Topic: Food Cravings & Aversions During Pregnancy
For some pregnant ladies, this is a common happenstance, all of a sudden, you notice you have special cravings for a particular food and a repulsion and aversion for some foods you previously enjoyed. Don’t freak out, you are not alone. This is one of the perks of this
beautiful journey called pregnancy.
WHAT ARE FOOD CRAVINGS DURING PREGNANCY?
This is defined as the sudden urge/crave for a particular/specific, mostly and particularly unusual dish. This is very common among pregnant woman and some fathers.
WHAT ARE FOOD AVERSIONS DURING PREGNANCY?
Just like the cravings, most pregnant women experience at least one food aversion, or a new sense of repulsion at the very thought of a food they previously enjoyed. This is completely normal and very common.
SO, WHAT CAUSES THEM?
During pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that take place; it is believed that pregnancy hormones play a role, especially in early pregnancy.
This is because; this is when the body is positively flooded with hormones. The cravings and aversions are probably the way the body tries to balance out and get use to the changes.
It is also claimed that during pregnancy, you crave what your body needs and are repulsed by what’s not good for you. This theory works with items such as coffee and alcohol, which can suddenly turn off regular drinkers of both.
However, this theory doesn’t explain why you might suddenly turn your nose up at healthy foods you used to love, such as salad or oatmeal.
FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
There is nothing much you can do about your hormones, you don’t control them, and rather they control you. Truth is you can’t always fight this symptom, so just try to respond to cravings and aversions with reason. You should be mindful of the calorific contents of the foods you crave for and also be sure you are getting the recommended adequate diet for you and your baby.
Keep in mind that most disappear or lessen by the fourth month, however if yours don’t, that may be an indication of an emotional need you should address. Talk to your partner: If what you really crave is some more TLC, he should be able to help out with extra hugs and attention.
TIPS ON DEALING WITH CRAVINGS AND Aversions
1. Try to avoid going crazy with pregnancy cravings that do nothing for you nutritionally even while you indulge them. Be in charge. Tame your gut. Don’t go about binging. For example, go for a mini chocolate bar instead of a king-sized, or a glass of low-fat chocolate milk rather 4 glasses of whole fat milk
2. When cravings strike and threaten, stand your ground, use diversion tactics, and find another distracting thing to indulge in.
3. Take a walk or go to the gym
4. Even reading a book or calling a friend for a chat may take your mind off that glazed doughnut that’s calling your name
5. Give in to your cravings once in a while (though not for alcohol NEVER!), then eat well for the rest of the day.
6.Call your practitioner/Doctor/Care giver if you crave weird substances such as clay, ashes, or laundry starch. This craving, known as pica, may be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, particularly of iron. BE MINDFUL OF THIS. IT IS VERY COMMON
7. If food aversions/repulsions during pregnancy are limiting your food intake, look for substitutes for the healthy foods you can’t stomach right now. Also talk to your doctor about the challenge and he/she will have options to help you.
Above all, enjoy the journey.. This too shall pass!
Dr. Chuk Ufondu. MBBS, MPH , CPH
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