Pregnancy Cravings

Are you pregnant and craving sweets during pregnancy wondering, how did I develop a sweet tooth?

Well, blame it on your hormones. It is normal to crave certain foods during pregnancy that you probably disliked before. Keep in mind, some of these cravings may not be healthy although experts believe that specific cravings can be like a warning sign, indicating a specific need in your body.

Certain foods indicate a certain need in the body.

Here is what your cravings tell you:

Food: Sweets, chocolate, ice-cream

What it means: Need for more energy, an underlying psychological problem like mood swings or pregnancy blues, or a drop in blood sugar level. Craving for dark chocolate could also mean onset of gestational anemia.

What you should do: Include a variety of fruits in your diet. Have at least three to five servings of fresh fruit throughout the day to reduce carvings of high-fat sugary foods.

What is normal: Two pieces of dark chocolate or a small helping of vanilla ice-cream once-in-a-while after a meal can be considered healthy. Continuous munching on sugary foods can lead to gestational diabetes and other complications.

Food: Spicy foods and pickles

What it means: You are experiencing hormonal changes, which make you want to taste different things.

What you should do: Be experimental with your food along with condiments and spices. However, don’t go overboard as it can cause heartburn and acidity.

What is normal: Using different spices sparingly and a tiny bite of mango pickle with your meals shouldn’t bother your system much.

Food: Chips, fried foods, Indian or Chinese food

What it could mean: This could indicate a lack of sodium and essential fluids. Sodium is a mineral that helps to retain water. The high amount of progesterone in the body during the first trimester could lead to loss of sodium through urine. However, excess water retention during pregnancy could lead to a condition called edema and, on the other hand, more salt it the diet increases one’s chances of developing pre-eclampsia.

What you should do: Make sure your salt intake is within the requisite limit of 2.5 mg a day.

What is normal: Binging on baked samosa and farsan once a week is permissible and for panipuri look for a hygienic stall (where people use gloves and clean water) or prepare it at home. Stay away from processed foods like chips or nachos.

Food: Meat, fish, eggs

What it could mean: You need more protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

What you should do: Include more protein in your diet. Have more pulses, tofu and soya in case of a vegetarian or eat more grilled chicken, fish, and boiled egg. During pregnancy, the required amount of protein consumption per day should be around 60 to 70 gm.

What is normal: Craving for non-vegetarian food is normal but going overboard with chicken tikka rolls, mutton keema and egg bhurji could be recipes for gestational weight gain and heartburn.

NON-Foods: Chalk, petrol, paint, 

What it could mean: This may be because of an eating disorder called Pica. While some experts believe that it could mean a deficiency of iron, but a more conclusive explanation is that it is a sign of an emotional problem such as stress or obsessive compulsive disorder.

What you should do: Speak to the doctor and get help.

What is normal: Eating non-food items isn’t normal. Get help soon.

Food: Ice-cubes

What it could mean: While this is a non-food item but sucking on ice cubes isn’t harmful. Dehydration, loss of fluids or body heat could be a probable reason.

What you should do: Sucking ice-cubes during a summer afternoon is fine, but beware getting a sore throat during pregnancy could be a problem.

What is normal: Two small ice-cubes during a sunny afternoon isn’t a bad indulgence.

When dealing with your diet and nutrition, keep in mind, a pregnant woman needs only about 300 extra calories. This means eating an an extra bowl of vegetable during meals. It is important to limit unhealthy cravings that could lead to gestational weight gain and impact the fetus.

Having an odd craving? Or have you had an odd craving? Comment on our blog post or FaceBook page so we can explore WHY and build on to our article! Thank you!!

More food cravings here!