Whether it’s gherkins dunked in peanut-butter or cucumber slices drizzled with honey, your pregnancy will bring about some very interesting cravings over the coming months. Your body will undergo weird and wonderful changes – changes which will alter your relationship with food. Now is the ideal time to begin educating yourself about healthy pregnancy nutrition and the strange cravings that may arise.
Almost all pregnant mothers-to-be (and even some fathers) experience food cravings during pregnancy. Very often, these cravings involve unusual combinations, such as salty ice-cream. Experts have varying opinions about why this strange shift happens, but generally these eating aberrations aren't considered harmful if the craving involves healthy foods and isn’t practised in excess. You may also find that you turn your nose up for dishes that you generally like. Why do your tastes change and, more importantly, what can you do about it?
Hormones play a role in food cravings and aversions during pregnancy, especially during the early stages. There is some evidence to suggest that you may crave nutrients that your body needs. Hormonal shifts can intensify your sense of smell (which heavily influences taste) and are powerful enough to affect food choices.
Most pregnant women make changes to their diet. Ideally, these changes are based on advice from their doctors or dieticians. Women who may have been eating a diet based on junk food may (and should) decide to eat a balanced diet rich in protective nutrients for the sake of their growing babies.
Despite the fact that we're now living in the 21st century, many women still adhere to old-fashioned beliefs when it comes to eating during pregnancy. They avoid foods like eggs, meat, milk and pork to the detriment of the health of their bodies and their developing child. It is, however, best to avoid raw fish (such as sushi) as the mercury content may be too high. Also, all fresh produce should be cleaned well. How much weight should you gain?
You need to gain a certain amount of weight during pregnancy to ensure that your baby develops properly. If you start your pregnancy with a normal body weight, then it's important to allow your body and the developing foetus and placenta to increase in weight by 11,5 kg to 16 kg.
Pregnancy is not the time to be figure-conscious. Once the baby is born, you'll lose weight during the birth and shed the last few kilos if you follow a sensible diet, breastfeed your baby and go for walks every day.
Most importantly, if you have any questions regarding cravings, nutrition or general pregnancy, do not hesitate to contact a healthcare professional, who will happily guide you along your journey. For more information, contact Mediclinic Baby:
Tel. 021 943 6039