Pregnancy is not as easy as having a bun in the oven, which requires absolutely no intervention once the bun is already baking. During those nine months, a woman’s body completely transforms to make room for another human being within it, pushing away organs close to the womb so that the baby can grow to its full capacity before coming out.
To facilitate those changes, the expecting mother must make amendments to her diet to ensure she is receiving all the required nutrition.
However, a very major difference which comes about with pregnancy is the sudden cravings that an expecting mother has for the weirdest food choices at the strangest time during the day. While you may think those cravings originate from the increasing nutritional requirements of your changing body, however there is in fact a lot more truth in wanting that chocolate chip ice cream at 3 in the morning than you think.
Do Cravings Come From Nutritional Deficiency?
There is a widespread perception that we want to eat what our body lacks. For example, foods that are high in sugar don’t seem all that appealing when we’ve already consumed too much sugar, and so we assume that our body has had too much sugar that’s why it wants no more of it. While that may be true, pregnancy cravings cannot always be justified by that same logic.
It’s important to understand that pregnancy cravings don’t mean that your body lacks something in particular, although that may certainly be the case. They are the result of a multitude of changes that your body is going through, such as hormonal changes as well as changes to the physical structure of the body.
This means that although some of your food choices may be prompted by a nutritional requirement of the body, most of the time during pregnancy you’ll find yourself craving for food that you either find really delicious (as a way to cope with all the physical and mental stress), or that you once absolutely loved but swore off due to some reason.
How to Manage Cravings!
Yes, experiencing cravings for the unhealthiest of foods during a pregnancy is completely normal, but that does not mean that you let your cravings define your diet plan. It still remains absolutely crucial that you continue to take in the required nutrition to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Hence, the meals which you must consume should not be replaced by that pint of ice cream that you are longing for since morning.
However, that being said, accommodating your cravings is also necessary. The best way to go about it is to consume only as much as you need to achieve satisfaction, after you’ve had a proper nutritious meal. If what you are craving is a fruit salad, then that can be a healthy snack in itself, but if you were craving a brownie, then perhaps supplementing it with some fruits on the side is not such a bad idea.
Can Cravings Be Avoided?
There are no hard rules when it comes to managing cravings, hence whatever is said will not apply to everyone. Honestly, for some women it is easier than pushing a button to get over their cravings, instead opting for what their body requires in nutritional value. However, for others cravings are much more serious than that and require conformity.
Everyone is genetically different and hence responds to food in a different manner. Hence, manage your cravings in a way that works best for you. Just make sure your cravings don’t start supplementing your regular meals, especially if they are unhealthy.
For example, if you are having ice cream every night, then that should ring some alarm bells considering you are consuming way too much sugar. As long as you are consuming all the nutrition you are supposed to take every day, anything in addition to that is fine.
Your Cravings Will Change With Every Trimester
Every trimester has a different nutritional requirement, which is why it’s crucial that you treat them differently. For example, during the first trimester the body requires a lot of nutrition, yet it cannot keep anything inside due to nausea and active vomiting.
In this time, a craving for pasta, toast, or anything high in carbs is natural considering these foods keep the stomach happy while at the same time providing the glucose required by the body to function properly in this time of physical change.