We’ve all heard about eccentric and insane pregnancy cravings. You’ve probably even watched on TV where pregnant women want nothing but pickles dipped in ice cream or potatoes in the middle of the night. If you are currently a pregnant woman, you could be conflicted about what you should be eating and how much you should be eating. Should you just eat everything your heart desires, or should you take a more cautious approach? We’ve answered those questions for you below.
Aren’t You Eating For Two?
One theory is to that you are eating for two so eat whatever you want. If this is your game plan, then you’ll definitely want to visit an article coming out later this week on stretch marks. Your baby is going to weigh somewhere around the average of 6-9 pounds, so for nine months worth of eating for two, this theory doesn’t go too far other than it’s fun to say you are eating for two. You are most definitely eating for two, but not two adults. One adult and one teeny tiny growing infant are who you are feeding while pregnant. Around ten weeks of gestation, your baby is only the size of a fun sized candy bar. Half way through your pregnancy at 20 weeks, your baby still won’t even weigh a pound yet. Check out a baby gestation growth chart here. Granted you are growing a new organ, a placenta which is pretty amazing in itself, but the caloric requirements aren’t going to be much more at this stage than before you became pregnant.
Try To Be Nutritious
My plan when I was pregnant with my daughter was to eat as nutritionally sound as was possible. So for me, that was nine months of no junk food, no caffeine, and remembering that everything I put in my body was going directly to her too and her developing body. If you think of it that way, would you want to feed your baby who is developing his or her brain, and important organs, potato chips, and pop? One benefit of eating for nutrition is that chances are many of your cravings won’t even exist because you are fueling your body and your baby’s with dense nutrition. Also, remember all of that extra weight that doesn’t go to your baby and pregnancy is going to be that much harder to take off.
Do Cravings Serve A Greater Purpose
So, if at this point in the article you are getting frustrated because you wanted to hear that those cravings serve a purpose and a reason that you need to feed every thought of french fries and candy to your baby and you, don’t stop reading yet. There are a lot of healthy things and possibly cravings that do serve a purpose. By feeding your growing baby and giving in to healthy cravings, you may just stop the not so healthy cravings. How about all you can eat fruit and vegetables, yogurt, and lean red meat? I drank a protein and vitamin drink every day in my pregnancy that I think helped me hit those nutrients I may have missed even though I was eating healthy. I also ran every day in my pregnancy because I had been a runner before becoming pregnant and had a healthy pregnancy. I had one craving, one day during my pregnancy and that was for a big steak. I think I needed it and boy did it taste good, so I gave in to the healthy craving and to this day it has been the best tasting steak I ever ate.
Listen To Your Body
When you have a craving, listen to your body and try to go for a healthy alternative if you are craving junk food. Maybe a craving for potato chips means you are low on sodium and could have a tomato with salt instead. Some experts believe that there is a link to what you are craving and what your body needs and others think it’s hog wash. Judith Brown, author of What to Eat Before, During and After Pregnancy says, “There’s no scientific explanation for food cravings. There’s no data saying that what a woman craves is related to something her body or her baby needs.”
So whatever your take is on the cravings, caving in for that cake and ice cream once in awhile isn’t going to hurt much at all, but if it becomes a daily habit, try fine tuning your nutrition and see if the cravings cease. Enjoy this time, eat well, and be happy. Your baby will thank you for it later.