It’s one of the most (in)famous pregnancy symptoms, but when do pregnancy cravings start, really?
You’ve definitely had a craving for yummy food before, but pregnancy cravings are next level. It feels like a fierce, overwhelming, insatiable urge to eat something.
And if you don’t get hold of that specific thing like right now, well, all bets are off.
Pregnancy cravings are strange, all-consuming food urges.
It’s a bit like having a middle school crush, except the object of your affection is Double Stuf Oreos topped with Cheez Whizz, and you don’t know why.
You’re just doodling “I Heart Cheezy Oreos” and you can’t focus until you get what you want.
And, for the most part, it’s perfectly safe to indulge in your weird food crush.
So, go crazy!
But if you’re here, you’re probably wondering, when do pregnancy cravings start? Why do they happen? What can you do about them? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers.
In this article: 📝
- When do cravings start in pregnancy?
- Hunger in early pregnancy: when does it start?
- What causes cravings during pregnancy?
- When do food aversions start in pregnancy?
- What can you do about cravings and aversions?
When do cravings start in pregnancy?
Food cravings tend to start at the end of your first trimester, become stronger during your second trimester, and ultimately ease off as you enter the third trimester.
How early in pregnancy do you get cravings?
Early pregnancy cravings aren’t unusual, and sometimes that inexplicable urge for a pickle sundae can be your first inkling that there’s a bun in your oven.
Just what week do pregnancy cravings start? Well, it really can range!
Can you have cravings at 1 week pregnant?
Yes, you can ‒ although it’s unusual to have any obvious pregnancy symptoms this soon, early pregnancy cravings have been known to happen in week 1 of your pregnancy.
Can cravings start at 2 weeks pregnant?
Yes, cravings at 2 weeks pregnant have been known to happen, even if you don’t actually know you’re pregnant yet.
Can you have food cravings at 3 weeks pregnant?
You certainly can get food cravings as early as 3 weeks into your pregnancy. Pass the pickles!
Can you have food cravings at 4 weeks pregnant?
Yes, food cravings can start at week 4 of your pregnancy ‒ in fact, around 4 weeks is likely when a lot of people start to indulge those pregnancy cravings.
Is it normal to have food cravings at 5 weeks pregnant?
Yes, it’s very normal to have food cravings at 5 weeks pregnant ‒ this is a common time for pregnancy cravings to start.
Can you crave at 6 weeks pregnant?
Yup ‒ food cravings at just 6 weeks pregnant are a pretty common occurrence.
Can you get cravings at 7 weeks pregnant?
7 weeks pregnant and craving something sweet, salty, or sour? That’s totally normal!
Can you get cravings at 8 weeks pregnant?
8 weeks pregnant could be when your weirder pregnancy cravings start ‒ we’re talking strawberry milkshake with french fries, pickles and ice cream, and strawberries dipped in ranch dressing.
Can you have cravings at 9 weeks pregnant?
Yes, you can get pregnancy cravings at 9 weeks, when baby’s just under an inch tall. Aww!
Can you get cravings at 10 weeks pregnant?
At 10 weeks pregnant, your pregnancy cravings could well be in full swing, or they could just be starting ‒ it’s all totally normal.
Is it normal to have cravings at 11 weeks pregnant?
Now baby’s the size of a Brussels sprout at 11 weeks, they could easily be causing some weird food cravings.
In fact, Brussels sprouts sound pretty good right about now…
Can you have cravings at 12 weeks pregnant?
You’re nearly in the second trimester, but your pregnancy cravings might not be going anywhere at 12 weeks.
Hunger in early pregnancy: when does it start?
If you’re experiencing early pregnancy hunger, that can be a little unusual.
Feeling hungry in early pregnancy doesn’t usually start until the second trimester, when morning sickness has finally disappeared.
If you are feeling early pregnancy hunger, try not to succumb to it unless you’ve not eaten enough that day, as your body doesn’t actually need additional calories until your second trimester.
But there are some mamas on Peanut who swear that early pregnancy hunger was an early indicator of twins, so wait until your 8-week ultrasound to check ‒ you might be a mama of multiples!
Does morning sickness feel like hunger?
For some mamas-to-be, yes, morning sickness can feel a little like hunger, or like nausea followed by pangs of hunger.
So yes, in the first trimester, you could go from food aversion to food cravings in an instant.
When does your appetite increase during pregnancy?
A lot of pregnant people find that they’re not feeling hungry during pregnancy first trimester, and then as soon as they enter the second trimester, they are hungry!
This is because your body’s now burning more calories to help baby to grow, which they’ll now be doing at a rapid pace.
So adding an extra 300 calories per day should help satisfy those hunger pangs.
What causes cravings during pregnancy?
No one knows for certain why cravings happen during pregnancy, but there are a couple of theories:
- Your hormones are out of whack: During the early stages of pregnancy, your body is flooded with a bunch of different hormones. This hormonal imbalance can cause your senses to go a bit haywire, heightening both taste and smell.
- You crave what your body needs: Another popular theory is the idea that your body is signaling that it’s lacking in something important; a particular vitamin or nutrient. However, these signals can often be easily misinterpreted. If you need more calcium, for example, you might end up raiding the fridge for some of Ben & Jerry’s finest instead of drinking a glass of milk (much healthier, if a little boring).
Note: If you experience an intense craving for a non-food item, such as chalk, clay, dirt, or paint chips, this could be a symptom of a condition called “pica”.
With these sorts of urges, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing an iron deficiency, something you should discuss with your pediatrician ASAP.
What do early pregnancy cravings feel like?
It’s hard to describe a pregnancy craving to someone who’s never had it.
It’s like a hunger for a specific flavor or texture, that won’t go away unless you eat that particular thing.
What are the most common pregnancy cravings?
Most pregnancy cravings are completely harmless and run the gamut from sweet and sour to salty and spicy.
Common cravings include:
Are pregnancy cravings real?
Yes! And, interestingly enough, according to this report by the BBC, it’s not just in English-speaking countries, either.
Pregnancy cravings are a common phenomenon around the world, although we’re still not totally sure why they happen.
When do food aversions start in pregnancy?
Just as you might experience cravings for super strange foods, you may also find that certain foods turn your stomach during your pregnancy — including some of your favorites.
This is food aversion, common in 50-90% of pregnancies.
It’s often associated with morning sickness and should pass by around week 20.
What can you do about cravings and aversions?
It’s not always easy to deal with cravings and aversions rationally.
After all, this is a confusing, emotionally-charged time full of hormones and heartburn.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that by the time you enter the third trimester, they should be more or less out of your system.
Until then, here are a few things you can do to keep your cravings and aversions in check:
- Find a distraction: If you can’t shake that food urge (or the thought of something else makes you want to barf), do something to take your mind off it. Go for a walk, video chat with your bestie, open a book, or watch some TV until it passes.
- Choose healthy alternatives: Do your best to be present when faced with cravings. Nutrition is still important, so steer clear of the bad choices if you can. Stock up on healthy alternatives to your fave cravings and see if they scratch that itch.
- Treat yo’self (occasionally): Of course, where’s the fun in being pregnant if you can’t give in to your food cravings now and again? Just make sure you’re bringing a bit of balance to the party. Cheezy Oreos for breakfast? How about a nice salad for lunch?
What happens if you ignore pregnancy cravings?
In all likelihood, nothing bad will happen if you don’t satisfy your pregnancy cravings.
Although allowing yourself a treat every now and then is perfectly fine ‒ you don’t need to justify it ‒ and, if you’re having some serious food aversion, eating your cravings is better than not eating at all.
Now we know when pregnancy cravings start, how to satisfy them, and (maybe) why they happen, why not share your weird pregnancy cravings with the other mamas-to-be on Peanut?
🤰 More from The 411:
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Pregnancy Meal Plan: 7-Day Meal Chart & 81 Meal Ideas
8 Healthy Pregnancy Meals