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Cravings and Aversions
Pregnancy brings on some strange dietary habits. This is when you look at a woman eating stones or soil and find it perfectly normal. If you are the partner of a pregnant woman, ask no questions and do as told, especially in regards to food! Midnight pizza runs, a strange need to smell cheese but not eat it and the inexplicable disgust at fudge cake despite the fact that it was her favorite snack not too long ago. If you see your wife drive past an ice-cream stand or a pineapple vendor and start getting tear-eyed with longing, there is no need for alarm. Buy her as many as you can carry.
This weird behavior can be attributed to pregnancy hormones especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Although hormones are the main culprit in these cravings and aversions, apparently these cravings are signals from your body telling you what it needs and what you should avoid.
If you suddenly can’t stand the smell of coffee or the thought of a doughnut, this aversion could be your body’s way of keeping toxins away from the little one inside you. If you find yourself craving fruits, greens or red meat, your body might be low in certain vitamins and iron. If you feel a daily need for an ice cream, your body might actually be calling for more calcium and magnesium.
Sometimes there’s no explanation at all for a particular food craving or aversion. If you wake up one day and can no longer stand the smell of beans or tomatoes, don’t panic. Don’t force yourself to eat foods that are “good” for you if they make you uncomfortable. If an aversion to something nutritious doesn’t disappear in a few days, find a substitute that will give you the same nutrients.
If you are craving junk food, search for a healthier alternative that gives you the same kick. For example, if you feel like ice cream, go for frozen yoghurt instead. You could also try to keep your mind busy to tune out certain cravings;-take a walk, read a book or drink a glass of water. To find sensible mealpans for locally available meals during pregnancy, see our Info center for free downloads and contacts of Nutritionists for maternity.
Be balanced: don’t deny yourself excessively. At the same time, do not use your pregnancy as an excuse to overindulge on food that is low in nutrients. You owe it to your unborn baby to stick to a healthy diet. Plus it will be easier to shed the baby weight if you ate sensibly while pregnant.
What was your craziest craving or aversion?