The Real Reasons Behind Pregnancy Cravings
Ice cream and pickles. Hot dogs and chocolate sauce. Chilli and cookies.
While these particular food combinations may seem pretty strange for most of us, anyone who’s been through pregnancy cravings has undoubtedly felt the urge to consume something similar.
A mysterious, seemingly unquenchable longing for unusual or eccentric food combinations that you’d otherwise never even dream of trying, pregnancy cravings affect between 50 to 90 per cent of pregnant women. Yet doctors are still unsure of why exactly they occur!
Despite years of research, no one has been able to identify exactly why pregnant women get the urge for specific tastes, textures, or flavour combinations. However, some doctors can make a pretty good guess…
While it’s not exactly scientific, there are plenty of old wives tales that try to explain why you get pregnancy cravings. One of the most popular ones is that the type of food you’re craving is determined by your baby’s gender.
Women who hanker for sweet tasting foods such as ice cream or chocolate are more likely to have be carrying a girl, while those who’re craving for salty, spicy, or sourish foods are more likely to have a bouncing baby boy instead.
When you’re pregnant, your body may have trouble controlling its temperature. According to some old wives tales, pregnant women crave for spicy foods because their bodies are telling them to cool down.
There isn’t a lot of scientific evidence behind this theory, but on some level it does make sense; eating spicy foods can cause you to sweat, which ultimately cools you off.
Some doctors believe that pregnancy cravings are your body’s way of getting more nutrients that your baby needs. For example, the reason why so many women crave unusual combinations such as pickles and peanut butter might be because they need more sodium (the pickle) and more protein (the peanut butter).
Of course, this isn’t really a perfect explanation – some mommies-to-be may start craving strange dishes even if they’ve been carefully measuring their nutrient intake.
Pregnancy can wreak havoc with your body’s natural hormones. Some scientists believe that the hormone changes caused by pregnancy are responsible for your pregnancy cravings.
Specifically, they point towards a hormone called neuropeptide Y (also known as NPY) – an amino acid that increases your appetite. NPY is in all our bodies, but during pregnancy your body produces more of it than normal, which might be why you’re licking your lips at the idea of whipped cream and chicken chop.
Some pregnant women find themselves craving for non-food items like dirt, fabric, or paper. This is an actual medical condition called pica.
Doctors aren’t sure about why you might have pica, but studies have suggested that it’s linked to iron deficiency. It’s recommended that you speak to your doctor about any such cravings since consuming things such as dirt or bark can be extremely harmful to both you and your baby.
Start Stocking Up Today!
Make sure to use a trustworthy pregnancy test such as Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception Indicator in order to confirm your pregnancy.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, make sure to start stocking up early so that your cravings don’t catch you unprepared. After all, nothing is worse than having some serious cravings but realizing that your cupboards are bare.