6 Things You Can Do About Cravings in Pregnancy

Just how should you deal with cravings in pregnancy?

Pregnant woman with ice cream
Photo © JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

While cravings in pregnancy are normal. The biggest issue is knowing how to deal with these cravings in pregnancy. Here are some tips:

  1. Make it yourself.
    Consider making whatever you crave yourself. Obviously this might be easier said than done depending on what you are craving, but if you're craving brownies, make your own. This can give you some control over what goes into the mix. You can add applesauce instead of oil, ensure that the ingredients are fresh and delicious. One really good brownie is more likely to satisfy the pregnant craving than two store bought brownies for many women. Just freeze or give away what's left over!
  1. Give in.
    Yes, it is okay to give into cravings in pregnancy occasionally. The key here is to not have a milkshake for every meal or even every day. While you're not eating for two, giving in sometimes is the right thing to do. In small quantities, think about it in terms of an exercise exchange. A candy bar today for an extra 15 minute walk tomorrow. This helps avoid pregnancy weight gain associated with some cravings.
  2. Ask what's up?
    Maybe you're craving foods that are good for you - that's great! And while you should eat clean fruits and vegetables a lot, perhaps you also need to ask if you're craving it because of something lacking in your diet. Your body can sometimes help you figure this out by telling you what it needs. These are cravings that you should go for.
  3. Hold off.
    Realize that sometimes you're really craving something other than food. When you're not pregnant it's called emotional eating. When you're pregnant it's still emotional eating, just often neglected because of the hormonal state of pregnancy. It's not good practice at either point in your life.
  1. Bend a little.
    Remember your portion sizes. Giving in doesn't mean that you should order the largest on the menu, perhaps a small will help you quell the craving. One doughnut is vastly different than the box of doughnuts. Buy in single servings, even if it's a bit more expensive, what you spend in the extra quarter you will save in calories and fat.
  1. Talk to your practitioner.
    If you are worried about your cravings in any manner, talk to your doctor or midwife. You should call the office between appointments if you find that you are craving non-food items like soap, rocks, laundry detergent, etc. This can be a form of an illness known as pica, which can be hazardous to your health.

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