks a particular nutritional element, it manifests as a craving.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy: Several experts believe that pregnancy cravings could be a result of hormonal changes. The hormones, estrogen and progesterone, could be the possible causes for those irresistible urges. These hormones can potentially lead to changes in the receptors of the tongue, developing cravings and/or aversions for foods .
- Increased sense of smell and taste: It is also believed that hormonal fluctuations tend to increase the sense of smell and taste in pregnant women, which could be another contributing factor for food cravings .
- Psychosocial factors: In some cases, it has been seen that pregnant women might also develop certain food cravings due to some psychosocial factors . A research study showed that rice craving is more common in Japan than in the U.S, where the most craved food amongst pregnant women is chocolate.
What Does It Mean If You Crave Fish While Pregnant
There has been no consensus among doctors and researchers about the meaning behind food cravings during pregnancy or if there is one at all.
Doctors have suggested various theories and explanations based on both research and anecdotal evidence regarding the cause of specific food cravings during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, higher body temperatures in an expectant mother, nutritional imbalances, a heightened sense of taste following a restrictive diet, and sinus congestion have all been suggested as possible causes of food cravings.
Based on the nutritional balance theory, which is one of the more popular theories, cravings for fish during pregnancy are likely due to the body craving these nutrients contained in the fish, and not the fish itself:
- Protein crucial for babys development
- Zinc lowers the risk of premature birth
- Iron helps prevent anemia
- Iodine helps metabolism and thyroid function
- Omega-3 fatty acids helps brain development
Craving Soup Boy Or Girl
I would like a mushroom soup, do I have a boy or a girl?
I like to eat mushroom soup every day. I was wondering if anyone else would want to do that. And boy or girl?
I have a son and I want cheese as he makes it.
She did this many times so that her desire would determine the sex of her child.
However, this is all just a myth, unfortunately you can tell 6 people that they want mushroom soup and still have daughters, but you can still have children, unfortunately none of that.
Congratulations on a difficult pregnancy 🙂
Do you know if it will be a boy or a girl? It could be a genome or a fairy!
Personally, I craved chicken and milk cakes and ate a lot of them during my pregnancy. I ended up with a girl. But I don’t think it has anything to do with food! 🙂
Oh, definitely boy.
You May Like: Chicken Rice Broccoli Cheese Casserole Campbell’s
Sugar And Processed Foods
What Foods Do Women Crave During Pregnancy And Why
While pregnancy cravings are often depicted as wildly dramatic, for a lot of pregnant women, they are no laughing matter. In fact, a US study estimated that 50-90% of pregnant women experience specific food cravings. While cravings are a common occurrence during pregnancy, we still dont really understand why they happen.
One theory that is regularly posited suggests that the body craves what it is lacking. So, if a pregnant woman has a sudden urge for salty crisps, her body might be low in sodium, and so on. However, there is little scientific research to suggest that this relationship between the body and its cravings exists.
Another possibility is an old wives tale that has recently been researched. This explanation states that the babys gender is responsible for various cravings and even morning sickness.
Whatever the cause, pregnancy cravings are very real. Here are a few of the most common food cravings that women experience during pregnancy and how they can be safely satisfied.
Chilies and other spicy foods are very common cravings amongst pregnant women. One theory as to why is that pregnant women are constantly in need of cooling down. Our bodies cool down by sweating, which is what happens when we eat spicy food. As regular taste preferences can change during pregnancy, even women who usually avoid spicy foods can find themselves hankering for the hot stuff.
Recommended Reading: Olive Garden Endless Soup And Salad
Some Old Wives Tales To Help You Guess Your Babys Gender
Cant wait for the 20-week ultrasound to find out the gender of your baby? Or perhaps youve decided not to find out but are secretly dying to know.
These old wives tales may just be legend, but I swear a lot of them were true for me, and for several other mums in the Healthy Mummy community.
And while these old wives tales are not backed up by science or technology, they have been used for thousands of years.
Plus, they are fun to do. I mean, who doesnt want to pee in a cup and see if the urine fizzes?
When Do Cravings Typically Start During Pregnancy
Because every woman is unique, and every pregnancy is different, there is no absolute timetable for when you will begin experiencing food cravings during your pregnancy. You might crave fish for the entirety of your pregnancy, for one desperate week during your second semester, or your cravings may come and go.
Commonly, women begin experiencing food cravings near the end of their first semester. The cravings are felt most strongly during the second semester and then begin to lessen near the end of the last trimester when their due date is approaching.
Don’t Miss: Weight Watchers Hash Brown Potato Soup Recipe
Babys Heart Rate Boy Or Girl
Your babys heart will start to beat around 6 weeks pregnant, and your doctor will be able to hear it and measure the BPM .
According to this modern old wives tale, if your babys BPM is below 140, you may be pregnant with a baby BOY! If your babys heartbeat it above 140, this theory suggests you are having a baby GIRL.
Learn more about your babys heart rate and this gender prediction.
Craving Seaweed During Pregnancy
Wanting seaweed could mean youre low on certain nutrients.
Craving seaweed is another sign that youre missing an essential nutrient in this case iodine. Edible seaweed includes green, red and brown seaweed and brown seaweed is particularly high in iodine.
Seaweed contains high levels of iodine, so if youre craving this it could indicate that youre deficient in this mineral, says Mr Downes. Iodine is essential for the production of hormones that regulate the development of the foetal brain and nervous system.
However, its possible to have too much of a good thing. During pregnancy intake of iodine should be limited to 220 micrograms daily, he advises.
Seaweed also contains B12. This vitamin is crucial for vegetarians as its one of the few non-animals sources of this nutrient.
Pregnancy Weight Gain: Boy Or Girl
Are you gaining a lot of weight, or more than you should be during your first, second or third trimester? Also, if you are gaining weight in your thighs and butt, this tale/myth says you are pregnant with a BOY. If you are not gaining much weight, it is usually normal during the first trimester. Or if you are only gaining weight in your belly and hips, you might be pregnant with a GIRL.
If Dad is gaining weight with you, it may be a type of sympathy symptom. Or, according to old wives tales, you may be pregnant with a BOY.
If dad is not gaining weight, you might be pregnant with a GIRL.
The Myths About Food And Pregnancy
All over the world, pregnant women are bombarded with opinions about what to eat and what to avoid. All too often, sound advice gets lost in a stew of badly-reported science and old wives’ tales.
For women in Korea, pregnancy tastes of seaweed soup. In South Africa, many Zulu women are given Isihlambezo, a herbal concoction that can include anything from daisies and milkweed to dried hyrax urine. In Iran, pomegranate juice is popular, and in Senegal it’s a bone-marrow broth.
But there’s one thing that’s dished out to pregnant women all over the world: advice about what to eat and what to avoid when you’re expecting a baby.
The range of opinion can be bewildering. Fish is essential for the development of the baby’s brain, but can’t it also contain dangerous levels of mercury?
Peanuts are best avoided, or perhaps they actually help to prevent nut allergies in children? Soft cheese and cured meats are a definite no-no, but Italy’s mamas-to-be seem to thrive on prosciutto, and surely French women don’t all give up the Camembert?
If pregnant women are confused, the media must take a good share of the blame, says Linda Geddes, mother of two and author of Bumpology, a book that deploys cutting-edge science to slice through the tangle of anecdote, myth, and mumbo-jumbo that surrounds pregnancy.
“Journalists will seize on any study about pregnancy because they know that people are interested,” she says.
Also Check: Lipton Onion Soup Potatoes With Butter
Craving Fruit During Pregnancy
Fruit is one of the better cravings to have.
This is one of the better cravings a pregnant woman can have as fruit is good for us and will provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, depending on the particular fruit.
For example, you may crave fruit thats high in vitamin C. Prevalent in blackcurrants, cantaloupe melon, citrus fruit, strawberries, vitamin C helps with the proper formation and growth of bones, teeth and other vital tissues of a foetus.
If you hanker after fruit such as bananas, cantaloupe melon, apricots, nectarines or dried fruit you may be lacking potassium. Research has found that low potassium levels in pregnancy can lead to weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps and constipation, occasional bouts of muscle weakness in the legs, arms and eyes and an abnormal heartbeat.
Be aware that you should wash always fruit before consuming it, and avoid unpasteurized fruit juice during this period. Eating a lot of fruit can cause diarrhoea in some people.
Is It Normal Not To Have Food Cravings During Pregnancy
It is perfectly normal not to have food cravings during pregnancy. Food cravings can alter your dietary intake and may impact your overall nutritional levels. So, addressing cravings wisely is the key to managing your health effectively.
It the cravings for certain foods are strong, it wise to consult your doctor. This can help you make informed decisions and also help you to promptly act on cravings that may indicate an underlying health issue, such as zinc deficiency characterized by an impaired sense of smell and taste .
You May Like: Potato Soup With Frozen Hash Browns
What To Expect Pregnancy Cravings For Chick
From the first trimester to the last, Chick-fil-A cravings hit hard for some mamas-to-be.
Pickles, peanut butter, sweets. Expecting moms will tell you that when theyre eating for two , theyre also fighting some serious cravings.
We talked to a group of women — from first- to sixth-time mamas of both boys and girls — and found one resounding truth: a craving for Chick-fil-A while pregnant can be a very real thing.
Britney Shaw, a mom of three, said she would always crave Chick-fil-A during weekday evenings when she was pregnant.
We would drive by Chick-fil-A to take my daughter to dance class, and the smell intoxicated me, she says. I couldn’t satisfy my craving until I ate my usual chicken nuggets and waffle fries with honey.
For Shaw, the cravings didnt even stop with the end of her pregnancy shes convinced that they were passed on to her daughter.
I craved anything with potatoes. Especially fries, Shaw says. To this day, my daughters favorite food is anything potato. She loves the waffle fries from Chick-fil-A and can’t get enough of them.”
And Shaw wasnt the only one several moms agreed they couldnt ignore their Chick-fil-A cravings when they were pregnant.
Heaps of Sauce
Sauces from Chick-fil-A are always fan favorites, but for these moms, they were essential. Elizabeth Anderson says she couldnt resist Chick-fil-A sauce when she was expecting.
Dipping Waffle Fries
Youre In Need Of A Nutrient
Are you craving a bowl of fully-dressed chili or a whole platter of cheddar cheese? There may be a reason why your body is calling for a particular food. You may not need to eat every ingredient in that chili, but its possible that your body is searching forone of the nutrients present in its ingredients. Lets take a look at some examples:
- Cant stop thinking about ice cream sundaes? You may be in need of calcium.
- Are you craving a plate of steak frites or red meat? You may be in need of iron.
- Do you want banana pudding more than youve ever wanted it before? Maybe its the potassium that you really need.
- Are you all about the chips and pickles? Your body might be calling for sodium.
Whatever youre craving, its entirely possible that your body has a particular need that isnt being met during the energy-intensive process of growing another human. However, your taste buds are interpreting the need for a vitamin as the need for a specific foodmaybe even one you used to hate.
Recommended Reading: Red Potatoes And Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Weight Gain Around The Middle
If a woman gains lots of weight around her middle during pregnancy, some people think this means she is having a girl. They may also believe that gaining weight just in the front of the body indicates a boy.
Again, scientific evidence does not back up this theory. Where a woman gains weight in pregnancy depends on her body type.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Fish While Pregnant
Take special precautions when adding fish to your menu.
Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid eating certain types of fish, or too much fish, because of the potential of developing mercury poisoning over time. Mercury is a naturally occurring heavy metal that is found in fish due to water pollution.
If you have eaten too much fish that is high in mercury content, contact your doctor or seek medical attention immediately.
How to help satisfy your fish cravings:
- Skip uncooked fish which contains bacteria and viruses.
- Pay attention to fish advisories in your area.
- Cook fish to an internal temperature of 145°F.
- When cooked, fish should be flaky and be opaque.
- Dont eat predatory fish .
- Limit consumption of seafood to 2-3 servings per week.
- Choose organic, farm-raised fish when possible.
- The younger and smaller fish are normally the safest to eat.
You May Like: Campbell Soup Chicken And Rice Recipe With Broccoli
Why Do Pregnant Women Get Cravings
Youre surprised every time it hits youthat sharp, sudden urge for ice cubes, brownies, or pickled okra. You cant think about anything else until youve piled your plate high with exactly the food thats on your mind.
Havent had a pregnancy craving yet? It can really take any shape or form. Alicia Keys craved roasted fruit, while Madonna couldnt stop eating olives. And its not just the pop stars among us who find themselves craving specific foods, sometimes in odd combinations. According to a study by Natalia Orloff and Julia Hormes at theUniversity of Albanys Health Behaviors Laboratory:
- 50-90% of women experience cravings at some point during their pregnancy.
- Expectant mothers tend to crave foods that are high-calorie and high-fat in particular. Only 10% crave fruits and veggies.
- While cravings can hit at any point, they tend to begin in the first trimester, accelerate in the second, and decrease in the third.
Pregnancy food cravings are certainly real, there are theories on what they could indicate for the pregnant woman and the babys development. Wondering if some cravings could even be related to different ? Lets find out!
When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start
Cravings tend to vary with each pregnancy, says Mr Downes. However, they are most likely to occur in the first trimester , which coincides with when you may be feeling nauseous or have gone off certain foods.
If you do start craving certain foods or non-foods, dont be alarmed. As long as you know what youre eating is safe and healthy for you and the baby theres no reason to be concerned, says Neev. Its important have knowledge of what could be harmful for your foetus and avoid those foods. These include seafood that may contain high levels of mercury, uncooked raw fish and meat, high levels of caffeine, and unwashed and properly prepared foods. But sending your partner out into the night to get you ice cream that you can eat with sprinkled chopped up pickles will always be a safe and bizarre part of the wondrous journey that is pregnancy, she says.
Even if you dont feel like it, try to eat a variety of foods throughout your pregnancy. This will provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for the optimal development and growth of your baby. Include foods containing iron such as red meat, oily fish and eggs to help prevent anaemia. And fill up on wholemeal bread, lentils and leafy green vegetables. If youre concerned about your diet, or any cravings, speak to your GP or midwife.
Also Check: Potato Soup With Frozen Hash Browns