We have often heard this line: “Kya Khatta khane ka mn kr rha hai” which accordingly translates to “Do you feel like eating sour.” In particular, many other proverbs are specifically designed keeping in mind the food cravings during pregnancy of a pregnant woman.
Likewise, there are stories of women craving for some weird food combinations throughout the world, like pickle over ice cream and the famous banana with tea. Furthermore, some women develop craving for non-food items, like dirt, mud, paint, chalk, etc. If you are facing such an urge you need a consult a doctor right away.
Know all about these unusual cravings known as PICA.
You see the beauty of a pregnant woman is also in the way her hormones change, how beautifully she gives up her daily routine, and in like fashion adapts to the changes. To be a woman is an art of perfection and to be a pregnant woman specifically is an art of life!
What to expect:
- What is food craving?
- Why do you have food craving?
- When will it start?
- When will the urges end?
- Does everyone have it?
- What is food aversion?
So let’s dive into this amazing yet careful journey of the Lust of Food!
What are food cravings?
To put it in simple words, it is a sudden urge for food items that you usually wouldn’t have eaten during that specific moment.
For instance, you are sitting ideally on a bed and all of a sudden you have this urge to eat ice cream, the urge is strong, it can be controlled but not ignored. So, what you do is you go to the shop or ask your husband to bring it.
Consider the same scenario but let’s say the time is 2 in the morning! Now what? Most of India does not offer nightlife! While it may be true that these urges can be hard to control but they can be controlled. And no scientific study ever proved that ignoring these urges is harmful.
Can food cravings help determine gender?? Know all about old wives’ tales.( Link: <Did you fall for these Craving Myths>
So, you see food cravings can get on your nerve at times. Even if you think you know what you might crave, there could be an instance where you’ll crave something you never ate before or something you hate eating.
On other occasions, you might dislike eating a cheese pizza but during your pregnancy, you might crave the same. Therefore, it is a key point to be noted that food cravings can make you crave for some weird and crazy food items.
But don’t worry, unless you are in control of your diet, there is nothing to be worried about.
Why do you have food cravings?
The way you are curious about your cravings, in the same fashion you must also, wonder that why do you have them! Well frankly, there is no specific explanation for it.
Certain theories have been proposed but none scientifically validated.
For example, most believe that food craving is the body’s way of asking for a certain nutrient lacking in the mother’s body, while others believe it is a way to determine the gender of the baby!
But how can food cravings help determine gender? Know about it.<Link: Can food cravings help determine gender>
Granted that there was a specific reason known behind these cravings, they would have still not changed, it is a part of the pregnancy cycle and should be enjoyed accordingly. Just go with the flow, of course, unless you start craving for non-food items like sand, mud, dirt, paint, etc.
In that case, visit a doctor, beacuse you just fell prey to PICA. What is PICA, know about it all.< Link: The unusual craving of Pica during pregnancy>
When will the food cravings start?
Usually, the food craving during pregnancy starts in the first trimester or during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy but it can vary from mother to mother. At times, it has been observed that the food cravings start even before the mother knows she is pregnant consequently, during the initial weeks of pregnancy.
It is seen that food cravings are much high during the first pregnancy.
The first 12 weeks or the first trimester ( A trimester is a period of 3 months or 12 weeks during pregnancy. The pregnancy cycle is divided into three trimesters consequently summing up to 9 months. )
Usually, the food craving during pregnancy starts at the first trimester and peak during the second and subsequently lowers during the third trimester.
When will the urge end?
The urge or the craving starts declining during the third trimester or the last three months of pregnancy and it usually ends after giving birth. But you see, the human is a born exception and hence every natural phenomenon comes handy with an exception.
Although most certainly the cravings will stop soon after giving birth in certain cases they might stay a little longer, just a little longer. But don’t worry they don’t stay forever!
During the last three months you, yourself shall start noticing the decline in the urges, your body will ease the craving and you’ll be on the happy journey of bringing life on earth.
Know in detail about when and how will the food cravings end.< Link hen do cravings stop in pregnancy? Is it the 12th week>
Does everyone have food cravings during pregnancy?
Most of the women have the cravings, usually, 50-90% of the women have food cravings during pregnancy. But claiming that every woman has them during pregnancy would be an injustice to those who don’t.
Since there are no specific and strong reasons known behind the origin of the urges hence nothing can be claimed regarding what keeps the urges dormant.
One can argue that healthy women who take vitamins, minerals, protein, and everything required by the body in good amount does not have the urges but it has been seen that even the healthiest of women face these urges during pregnancy.
So it a part of the beautiful journey that might or might not accompany you. Know what will happen if you don’t have food cravings.< Link: What if you don’t have cravings>
What is food aversion?
Unlike food cravings, food aversion is another yet interesting process that takes place during pregnancy. It is a simple process in which you start hating certain food items.
This has been seen that most women develop an aversion to the meat or other non-vegetarian food. It has been claimed that it is because there are certain bacteria present in that food that might harm the body of pregnant women. Hence it is the body’s way of protecting itself.
But it is not just the meat but also other food items that otherwise on any other occasion could have been your first choice.
Are you feeling a food aversion of any type? Is it that till yesterday you loved paneer and now all of a sudden you even hate the smell of it? If so then don’t worry it is just a normal process like your sudden love for pickles, ice creams, or chocolates.
The craving for food is just a normal process during pregnancy. It is entirely up to you how much you want to feed these urges. You don’t have to fulfill every urge you have.
Suppose you have the urge to eat French fries daily. Is it healthy? Of course not. Hence, it is very important to keep a check on how much you feed these urges. It is entirely your choice and if you decide to feel less urges it in no way shall affect the baby.
Like food cravings during pregnancy, there is also food aversion during pregnancy during which all of a sudden you start losing interest in some of your favorite food items.
Both food cravings and food aversions scientifically do not claim or prove anything but there are certainly no scientific claims that go as wide as helping to determine the gender of a baby based on the type of food the mother is craving.
To sum it up, pregnancy is a beautiful journey accompanied by lots of hormonal changes, lots of schedule changes, and lots of interesting processes. These processes not only make the pregnancy interesting but also beautifies the entire process of it.
You may also read- When do cravings stop in pregnancy? Is it the 12th week?
Yes, food craving during pregnancy is real and around 50-90% of pregnant ladies experience it.
Usually, food cravings end after giving birth but in certain cases, it might stay a bit longer even after giving birth.
No, it is not harmful to ignore the food cravings. Both you and your baby will be safe even if you ignore these cravings.
It would satisfy you but it won’t quench you.