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Pregnancy food cravings and aversions

The majority of expectant mothers (and even some fathers) experience sudden cravings for a specific food or combination of foods. In some cases, women crave a particularly unusual combination of foods.

Many women experience an aversion to certain foods while they are pregnant. It is not uncommon for a woman to suddenly become repulsed by one of the foods that they once enjoyed eating. So why do these pregnancy food cravings and food aversions during pregnancy occur?

1. The Reason Why Pregnant Women Experience Food Cravings And Aversions

Pregnancy hormones play a large role in a woman’s changing eating habits. Pregnant women are flooded with hormones and as their body tries to adjust, they may begin to notice a difference in their regular eating patterns. Some people believe that the body naturally craves what it needs during pregnancy and is repulsed by unhealthy items. This belief may make sense if a woman is repulsed by alcohol or coffee but it does not explain why a pregnant woman may suddenly be repulsed by broccoli or oatmeal.

One theory is that people have moved so far away from the original food chain that a woman’s body can no longer interpret internal signals. Although a woman’s body knows that it needs to consume calcium and vitamin C, it may translate this need into an ice cream and cookie craving rather than a fruit and milk craving.

2. What People Need To Know About Pregnancy Food Cravings And Aversions

Women cannot always fight their cravings, so they should attempt to respond to their different cravings and aversions by eating a reasonable amount of the foods that they crave. Women who give into all of their food cravings may be at risk of gaining too much weight during their pregnancy.

Women should notice a reduction in food cravings by the fourth month, but women who continue to crave a variety of foods may be having emotional issues. Pregnancy is a challenging time and many women need to receive some extra attention and support from their partner and friends.

3. What Women Can Do About Pregnancy Food Cravings

Do not eat too much junk food in an attempt to satisfy a craving. Choose the mini versions of chocolate bars or chips rather than the full size package. It is a good idea to search for low fat alternatives whenever possible.

* When a huge craving strikes, try to think about other things. Go for a walk outdoors, phone a friend or read a good magazine or book. If you don’t devote too much energy too it, a craving will often pass in a short while.

* Give into certain cravings occasionally (except for alcohol or cigarettes) and then eat healthy foods for the remainder of the day. Women should call their doctor if they begin to crave weird substances like dirt, ashes or laundry starch. These bizarre cravings, known as pica, may be a sign that a woman is deficient in certain nutrients, especially iron.

4. What Women Can Do About Food Aversions During Pregnancy

Women who find that their aversion to different foods is negatively affecting their appetite should search for healthy alternatives that they are able to digest. Women who do not want to eat due to constant nausea should talk to their doctor about their condition. A doctor can prescribe medication that will decrease severe nausea so a woman can enjoy food again.


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All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.