If you woke up in the middle of the night sinfully craving for a sugary treat or a taste of lime in your mouth during your pregnancy and drove your partner mad about it, then you’re initiated into the sorority of crazy expectant women. In fact, you’ll be in a little deeper if you have managed to come up with the weirdest food combinations as your pregnancy cravings, such as ice cream and pickle and leave your partner gagging, not knowing how you’re able to stomach the food.
Causes of the Cravings
Even the experts can only speculate on what causes these cravings, with some of them blaming it on the hormonal changes, thanks to the influx of estrogen, progesterone, and hCG. These also lead to significant changes in a pregnant woman’s sense of smell and taste, and possibly the cause of their reduced salt sensitivity but increased bitter sensitivity.
Others suggested that cravings could have been triggered by dietary deficiencies.
Significance of These Cravings
While most of us may have heard how we should always give what an expectant woman want or else something might happen to her baby, science cannot attest to the importance of pregnancy cravings. What the experts can say, though, is to give in to your healthy cravings and try to fight off the less healthy ones. For the latter, it would be safer to look for healthier alternatives.
Aside from the shared fear and pain of giving birth, women also share cravings, with among the most popular including the following:
- Sweets. Pregnant women love their ice cream, chocolate, cake, and biscuits, among others. Others may demand for sweet fruits, which is the healthy way to go at it. It might be a good idea to include more fruits in your diet to quench your sweet cravings. Such cravings may be triggered by reduced blood sugar during pregnancy, something that can be remedied by feeding yourself small, but frequent meals.
- Salty foods. Chips, crisps, and other salty treats are also common cravings. However, their high-sodium content is definitely not good for the mom and the baby, or for anyone else for that matter. It is best to monitor your salt intake if you cannot fully turn off your salty cravings.
- Sour foods. Don’t be shocked if you suddenly feel the insides of your mouth watering while thinking of some sour delights, such as limes or lemon water. Plenty of expectant moms are getting the same reaction as you are.
- Spicy foods. You might want to save the phone number of the closest Indian or Mexican restaurant to your home once you start craving for spicy foods. If you have loved them before you were pregnant, you’d be surprised just how much spiciness you can tolerate some more throughout the pregnancy that you won’t hesitate ordering some vindaloos or kormas.
How to Handle Your Cravings
It’s instinct to give in to satisfy your cravings, but you might want to impose a stronger self-control here if you want a healthy pregnancy and an equally healthy baby. There are simply cravings that can be harmful if they completely take over your diet. Women, more than ever, need to be in the fittest shape during the pregnancy to support the little one in the womb, hence the need for a balanced diet.
If you want to fight off the unhealthy cravings, learn to distract yourself. Do something physical, such as stretching, walking, or take a luxurious bath. You can also engage a phone pal or read a book, anything that will take your mind off some crazy pregnancy cravings.