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Pregnancy Cravings

Some pregnant women crave pickles...

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Pregnancy Choices

Not all pregnancy cravings are for junk food.

Photo © Joanna Zielinska - Fotolia.com

The thoughts of pregnancy and cravings tend to go hand in hand. The mere mention of pickles and ice cream brings to mind a gloriously pregnant woman with her feet propped up munching on deliciously salty pickles while also scarfing down some equally delectable ice cream.

While many pregnant women will never even begin to desire something as stereotypical as ice cream and pickles, many do have cravings during pregnancy. Some studies show that up to 68% of women will have a craving at some point during pregnancy.

Cravings can mean different things to different people. It might be the simple, "Gee that smells really good, I'd like to eat some." While others are down right driven to find whatever they crave.

We tend to think that if our body is craving it that it must be something we need for our health. This may have some basis in truth, particularly depending on what we are craving. If we're cravings fruits and vegetables, chances are we aren't too concerned about the desires. Though we probably are equally unconcerned about the desire to eat a chocolate malt after every meal.

Cravings can border on the harmful side if they begin to alter your diets variety severely or if you crave, harmful, non-food substances like clay, laundry starch or other items. This condition is called pica.

Psychologically speaking, part of our cravings may simply be that we believe pregnant women should eat certain things. Or sometimes it's survival, as in I can't keep anything else down!

Watch what you're craving, be sure your diet is balanced. Eating a variety every week is one way to do this as opposed to eating the same meals over and over. Keep a food journal if necessary to help keep track of your meals. Be sure to discuss any problems with your nutrition with your doctor or midwife.

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