Many things happen to the woman when she is pregnant and they seem normal and natural. But when you develop a craving for some of the most unusual foods or items, then this is weird. How often does one eat, or greater, crave for cottage cheese wraps with sunflower seeds? Or who ever heard of anyone drinking liters of tomato juice. If you become pregnant you may be asking for something stranger.
What are pregnancy cravings?
Pregnancy cravings are a huge compulsion to eat some kind of foods. Oftentimes it is a weird combination that you or anyone would never consider eating generally. It is a longing to the point of fantasizing about eating a particular food. Approximately half of pregnant women report that they have had cravings at some point or another. A woman will go to any length to get what she desires and very often it is the partner that bears the brunt of her cravings. He has to ensure that the food is available and does not run out. The pregnant woman will develop paranoia about that food not available to her when she needs it. These pregnancy cravings could occur any time of day or night.
The meaning of pregnancy cravings
There is the overwhelming belief that craving for certain foods is a way the body is asking for certain nutrients. The overwhelming desire for pickles and processed cheese for example could be telling that the body requires more sodium. A longing for a burger, complete with fries could be an indication that the mother needs sodium, potassium and protein. The mother who is in frenzy for a large double latte chocolate ice cream could be a signal that she needs more fat and calcium.
Possible reasons for cravings during pregnancy
Nutritional deficiencies – Where does these pregnancy cravings come from? No one knows what causes cravings. Even the experts are sometimes divided on this and no scientific proof has laid down any evidence that cravings are as a result of a particular phenomenon. Some persons have determined that cravings are as a result of nutritional deficiencies in the woman. The belief is that since she is supplying the baby with nutrients for growth, her body needs to be replenished and she will feel these longings for particular foods.
Hormonal changes – On the other hand, pregnancy hormones are believed to be partly responsible for the change in your taste and smell, resulting in cravings. Progesterone and estrogen are two main hormones that the body produces in greater supply during pregnancy to support the development of the baby. These hormones cause a lot of changes to take place and their presence could be responsible for the heightened taste and smell.
Foods that pregnant mothers crave
Many women have related an array of foods and nonfood items that they craved in one pregnancy or another. Some make for hilarious commentaries and if you should probe some more, women would have much more to say.
- Savory or salty foods
You could check the mother who ate a diet of cheese wiz and could not stand the sight of the food after her baby was born. Here is another mother who snacked on chicken-flavored noodles for all of two weeks. Her partner had to ensure there was enough and the item would not run out. One mother could not get enough of feta cheese and anything else that was salty.
- Sweet treats
Many pregnant women who had a sweet tooth prior to pregnancy demanded even more sweet treats. Chocolate topped the list for one of the most foods craved. For one mother, butterscotch and chocolate angel delight and custard creams are all she could think about. Another mother ate cheerios without milk. Some women develop the craze for anything citrus. One mother would eat a whole bag of oranges in one sitting while another had an obsession for grapefruits in her first pregnancy. It gets hilarious when her partner turned up with grapefruits for the second pregnancy and was summarily made to remove them from the house. She could not stand the sight of them this time around.
You can understand why tomato juice, chilled milk, and root beer are items to crave. They are so refreshing. Champagne is also in this category. One mom almost cried her heart out on the kitchen floor when she ran out of apple juice in the middle of the night.
- Cold and crunchy foods
Many women love to have something they can crunch on. Probably it’s the sound of the crunch that appeals to them. Ice tops the list in this category. Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, frozen fruits, and raw carrots cannot be too much for those adoring them.
Craving non-food items
There is also the more extreme in pregnancy cravings where some women eat things that are not foods. In some cases they would not eat the item, but rather smell them. This is an unusual condition that is called pica. If you are eating dirt or ice, in your very own judgment you will recognize that these could not be good for you and may hurt the baby also. You may not be surprised that one mother was set on the shower head. She would seize every opportunity to squirt water in her mouth from the shower. Another was sold on the lovely smell of a type of bath soap. Another mother would not leave out the sand and gravel. She dreamt all the time of drinking sand.
If you are filling up on non-foods you may not be able to eat foods that are healthy for you. Other nonfood items that some mothers are obsessed with are clay, laundry starch, soap, and coffee grounds. If you find yourself craving any such item, report it to your doctor immediately as it may mean you are low in iron.
Ways to curb your food cravings
You may consider these difficult to deal with, but you can find ways to make your pregnancy cravings provide better nutritional support for you. You could incorporate the foods you crave in your normal eating. If your craving is salsa for example, add these as spice to your meal. Where your craving is for the unhealthy foods, seek out the healthier versions such as baked potato instead of potato chips. If it is the crunch that you desire, you could possibly chew on some carrots or some of those really crispy apples. Try not to stack up on foods you crave. Buy them in small amounts. In addition, plan when you are going to eat your snacks. This way you have something to look forward to. Lastly, learn to distract yourself. When you are feeling the urge you could possibly go for a walk, or talk with a close friend.