In either singleton or multiple pregnancies, cravings are inevitable. However, in multiple pregnancies, craving might be more intense due to the surge of heightened hormones in twins or multiples. You are probably wondering, “When do cravings start in pregnancy?” so you know when to expect those odd and late-night cravings.
Sometimes in pregnancy, your husband or partner might think that your pregnancy food cravings are insatiable, but is it? Moreover, you are probably wondering when the cravings would fade away, so you can just go through your regular diet during pregnancy. Let’s find out about pregnancy food cravings in this article.
Are pregnancy food cravings real?
Yes, pregnancy food cravings are real. However, some people who have not yet gone through pregnancy might think that pregnancy food cravings are just like any other craving that is experienced by anyone who gets hungry. After all, the intense cravings of various foods during hunger aren’t rare. Moreover, during pregnancy, it is expected that more food is necessary to support the growing fetus in the womb.
Pregnancy food cravings are real and it is not like any other cravings that people who are not pregnant actually experience that is often referred to as pica. However, in pica, the cravings usually involve food or non-food items that have very little or no nutritional value at all. On the other hand, pregnancy food craving usually involve foods that are rich in macro or micronutrients that are essential for the growth and development of your baby.
What is pregnancy food craving?
Pregnancy food craving is your body telling you to eat specific food that is beneficial for the growth and development of your baby. It is the sometimes unexplainable urgent need to eat specific foods that may or may not be a part of your normal diet. Various factors may cause pregnancy food cravings. Furthermore, people around you might even find it bizarre that you are craving for an odd combination of food.
Causes of pregnancy food cravings
Pregnancy food cravings might be caused by different things. It can either be triggered by hormonal, psychological or physical responses. Furthermore, if you have different nutritional needs when you are pregnant, in contrary when you are not pregnant, so your body also adjusts to this by triggering certain cravings.
Cravings can be triggered by hormones when there is a sudden change in the levels of certain hormones in your body. Moreover, cravings are not the only reaction that your body may have to these hormones; you might also feel agitated, aroused and other things that your hormones may trigger.
When you are thinking of eating something constantly to the point that you begin to crave badly for it, and then this might be caused by your brain. Our brains know the various foods that can provide the nutrition that our bodies need at any given time. However, during pregnancy, it is in overdrive, so you begin to crave for various or even weird food combinations intensely.
Physical responses are the actual feeling that you are hungry and you begin to crave for food due to this intense hunger. When you are pregnant, this physical response to hunger become stronger than ever before, so you crave for odd foods that may provide adequate nutrition. Pregnancy food cravings often involve foods that are rich in macro and micronutrients that your body needs.
Your age during pregnancy also matters when it comes to cravings. When cravings and aversions of pregnant adolescents were assessed, it showed that 86% of pregnant adolescents reported cravings during pregnancy and these cravings slowly subsided after a month of post-partum. Age may also play a role in cravings during pregnancy since younger pregnant women are more susceptible to various physiological changes in their bodies.
To sum it all up, the common causes of pregnancy food cravings are:
- Nutrition deficiency or insufficiency
- Psychosocial factors
- Age during pregnancy
- Cultural factors
- Active nutrients in desired food items
When do cravings start in pregnancy?
Cravings during pregnancy begin during the first trimester and peaks during the second trimester. Nevertheless, some women may experience intense cravings all throughout pregnancy. Pregnancy food cravings might also be caused by nutrition imbalances during a specific time. Furthermore, if you are not getting enough nutrition to support the growth and development of the baby in your womb, then your brain and body begin to crave for various foods.
Cravings during pregnancy greatly vary depending on the woman. But, generally, the peak of pregnancy food cravings happens during the second trimester. The first and second trimester of pregnancy is the most vital in the growth and development of your baby and this is also when you need the best nutrition that you can probably get. However, you still have to eat nutritious food throughout your pregnancy to maintain your baby’s and your health.
Risk attributed to food cravings during pregnancy
Cravings during pregnancy may predispose the mother to gestational weight gain that may cause some health complications to the mother and fetus in her womb. Furthermore, obesity prior to pregnancy that is coupled with gestational weight gain might lead to further complications during childbirth for both the mother and the baby. Cravings during pregnancy still have to be managed to maintain a healthy weight throughout the pregnancy.
When do cravings start in pregnancy? Cravings during pregnancy usually begin at the first trimester of the pregnancy while being at its peak during the second trimester. However, pregnancy food cravings may happen throughout your pregnancy in various stages. Pregnancy food cravings may be caused by a lot of things, but it is very normal as your body adapts to the additional nutritional needs.