Pregnancy Information Center

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Food Cravings During Pregnancy: Your Symptoms Manual


What Food Cravings During Pregnancy Are

Food cravings are probably the oldest pregnancy cliche in the book, but doesn't it seem like most women have some strange cravings during their pregnancies? In fact, about 75% of women get cravings. They range from a constant craving for a particular food, such as potato salad or pickles, to a desire for strange food combinations, like anchovies with ice cream. Cravings can even be downright dangerous, such as a desire to eat ashes or dirt, a condition known as pica.

Why Food Cravings During Pregnancy Happen 

As your hormone levels change, the chemical content of your blood changes. These changes can be reflected in your saliva, which causes foods to taste different than before. 

How to Relieve Food Cravings During Pregnancy

  • If you're craving a food that's good for you, go ahead and indulge! Try to mix it up with other foods so that you're getting a variety of nutrients. 
  • If the food you're craving isn't healthy, try substituting a slightly healthier version. For example, eat Cheerios instead of Fruit Loops. 
  • If the food isn't healthy and a substitute doesn't do the trick, try distracting yourself. Go get some exercise, read a book or hang out with friends. 
  • Avoid foods that aren't recommended during pregnancy, such as unpasteurized cheese or sushi, even if you have a craving for them. 
  • Do NOT eat anything that's inedible. If you have cravings for nonfoods, call your healthcare provider; you may have pica. 
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