During your pregnancy, in particular during the early months, you may find that you go off certain foods, and are drawn to, or even crave, others. You may find yourself wanting foods you usually loathe, and vegetarians many even experience cravings for red meat. More rarely you may crave food in strange combinations.
Science still hasn’t explained why some women have cravings for foods, non-foods, or bizarre food combinations such as ice cream, coal, or cheese with marmalade! One theory is that your body craves a mineral that is lacking or missing in your diet.
When you crave non-food substances - such as dirt, coal, or toothpaste - it is called pica. This is rare, but talk to your carer if you do have these cravings as giving in to them will be harmful to you and your baby. One of our mums - a long-time ex-smoker - reported ongoing cravings for cigarettes but managed to keep them at bay with chocolate and a daily coffee!
Some women find that they crave ice. And while this may not be harmful, you need to ensure you are getting enough nutrients from foods, and do not damage your teeth.
Talk to your carer about any cravings, and ask for your iron levels to be checked. Over a quarter of the mums we surveyed reported no cravings at all but those most frequently mentioned were:
- “Anything sweet”
- Fruit smoothies
Other foods our mums couldn’t get enough of:
- Pineapple juice
- Brown soda bread toasted
- Prune yoghurts
- Mushy peas
- Ice cream
- Greens (salads & vegetables)
- Wine gums
- Sweet chilli sauce
- Tinned fish
- Jelly sweets