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Why do pregnant women have weird cravings?

Why do pregnant women crave strange foods?

3922 day(s) ago

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When you think of pregnancy and food, you probably think of something like this:

A recent study found that about half of pregnant women experienced odd food cravings during their pregnancy. For some reason, women that had a food aversion before pregnancy were far more likely to have these cravings than women who didn't.

There are four main causes of these cravings:

Hormones: Some women will eat foods during pregnancy that they normally find disgusting. Why? Major hormone changes can affect taste and smell. This change can be caused by pregnancy, menopause, and birth control. After birth, these hormones return to normal, and so does taste. Some pregnant women also report a metallic taste in their mouths.

Nutritional deficiencies: There's a lot of debate over this since there isn't a clear relationship to cravings and the nutrients you need. Iron is one of the most confusing of these. Ice is a common craving for people low in iron, although there it doesn't contain iron. In some pregnant women this can go further, causing pica, a disorder that causes them to crave eating non-food items like dirt or laundry detergent. Again, like the ice, these items contain little or no iron.

Comfort foods: You're just as likely to crave some favorite from your childhood when experiencing stress from a pregnancy as you would experiencing stress from another source. This is strictly a matter of personal preference, and could lead to cravings for anything from macaroni and cheese to miso soup, depending on your background.

Health: Some changes in diet may to avoid foods that increase morning sickness or may harm the fetus. Pregnant women almost universally have an aversion to coffee, tea, and alcohol, even if they enjoyed these drinks before they were pregnant.

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