I've finally gotten past the morning sickness, but I've entered a whole new world of pregnancy cravings. I want ALL the food. All of it. All the time. I remember attending a business conference when I was about 7 months pregnant with Sidekick and experiencing the same overwhelming hunger. Some poor lady was trying to network with me at lunch and I was like, “Less talky. More eaty!” before diving headfirst into her dessert.
Okay, I do have SOME self-restraint, but the pregnancy cravings are intense and I'm embarrassed to even admit what I've indulged in over the last couple months.
Making Way for Pregnancy Cravings
I still stay generally gluten-free, but the rest of my usually health-conscious choices have been chucked out the window for the time being. Stuff that used to disgust me now has an irresistible appeal. Food that is NEVER allowed in my home – much less on my dinner table – has weirdly started squirreling its way in.
And I find myself indulging pregnancy cravings at horribly inconvenient times of the day, in totally random places. Snacks on the couch, dessert in bed. I'm too giant and tired and hungry to care. Sometimes, I'll find myself downing junk food in the closet in a sad attempt to hide it from the kids. I'm trying to ensure that they eat a balanced diet, and setting a bad example for them doesn't get us very far.
What Pregnancy Cravings Mean
Apparently most pregnancy cravings have to do with something the woman is missing in her body.
I told my OBGYN the other day about my uncontrollable desire to eat all things salty, and she said it's likely due to my dehydration. “You haven't been getting enough water, so your body is creating pregnancy cravings to seek out sodium in order to help you retain more liquid.”
With my first son I was low on calcium, and I craved gallon upon gallon of milk. With my second, I needed more iron and my body sought it in strange forms: nuts, kale, chocolate. Prenatal vitamins help to ease the severity of pregnancy cravings, but your body knows that the best way to get nutrients is straight from a food source, and the brain has a powerful way of compelling you to address those inefficiencies.
Pregnancy Cravings and Aversions
And then there's the aversions. As much as I want peanut butter and potato chips, I can't even be near chicken or salmon right now. One whiff of a standard wedding buffet and I'm suddenly back to trimester one, bowing down to the porcelain God in the public restroom. Someone complimented me at an event the other day, “Wow, you look so vibrant and glowy!” and I had to resist the urge to explain that my apparent “glow” was caused by hormonal nausea-sweats induced by the strong-smelling barbecued ribs the waiter had set in front of me.
I'm telling you, pregnancy is hot. In more ways than one.
What to do about Aversions
I combat the nausea with a combination of natural methods. Giving in to cravings actually helps a lot, as well as eating small meals. I wear a Sea-Band “Mama” version to reduce nausea without having to resort to medication. I've found that their Acupressure Wrist Bands and Ginger Lozenges are excellent at providing more direct relief without any side effects whatsoever. I pick them up at CVS, Target or Drugstore.com.
What were your biggest pregnancy cravings?