Pregnancy Cravings: real or a myth?

Pregnancy Cravings: real or a myth?

I have heard several stories of women with very unique cravings during their pregnancies. From one particular neighbours’ meal, party food, to carrying food to a mechanic shop to eat and cravings of eating detergents, drinking brake oil and chewing ice. I have heard so many stories. And seen so many. I have also heard and seen many other women who appear to not have any cravings at all. They ate the normal food they were used to before they got pregnant and didn’t feel any urge to change anything or request any special delicacies.

I don’t even know where I fall. I had cravings that were very weird to me. I couldn’t stand the smell of bouillon cubes and noodles. I ate so many vegetables (too much vegetables, really). I wanted Pap andMoin Moin (Nigerians will know these meals) everyday to the point that friends who came to my house started to bring them as presents. I was never tired of them. It was weird. I drank an insane amount of unsweetened yoghurt, no soft drinks (I was just nauseated by it). Before I got pregnant, you could lure me away from my husband with spicy Sharwama (with double sausage in it), but I was disgusted by it when I was pregnant. However, my friend had no cravings at all.

Cravings in pregnancy are associated with two main reasons; either it’s the body’s way of hinting at iron or vitamin deficiencies or it is a result of heightened sense of taste and smell. It’s the same reason some women produce copious amounts of saliva, because they are just nauseated by everything.

While that is the main explanation for cravings in pregnancies and some people still debate the reality of cravings (I assume those having these debates are men who suspect that their wives are just using them), I have to believe that cravings are real and it varies. I mean, how do you explainPica(an eating disorder in pregnancy causing women to crave non-edible foods like ice, detergent, brake oil, fuel and so on)?

I also do think that instead of giving in to detrimental cravings, we could find alternatives as advised by our OB/GYN.

Some healthy recommendations from doctors are:

Find healthy alternatives to some cravings. For example, instead of ice cream, take yoghurts.

Pica has been associated with nutrient deficiencies (e.g iron) and some other health challenges. So when you feel the urge to eat  detergent or ice, maybe eat brisket bones, red meat, eggs, legumes, and some leafy greens. And you should visit your doctor just to be sure of what to do.

Do not be overly fixated on your weight during your pregnancy so that you deny yourself of good food. However, do not give in to unhealthy food that it then gives your body unnecessary weight that then endangers your health and that of your baby.

Plan your meals to include healthy options that are sufficient for you and your baby.

Eat in small portions. But eat well.

Drink lots and lots of water.

And enjoy yourself and those healthy cravings. Allow yourself to be pampered by your partner.

Do have a safe delivery.