Pickles and ice cream, lemonade and potato chips, green grapes (and only green grapes)… pregnancy cravings can come in many forms and they’re different for everyone! But when do you actually start getting pregnancy cravings? Can they tell you anything about your health or your pregnancy?
Here’s what you need to know.
The Truth About Pregnancy Cravings
When do pregnancy cravings start occurring?
For most women, food cravings start to appear during the first trimester. They reach their peak during the second trimester, and then usually taper off during the third trimester. After birth, it’s extremely unlikely that you would be experiencing any more pregnancy-related food cravings.
Food aversions also commonly appear during the first trimester, and some women might find that those aversions are stronger than their cravings. This is perfectly normal.
What causes pregnancy cravings?
According to this study, about 50 to 90 percent of American women have some type of specific food craving during pregnancy. However, doctors don’t know exactly why pregnant women get the urge for specific tastes, textures, or flavor combinations.
Some medical professionals think it has something to do with fluctuating hormones, or the extra work your body is doing to grow your baby. Or perhaps it’s because your body is seeking a specific type of “comfort food”. Regardless, it’s an extremely common phenomenon.
Is it true that pregnancy cravings can tell you the sex of your baby?
Alas, this is just an old wives’ tale. The sex of your baby can only be determined through testing and/or ultrasounds. Or, of course, you’ll know once they’re born!
How should you handle your food cravings?
Food cravings are usually relatively harmless. The key is ensuring you don’t overdo it, particularly with cravings that aren’t nutritious for you and your baby. For example, if you’re desperately in need of chocolate, give in to a mini candy bar as opposed to an entire tray of brownies. Also make sure you’re not consuming anything that isn’t safe – certain kinds of seafood, deli meat, unpasteurized cheeses should all be avoided.
Lastly, if your pregnancy cravings include anything not edible, such as dirt or chalk, you may have something called pregnancy pica. Don’t consume it, and be sure to talk to your doctor about your cravings. It could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies.
Remember, pregnancy can do strange, beautiful, and wacky things to your hormones and your body! Changes such as food cravings and aversions can be quite normal. However, always be sure to talk to your doctor if you think you may be experiencing pica, or other symptoms you aren’t sure of. They are there to help you.
Have you *finally* gotten a positive test? Are you looking for an OB/Gyn in the Tucson area? Let us join you on your pregnancy journey. Book an appointment today!