A little story about Pregnancy Cravings…
Once upon a time, a couple who were very much in love were expecting a baby. The pregnant lady was struggling because although she was hungry, she just didn’t fancy eating anything at all.
That is, until she spied some Rapunzel in the overgrown garden belonging to the elderly lady next door. All she could think about was eating some of the crisp, fresh-looking vegetable salad.
Her husband, wanting to please her, and getting no reply when he knocked on the door to ask permission, decided to climb over the wall and pick a basket full. The garden was full of it, he didn’t think anyone would mind.
As he plucked a final piece for his basket, the old woman seemed to appear from nowhere in front of him.
“Thief!” She cried.
“I’m so sorry, ” he replied, “Please let me take a little, it’s for my wife – she needs sustenance and there is nothing else she can face eating, I will pay you!”
“Yes,” snarled the old lady, “You will!”
But what he didn’t realise was the price he would have to pay, and once his daughter was born, the old woman, who was really a witch in disguise, collected his baby as payment, and named her Rapunzel, after her mother’s craving.
Luckily, this is just a fairy story and we don’t ever have to pay the price of our newborns for our pregnancy cravings!
Pregnancy cravings can still be problematic though!
A friend of mine craved Wispa chocolate bars in her second pregnancy, the problem was, they had discontinued them at this time and they were nowhere to be found, she told me she genuinely couldn’t stop thinking about them for the whole 9 months!
So let’s discover more about pregnancy cravings.
Why do we get cravings in pregnancy?
During pregnancy, we get a heightened sense of smell and taste, which can affect the food we want to eat. Coupled with the increased levels of hormones this can make us crave some of the strangest things!
We also tend to crave things if we have any nutritional deficiencies – for example, a lot of women crave iron-rich cereals, or red meat, as iron levels tend to drop when expecting a baby.
Weird pregnancy cravings
Some pregnancy cravings are just downright WEIRD! Some of the things women have reported craving are:
- Sausages and jam (or other sweet/savoury combinations)
- Soap/washing up liquid
- Tabasco sauce
One lady reported salivating every time she walked past the shoe repair shop when she could smell the shoe leather and all she could think about was licking it!
More common pregnancy cravings
- Red meat – as mentioned this is explained as the body craving what it needs, in this case – iron.
- Ice or ice cream – our blood flow is much increased during pregnancy, as is our temperature, which could explain why many women crave cold foods!
- Lemons – the folates in lemons are important during pregnancy as they can reduce the risk of fetal defects – again, our clever bodies help us crave what we need!
- Chocolate – we can get on board with this craving! Lots of B vitamins in chocolate – just be wary of the sugar.
- Cheese – again this is said to be our body’s way of telling us we need more calcium, which is vital for our baby’s development in the womb.
- Pickles – these are quite a salty snack and maybe craved because the increased blood volume raises the need for sodium.
- Peanut butter – usually due to pregnancy hormones, however, peanut butter does have a high nutritional value.
- Spicy food – we can blame this on fluctuating pregnancy hormones!
In general, it’s fine to give in to your pregnancy cravings (as long as they aren’t too weird and won’t affect your baby!). If you do have odd cravings and aren’t sure if they are safe, then do please talk to your healthcare professional.
Some cravings are an indication of a deficiency that can be sorted by taking supplements, rather than resorting to eating dirt for dinner, or having toothpaste sandwiches for tea!
Try to eat a balanced diet, but hey! if your body is screaming at you for that extra piece of cake – why not?
Usually, any odd cravings will disappear after you welcome your newborn baby, and those strong urges to munch particular foods are resigned to the ‘What happened when I was pregnant” stories, to share with other new mums!