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Posted on March 23 2017

Without a doubt, you’ve heard about pregnancy cravings: that desire for pregnant women to indulge in a very specific taste, food group, or combination of specific foods during pregnancy. But what causes that urge?

Of course, the hormonal spikes experienced during pregnancy are seen as the root cause for many of the strange occurrences, feelings and emotions during pregnancy. However, experts are now starting to explore the possibility that food cravings stem for a different cause entirely.


Every woman experiences cravings differently. The most commonly observed cravings are those that run along sweet, sour, and spicy flavours. Furthermore, pregnant women observe a significant rise in appetite, commonly being referred to as “eating for two”. But does the baby actually influence the amount or specific object being craved? Experts aren’t looking in that direction either. In actuality, cravings may be the result of a physiological demand.


Some nutrition and healthcare experts would argue that cravings are more than just meaningless wants. They have moved to note that cravings are actually linked to nutritional deficiencies, much like how an iron or zinc deficiency leads to the development of a condition called pica.

Alternative medicine practitioners have a similar belief, stating that your body tells you what it needs in the form of feelings of desire, thus invalidating the principal of “wants and needs are completely different things”.

Though there is no solid evidence to support the hypothesis as of the moment, it has been observed that several pregnant women need more essential fatty acids in their diet. In doing so, it was found that their cravings tend to disappear, thus hinting that cravings are, in fact, linked to nutrition and possible deficiencies. There may be no scientific explanation for craving yet, but experts will agree that typical pregnancy cravings are not harmful, either.


Whether the cause of pregnancy cravings is hormonal or nutritional, it is still safe to say that they need attention. Occasional indulgence satisfies an emotional need of the mother, and there is reason to believe that it might be physically advantageous – so why not let her have what she wants from time to time?

Of course, some cravings are considerably harmful for pregnancies and should be avoided, but the healthier or neutral ones may be indulged in. Experts note that a healthful diet is one that meets your nutritional and emotional needs as well as your preferences.

It has also been found that restraint can result in even stronger, more implicating cravings, so it is not recommendable for women to fight their urges. Rather, giving in to your sweet tooth or finding the right tartness in a food can be good for her, keeping her in a sort of calm that doesn’t come easily in the primordial soup of hormones she’s experiencing.

Another great tip experts have given is that small, frequent meals raise blood sugar levels and could reduce the gravity of sweet cravings. The advice experts are bound to give always run along the same course: never skipping a meal, getting plenty of exercise, and getting all the emotional support needed.

In the end, your doctor always knows what is best. Should you find yourself craving strange foods or non-food products which can affect your health, it’s very important to relay them to your healthcare provider.


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