The Science Behind Pregnancy Cravings

Pregnancy cravings are real, and they can interfere in the way that your body behaves and the effects they could cause on your growing belly. If you think that your pregnancy cravings are bizarre and your eating patterns are awful, then get ready to be delighted and weirded out by the types of cravings other pregnant women can have! Craving Pickles, Cheese loaded nachos, and gorging on crispy potato fries might be an acceptable craving fantasy, but having the urge to eat dirt and other unwholesome things might be the perfect excuse to book an appointment with your doctor.

What again are pregnancy cravings and why do expecting women experience them?

We are going to dive deep into the science of pregnancy cravings and whether your cravings are justified or not, based on your eating habits.

How to Define Pregnancy Cravings?

The term ‘Pregnancy cravings’, can be broken down as an urge to gorge and load up on certain foods that you previously did not find appetising enough.

At times, you want to satisfy your sweet tooth by diving into a family sized tub of your favourite cookies n cream ice cream, other times you usually want to bury yourself under a mound of perfectly fried French fries!

What Causes Pregnancy Cravings?

More often than not, husbands are the ones asking this question, as they have to bear the brunt of being their wives’ secret cravings dealers!

What is the exact reason behind a pregnant woman’s food cravings has not been confirmed yet. However, nutritionists and researchers have agreed that pregnancy cravings can be a result of either of the following two reasons:

  1. 1. Hormones: We blame most of the stuff on hormones, so why not do the same for pregnancy cravings? Jokes apart, hormones can have a larger say in how women eat and behave during pregnancy. Women usually experience food cravings in their first trimester, and as they move into the second trimester, cravings intensify. This can be because of the presence of excessive release of pregnancy hormones in the body, which confuse and mess up your eating habits and patterns.
  1. 2. Body’s Need for certain Nutrients: Cravings might be a secret manner in which your body tries to send out signals regarding the important nutrients that it requires. Developing a foetus takes a lot of energy, which is why your body craves for more carb rich foods. Several other important nutrients are also needed to develop the placenta, foetus’ body parts and organs, and even for the manufacture of more red blood cells!

If the body is low on any of the required nutrients, it might generate a food craving to get the required nutrient delivered to it!

These theories might seem to be the perfect reason behind pregnancy cravings, however, researchers have argued as to why the body averts the intake of healthy foods with the very same nutrients. Instead, most women devour unhealthy foods with little to no beneficial nutrients in them.

This counter argument has led scientists to discard the previous theories and rejoin the quest of the science behind pregnancy cravings. Sadly, until now, there has been no substantial success.

Are Pregnancy Cravings Normal for You?

Yes, and No.

Yes, it is quite natural to give into food cravings when you are expecting.

No, when you are consuming abnormally high amount of salt rich or even sugary foods, then this might be a health concern for yourself and the baby as well. Moreover, some women even like to indulge in eating dirt and other such non-food items. This is known as a Pica disorder and can be indicative of being anaemic or having some other health related problems. An immediate consultation with your doctor would settle things down.

Nobody is sure of what causes pregnancy cravings, but we would suggest that you do enjoy that ice cream tub, just make sure to leave out a little to give the impression that you did not consume the whole tub in a single sitting!