Cravings are often one of the conditions experienced by pregnant women in pregnancy. Then what causes cravings and really all must be obeyed?
Until now there has been no definite answer to the question. But there are studies that say that when cravings for certain types of food, actually the body of pregnant women is in need of nutrients contained in these foods. For example, cravings from meat such as steaks and burgers indicate that the body is actually in need of protein intake. Or when the mother suddenly wants to eat cheese or pickles, it's probably the way the body tells you that the body needs sodium. But this is still a debate because it is actually difficult to prove whether it is true if cells in our body can translate a lack of certain nutrients into the desire to eat a specific type of food.
Cravings for pregnant women are more likely due to hormonal changes. High levels of hormones during pregnancy can change the perception of pregnant women about aroma and taste. This results in pregnant women wanting certain types of food or even avoid certain foods. This hormone fluctuation causes two phases during pregnancy. The first one occurs at the beginning of pregnancy, pregnant women seem to be very sensitive to the smell of certain foods (morning sickness), tend to not appetite and avoid certain types of food. The next phase occurs when pregnant women experience cravings.
Cravings that may be followed
As quoted from the Baby Center, one of the researchers at the University of Minnesota, Judith Brown, said that most pregnant women want sweets like chocolate, cakes, and ice cream rather than salty foods. If the food desired by pregnant women is still normal and harmless, then it's okay to obey cravings. This is because wanting certain foods can be one way for pregnant women to make themselves feel comfortable after feeling tired, nauseous and emotionally caused by the effects of hormonal changes.
In addition, as quoted by WebMD, Elisa Zied, a nutritionist for the American Dietetic Association, said that a woman who is pregnant may use pregnancy as an excuse to eat the type of food they usually avoid before pregnancy.
Even so, there are a number of rules before fully following the cravings of pregnant women:
- Note the portion of food that is desirable. If pregnant women crave food such as chocolate, ice cream, and cake, make sure the portion is not excessive so that the weight of pregnant women is controlled, because excessive weight in pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes. This can be dealt with by choosing fewer portions. For example, if you want to eat chocolate, choose chocolate whose packaging is smaller.
- Avoid eating meat, seafood, and non-cooked or undercooked eggs.
- Avoid milk and other unpasteurized preparations.
- Avoid alcohol.
- If cravings come too often, pregnant women may have to pay attention to their diet, because irregular eating will trigger a drop in blood sugar and cause a desire to eat this and that.
- Find lower-calorie substitute foods to prevent unwanted weight gain. For example, if a pregnant woman craves ice cream, it can be replaced with frozen yogurt or lower fat fruit sorbet.
Cravings that should not be followed
The cravings that must be considered are the types of cravings called pika. Pika is taken from Latin which means magpie. Magpie is a type of bird that eats all types of food, including items that are not food. Pregnant women who experience pika usually have the desire to eat something that is unusual and does not contain any nutrients at all, even tends to be dangerous. Examples such as ice cubes, powder, dust, foam soap, toothpaste, to cigarette ash. This type of cravings that should not be obeyed because it can be harmful to the health of the mother and baby.
What causes pregnant women to experience pika? Although it has not been fully proven, Pika is said to occur in pregnant women due to lack of iron and minerals in the body. If you experience pika, don't hesitate to immediately notify your family and consult your doctor so that it can be treated immediately.
- Iron Supplements for Pregnant Women with Anemia.
- How to Get Pregnant If You Are Overweight
- Tips for Avoiding Unwanted Weight When Pregnant With Diabetes