When I was pregnant with my daughter, I constantly craved Fruit Loops, and I don’t mean once a day. I ate Fruit Loops morning, noon, and night. When pregnant women crave certain foods, their body and baby are trying to tell them something.
Common and Not So Common Cravings: What are some common and unusual pregnancy cravings? Women can crave almost any type of food; pickle juice, chicken wings, French fries, foods covered in ketchup, brownies with mustard, and salt on everything. Even a craving to eat dirt isn’t that strange. If you think your cravings are super weird, check out what some of these moms to be confessed to The Bump about eating during pregnancy. So, what’s up with those crazy cravings anyway? Why in the world do you wake up in the middle of the night and make your husband go to the market for pepperoni and bananas?
Science Behind Pregnancy Cravings: Well, some cravings can come because your body and baby need a certain nutrient. If you find yourself downing half a gallon of milk, chances are pretty good that you needed some calcium. A craving for Goldfish crackers at 2a.m. isn’t as easy for scientists to explain. Dr. Brian Wansink , states, “”The reason for a bizarre craving for anchovies or charcoal is because there’s something deficient in a woman’s system that she needs…People tend to crave something that has the highest amount of that stuff [they’re lacking]…with something that they can tolerate eating.”
Other doctors and scientists think that’s a big cop out. If you crave sugar, Doritos, or a mountain of chocolate, some scientists say you’re just craving that food and would if you were pregnant or not; that because you’re pregnant it’s a convenient excuse to eat what you normally don’t allow yourself to. Being a mother myself, I definitely believe in listening to your body. Yes, pregnant women can go overboard on sweets and fried foods, but if you crave something healthy; go to town. I did limit my intake of fatty, sugary, and fried foods but I did give in from time to time.
Something to consider is what you’re craving. Let’s say you really want to eat a fast food burger or are craving a big steak. Your body may not be saying, “I need Burger King.” What it’s probably letting you know is that it needs a little bit of iron or protein. Your mind just turns that need for nutrients into something that you enjoy eating. For instance, I craved chocolate covered bananas when I was pregnant with my son. I hate bananas normally. I think I needed more potassium and the chocolate coating was my mind turning that craving into something I would enjoy eating.
Don’t Worry: Whatever your craving might be (and it can change at any time), don’t worry about how “weird” it is, unless you find yourself craving something harmful like detergent. Some women crave chalk like crazy. Don’t go out and buy a jumbo bucket of sidewalk chalk. Just talk to your doctor about eating tums or something safe for you and baby. Make sure and write all of your weird cravings in a journal or baby book; you’ll laugh later. Until then, keep the car gassed up for late night runs to the market and keep your sense of humor intact.