Updated 4/22/22

Updated Visitation Policy (4/22)

Effective April 22, 2022 we have updated both hospitals’ Visitation Policy: RMC medical inpatients who are negative for COVID-19 will be allowed one visitor per day during their stay, including ONE overnight visitor. Read the full policy for details here.

Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy Cravings

The number of unexplained pregnancy symptoms might shock you, and pregnancy cravings are one of them—researchers have theories, but don’t know exactly what causes pregnancy cravings. Some think it could be a result of hormone changes (the same answer for a lot of other pregnancy symptoms) while others think that certain diet deficiencies trigger them. What we do know is that almost all pregnant women experience cravings, so you’re not alone!

Common Pregnancy Cravings

Again, pregnancy cravings are incredibly common and shouldn’t be any reason for concern. Having food cravings during pregnancy can even be traced back to ancient Greece! Some of the most common cravings include:

  • Milk
  • Chocolate milk
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • All sweets
  • Fruits, mainly strawberries, grapefruit, and pineapple
  • Fish
  • Spicy, salty, fatty, or sour foods
  • Comfort foods like toast, cereal, and mashed potatoes

While these are the most common, there are certainly more documented cravings than that! Odd combinations of different foods are also extremely common. Some of the strangest concoctions on record are:

  • Buddy’s sweet spaghetti from the movie Elf
  • Sardines on crackers, with blueberries 
  • Pulled pork and vanilla ice cream
  • Doritos dipped in clam chowder
  • Dill pickles dipped in grape jelly
  • Canned cheese on powdered doughnuts
  • Pizza dipped in icing
  • Twinkies dipped in ranch dressing
  • Dog treats
  • Nutella on a burrito

If you’ve been craving something that seems…unnatural, know that you aren’t alone at all! Some women even experience intense cravings for non-food items—this is a condition called pica, and it is somewhat common. 

Pica Pregnancy Cravings

The word “pica” is Latin for “magpie,” which is a bird famous for eating just about anything. This is an incredibly accurate name for this condition, because women with pica crave things that aren’t actually edible. The most common pica cravings are:

  • Ice
  • Dirt or clay
  • Soap or laundry detergent
  • Paint chips
  • Ashes
  • Clothes
  • Plants
  • Paper
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cornstarch

Again, pica is somewhat common, so it’s not something to stress about—but you should not indulge in these cravings. They’re harmful to you and to your baby, so if you feel cravings for non-food items you should call your doctor right away. It could be a sign that you’re short on a vital nutrient, like iron. 

Calming Your Cravings

Managing intense food cravings can be very difficult—after all, you feel like you deserve it, right? While you probably do, it’s important not to indulge too much. The best way to combat cravings is to treat them like normal, non-pregnant cravings—everything in moderation. A little ice cream or a few potato chips won’t hurt you, just don’t overdo it! 

Outside of your cravings, try to make sure you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. Start your day right with a big, healthy breakfast and make sure you’re eating good-for-you snacks throughout the day. If you’re craving sweets, make sure you’re keeping up with flossing, brushing, and regular dental visits! The good news? These intense cravings usually let up after the first trimester—so hang in there!

Need more pregnancy advice, support, and resources? Contact RMC today!