A women’s taste and food preferences undoubtedly change during pregnancy. To-date we do not fully understand why some women crave vegetables and others crave cake. How and what women eat during pregnancy is influenced by culture, hormonal changes, and their views on food. For many, early pregnancy is marked by nausea, which often leads women to crave carbs-rich foods. Additionally, the smell and/or texture of foods can also influence its desirability. Rest assured for most food cravings/ aversions are not usually a sign of nutrient deficiency. A dietitian can work with you to help you better understand your food behaviors and to support an eating approach that works for your symptoms and needs. Cravings and food aversions are a normal part of your pregnancy experience, but if you find you are gaining too much weight or not gaining enough working with a dietitian can help.
Simple tips offered by our office dietitian:
- Stay hydrated. Too often we confuse hunger with thirst.
- Eat enough protein (there are adequate sources of animal and plant proteins to meet both carnivorous and plant-based diets).
- Limit processed foods. These foods are often calorie-rich but nutrient poor. These foods are usually hard to stop eating once we have started (hint, hint… cakes, cookies, etc.).
- Listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues. Prior to be pregnancy we often ignore these cues especially when on restrictive diets or lead busy lives, and may have a hard time regulating them when we are pregnant.
- Avoid liquid sugars; this means juices and sodas, maybe even smoothies.
- Increase your intake of fiber. Fiber is a good appetite regulator but also helps improve digestion.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!