Most women will experience some sort of craving during their pregnancy. Whether you end up craving sweet treats or pickles by the jarful, pregnancy cravings are generally harmless and just occur as a result of the hormone changes our bodies go through. Despite this, your cravings may be trying tell you more about what is going inside your body during pregnancy.
The pregnancy vitamin experts over at Pregnacare conducted a survey to find out what the most common pregnancy cravings are, and what they really mean.
Sweet snacks were found to be the most common pregnancy craving, with chocolate, fruit, ice lollies and cake coming out on top.
During pregnancy, many women will find that they are more tired than usual and that everyday activities leave them out of breath (and energy!). Reaching for a sweet treat can give you a quick sugar boost and a burst of energy, so this is why you may find yourself reaching for sugary snacks whilst pregnant.
A little salt each day is necessary to maintain good health, but if you regularly exceed the recommended daily amount you could put yourself at risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. If you’re craving salty foods be careful not to overdo it, and check in with your GP if you have any concerns.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the changes we experience in our bodies can result in a drop in blood pressure, which can leave you feeling dizzy or out of breath. Craving salty foods may just be the body’s natural way of helping to boost your blood pressure to help get rid of these symptoms.
Despite the many old wives tales, there’s no truth in the story that eating spicy food will help to induce labour. In fact, many women find that they naturally crave spicy food during pregnancy. Many pregnant women report being able to tolerate spicy food more easily, so this perhaps explains why many of us will indulge in spicier curries than usual.
Although curries and other spicy foods are perfectly safe to eat whilst pregnant, they can cause symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion, so eat them in moderation if you have any of these symptoms.
The unusual cravings
We’ve all heard the stories about the disgusting food combinations that some women crave during pregnancy. Although perfectly normal, some cravings can be quite unusual. In the Pregnacare survey, women reported craving:
- Garlic mushrooms dipped in custard
- Grated carrot mixed with ketchup
- Banana and ready-salted crisp toastie
- Dry chocolate powder
Unusual cravings will normally disappear after birth, but if you’re craving inedible food such as charcoal or washing tablets, it’s best to check in with your GP and health visitor to ensure you’re not deficient in any key vitamins or minerals.