Pregnancy Cravings – What do they mean?

Cravings. They’re synonymous with pregnancy. And we’ve all heard the weird and wonderful stories of the most extreme types of cravings.

Fortunately, the reality is a little less dramatic – for more of us!

A large number of women experience cravings of some sort – whether that be french fries by the bucket load, a sudden urge for honeycomb or a strong desire for lasagne, cravings are pretty common.

The cause of cravings aren’t completely understood, but the theory is that rising hormone levels are to blame.

What’s your flavour?

One of the first signs of pregnancy is a change in taste, and some women notice a metallic taste that can be quite strong.

For others, their preferences for certain foods begin to change, so once-loved spicy foods might now be a major turnoff.

Regular cravings

Even those who aren’t with child can experience the odd sudden desire for a particular food.

But for pregnant women, they can be common and sometimes a little peculiar.

Maybe sweets were an occasional thing before, whereas now you can’t get enough ice cream. Or perhaps you’re wanting to go one step further and add something unexpected – say tomato sauce – to your ice cream!

As long as it’s food you’re craving, then don’t be too worried – in fact, why not indulge yourself, it won’t last forever.

The weird and wacky

A craving for something that isn’t food is called pica. Although rare, a desire for things like soil or coal is possible, and were more common in the past.

These types of cravings are said to be linked to a subconscious desire for iron.  These days, actually cases of diagnosable Pica are rare, and the condition can be treated by supplements.

Cravings for bizarre materials such as metal,, coal, soil, chalk, paper, soap, or ash, or an strong urge for raw foods, is considered pica if  the craving persists for more than one month.

Of course, it’s only a problem if the craving is harmful. If you’ve got a constant urge to suck on ice cubes, you can go for gold!

What is happening?

To date, no concrete evidence has been discovered to determine the exact cause of cravings. Most experts agree though that it comes down to hormones and evolution.

As your hormones change, your body begins to send signals to your brain to get you to eat the things that you need, and sometimes, that will be combined with the things you love.

In theory, if you’re getting everything you need nutritionally, your cravings shouldn’t be as strong.

Of course, your taste buds are also working a little differently, so you may get the urge for things you don’t normally seek, so be careful not to overindulge just because you think you can.

With that little bub growing inside you, it’s important to eat as healthy as possible. Of course, make sure you get a well-balanced diet, and remember to treat yourself now and again.

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