wewomen Newsletter
Early pregnancy symptoms

Food cravings or aversions


© Pixland
© Pixland
We've all heard about bizarre cravings - otherwise sensible women suddenly demanding gherkins and jelly or munching entire jars of Marmite where previously they were firmly in the "hate it" camp.

But just as common are food aversions. Many women find themselves suddenly repulsed by foods they used to adore - be that salad or cake.

Cravings and aversions are brought on by the rage of hormones flooding your body in the early stages of pregnancy. You're body is still getting used to this onslaught and is making demands in the form of cravings and aversions.

There's some truth to the saying that "the body wants what it needs" but as humans have moved so far from the original food chain our bodies now interpret our "needs" in different ways.

So you're body needs calcium... it's not keen on mustard spinach (315mg of calcium per serving) it wants a vat of caramel crunch ice cream instead.... oranges are a great source of vitamin C but your body would prefer carrot cake. Not all cravings are beneficial so take care not to indulge unreasonable demands - particularly for alcohol.

"I just wanted to drink Guinness," says Caroline, 28, from Perth, "I didn't of course! But it was hard because everything else made me feel sick. Fortunately I found out that my body would tolerate other iron rich foods. Even if I didn't really want them they stayed down."

Nutrional deficiency can occur in pregnant women with some reporting weird cravings. An iron deficiency can cause cravings for ash, clay, laundry starch or worse! In this case, a chat with your GP is the best step forward.

Fortunately most cravings and aversions calm down by the fourth month of your pregnancy. If not then you may have developed an emotional dependency - again, something you should talk to your GP about.

Full list of early pregnancy symptoms

Missed period Feeling pregnant Sore breasts General fatigue Dizziness or fainting
Bloating and weight gain Food cravings or aversions Frequent urination
Enhanced sense of smell
Heartburn and constipation Mood swings and irritability
Higher than normal body temperature Discharge Spotting, light bleeding (Implantation bleeding) Lower back pain


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