Pop culture loves to make fun of women’s weird pregnancy cravings – and it’s not totally without reason.
Cravings are one of the many strange things that happen to your body during pregnancy, and they can happen at any point during those long nine months.
But however weird you think your cravings are, that doesn’t mean that you’re weird.
Here, we’re looking at some of the most common ‘weird’ pregnancy food cravings and why they happen.
Let’s see what’s on the pregnancy menu.
In this article 📝
- When do weird pregnancy cravings start?
- What are the most common pregnancy cravings?
- Weird non-food pregnancy cravings
When do weird pregnancy cravings start?
An important note before we get going – while pregnancy cravings are common, they don’t happen to everyone.
Rest assured, mama, that there’s no relation between how wacky your pregnancy snacking habits get and how healthy your pregnancy is.
But if they’re going to happen, pregnancy cravings can start very early on.
Many of the first ones can be linked to pregnancy sickness, which is notoriously at its worst during the first trimester.
Early cravings (or the opposite – food aversions) are probably linked to your pregnancy hormones, which shoot up in early pregnancy and have a major impact on your digestive system and your sense of smell.
We know that most of our sense of taste actually comes from our noses.
So of course a suddenly super-sensitive sense of smell can have a knock-on effect on the way you experience food.
While you’re getting used to having the nose of a bloodhound, your body probably knows intrinsically that some foods (especially the ones that are fatty or greasy) are harder to digest than others.
It might simply be that you’re ‘craving’ the things you know won’t make pregnancy sickness worse.
All this being said, it’s also normal for pregnancy cravings to continue long after pregnancy nausea is in your rearview mirror. And they look different for everyone.
You might be into chocolate and anchovy sandwiches.
You might take to drinking your coffee at room temperature.
You might just know exactly which restaurant you want your cheeseburger to come from, or exactly the brand and flavor of ice cream you want (or dare we say need) right now.
What are the most common pregnancy cravings?
Here’s our list of some of the most common pregnancy cravings.
Some of them are only weird when you start to eat them by the ton; others are weird because of the things you combine them with.
But even if your pregnancy dinners end up looking really odd, your subconscious brain might see some logic behind the unexpected choices on your plate.
Weird pregnancy cravings list
- Pickles. Or even, for some mamas, a sip of the pickle juice. Salty, sweet, acidic foods are top of the list of common cravings. And when it comes to weird pregnancy cravings combinations, mamas-to-be have eaten pickles on everything from dry crackers to yogurt. Craving salty foods can be a sign that your electrolytes, especially your sodium levels, are a little out of whack. This is much more likely if you’re fighting off pregnancy nausea and vomiting.
- Ice. Crunching it, letting it melt in your mouth, or just drinking everything ice cold. Eating ice (and even popsicles) is a good way to keep your fluid levels up if you’re struggling to eat. But if you just can’t get enough of the cold stuff, it can be a sign of iron deficiency.
- Breakfast cereal. Another one of those cravings that can get specific – a bowl of dry cereal with the marshmallows picked out (or just a bowl of marshmallows, we won’t judge). Carbohydrates like this are quick to digest and can make you feel better if you’re nauseous – at least temporarily.
- Chips, fries, crackers, and breadsticks. These satisfy the same easy-to-munch carbohydrate craving as cereals. Dry crackers are actually one of the best things you can snack on to give you some relief from nausea.
- Ice cream. This one is more common later in pregnancy, which is when your baby uses up some of your calcium reserves to make their own bones stronger.
- Peanut butter. On absolutely everything. PB is a good source of protein, and it satisfies that salty/sweet combination that seems to be a pregnancy favorite.
- Tuna fish. Sometimes on strange foods, like donuts. The fatty acids in oily fish are healthy during pregnancy. Just remember that tuna is one of the foods where you’re supposed to limit your intake since it can have high levels of mercury.
- Hot sauce. The most counterintuitive pregnancy craving of all, because we know that spicy foods can make acid reflux worse. But the heart (and the new resident of your uterus) wants what it wants.
- Meat. Even for mamas-to-be who aren’t usually big carnivores. If you’re craving meat in a way that you don’t usually, you might need a boost of iron and protein.
- Watermelon. And, indeed, cantaloupe and honeydew. Melon is another food that’s great for keeping you hydrated when everything else turns your stomach, and it’s rich in vitamins too.
- Lemons and grapefruit. Some mamas can satisfy this craving by adding a slice of lemon to their water; others just want to eat a lemon as though it’s an orange.
- Pineapple. Pineapple and pregnancy have a history. Some mamas eat a ton of this tropical fruit in their last few weeks of pregnancy to try to trigger labor. Others crave it in the first trimester (when it’s perfectly safe to eat).
- Chocolate. About half the women in the US say that they crave chocolate around their period, and pregnancy hormones can have a similar effect. Need some natural serotonin, and a little bit of comfort food? It’s understandable, mama. There’s a lot going on.
Weird non-food pregnancy cravings
Like we said before: weird pregnancy cravings don’t make you weird – even if the thing that you’re craving isn’t technically food.
Here are some classic non-food pregnancy cravings:
- Rubber bands
If you have a really strong craving for any of these things, mention it to your doctor and pay close attention to your pregnancy blood tests, because pica (the urge to chew, lick, or eat things with no nutritional value) can be a sign of nutrient deficiency.
You’re definitely not the only one, and the cravings will disappear once your little one is finally here.
Got any other weird pregnancy cravings? Share them with our community of mamas-to-be on Peanut!
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