Pregnancy Cravings + Aversions
What Do They Mean?

Melissa Iftimie, Fooblie Co-founder

90% of women experience food cravings or aversions while pregnant. Some women have weird stories of craving things that we usually wouldn’t put together, like peanut butter and pickles. Sure, why not! But what do they mean? Pregnancy cravings are another thing science can’t explain. However, some believe cravings are a biological signal to even out your nutritional needs. 

If you are experiencing cravings for certain foods, go for it. Eat what your body tells you and try to keep everything balanced. You might find it interesting to see what your body might be calling for more of. When cravings stop, take note and adjust what you eat. 

More carbs, please

Your body makes insulin differently when you are pregnant. Generally, it increases! However, around 11 weeks your insulin production is at an all time low. Pregnancy craving for carbs could be your body’s response to low blood sugar. 

Want to eat dirt?

This are called pica cravings, or cravings for non-food items. If you crave dirt and laundry starch you may be deficient in minerals like iron, zinc and calcium. Ice cravings are linked to iron deficiencies. If you have these, talk to your doctor.

Must have sushi

Raw fish or sushi may mean you need more iodine or omega-3 fats. Why don’t you crave cooked fish? Unlike cooked fish, the selenium in raw fish is better absorbed (this is protective from mercury absorption).

Pregnancy cravings for dairy

Check your iodine and calcium. Don’t like dairy, or can’t tolerate it? Foods packed with iodine are fish/seafood, seaweed, eggs, beef, asparagus, beets, and cranberries. On the calcium front, try green leafy veggies or almonds.

Salt!

Eat something salty. Salt intake increases during pregnancy and it is needed for your baby’s growth and development.

Need sugar?

If you look at our brains ‘on sugar’ it mimics a drug response and for people who are used to eating sugar frequently it is similar to a drug addiction. Our brains release opioids and dopamine in response to eating sugar. This means that withdrawal and relapse works similarly. Your body could be missing these highs. Try eating a high protein and fatty breakfast (eggs and bacon) to set your blood sugar up for the day.

What about aversions?

There is also not a lot of science on this one. Some think its the same as cravings, but opposite, it’s our body telling us to steer clear of that glass of wine. Another reason could track back to our hormonal changes making us more sensitive to smells. 65% of women report odor perception to change during pregnancy. One example is noted in bitter flavors. Women tend to be averse to these while pregnant.

Bottom line- Follow your pregnancy cravings, but keep everything in moderation

50% of women gain too much weight in pregnancy, so don’t treat this time as your ticket to ‘eat for two’ or your pregnancy cravings for icing as your excuse to eat a whole cake. Really you only need one extra snack per day. Some days that might be ice cream, others avocado toast. You do you.

If your cravings/aversions are weird and you want someone to help you make adjustments to your diet, talk to a Fooblie coach. We’re here to help you eat confidently.