As you move through the various stages of your pregnancy, you may find that like many, you begin to experience cravings, sometimes of the unusual variety. This is another normal part of the changes experienced throughout pregnancy. But when can you expect those cravings to start and stop and what does the experience mean for your body? We’re going to talk about all that and more, so read on now to find out more about pregnancy cravings.
What Are Pregnancy Cravings and What Causes Them?
Pregnancy cravings are a common symptom of pregnancy and are experienced by most pregnant women to some extent. Some women find that they start craving foods that they never even enjoyed eating before. It’s often the case that women start to crave very strange foods and combinations of foods or sometimes even non-food items!
There’s no definitive answer for what causes these cravings. But some believe that the comfort brought by the foods is the main reason, while other theorize that the rapid changes taking place in the body, such as the need to produce more blood or hormonal changes, can cause the cravings to occur.
When Do The Cravings Start?
For most women, pregnancy cravings start very early on, usually in the first trimester. But the peak of their intensity is usually not reached until the second trimester. There’s no set time for when cravings start, however, so it does differ from woman to woman.
Cravings often don’t go away completely until after giving birth, so you can expect to experience them during the third trimester too. However, this is the point at which most women find that their cravings and their intensity start to decline to some extent. Again, the nature of that decline will differ from person to person.
Common Cravings and Food Aversions
The most common cravings are for carbohydrate rich foods and very sweet foods although some women have been known to crave very strange and unusual things such as sawdust, coal, soil, soap, chalk and paint to name a few!
It’s quite common for women to experience food aversions as well as cravings. For example, many women feel sick if they so much as think about drinking coffee and alcohol or eating meat when they’re pregnant - which isn’t a bad thing!
When to Seek Medical Help
Some women worry about their cravings, but there’s rarely any need to; unless they’re of the non-food variety as mentioned above. Of course, you need to keep your health and diet in check so indulging in every unhealthy craving you have isn’t a good idea. You only really need to consult a doctor if you feel your cravings are becoming extreme or pose a risk to your health or the health of your baby.
Cravings are perfectly normal, even the strange and unexpected ones. There’s no right or wrong, but it’s important to know that you can talk to your doctor if you are experiencing anything you’re worried about or if you simply want to ask some questions.