What is it about being pregnant that makes a sane woman crave the most insane food combinations? Whether it is bananas dipped in mayo or even worse a sudden taste for chalk, it can get one wondering where these pregnancy cravings come from. Is it our hormones? Is it our body trying to tell us something?
While there is no scientific explanation as to why pregnancy causes these cravings this doesn’t mean we should discount them. There is a theory that these cravings can be insights and clues to what we may be missing as far as nutrients go within our diet. One of the oddest cravings pregnant woman have reported is towards nonfood items. This disorder is called PICA. Pica is when you crave things such as dirt, clay, chalk or sand. This disorder has been linked with mineral deficiencies and specifically with iron. If you do crave nonfood like items, it is important to call your doctor or midwife as this can be a telling sign that you are not getting enough iron in your diet or that you may be anemic.
Cravings will change during the course of one’s pregnancy. You may crave something salty and sour in the beginning trimester but than in the later trimester you may crave things that are sweet and sugary such as chocolate. Scientists believe this happens because it is caused the increase need for calories. Sugar is very addictive and the more we eat the more we want. It may also be caused by the increase volume of blood and the hormonal changes can cause your blood sugar levels to dip low. Instead of eating another high in sugar candy bar, choose to eat things that are high in protein and eat small more frequent meals. Pregnant women need to be very careful about the amount of sugar they are taking in because this can put them at risk for gestational diabetes. When you are craving something sweet, it is best to opt for a piece of fresh fruit.
Whether it is a physiological or biological need craving for food, these changes are there to make sure you are eating enough for appropriate weight gain. Unfortunately this can also backfire by causing you to eat too much. You want to make sure you are not putting on too much weight as it is not healthy for your baby and can cause complications in your pregnancy. The woman of average weight needs to only gain 25-35 pounds when pregnant. That is only 300 extra calories a day. Be sure to stick to a healthy diet and be conscious of everything that you put in your body.
Have you ever been pregnant, or know someone who was? Were there any crazy cravings?