Your body is swelling in areas you didn’t even know could swell. Your hormones are all over the shop. And your skin is sprouting a whole new set of weird marks, spots and veins.
So it only makes sense that your taste buds are hopping on the “let’s mess the pregnant woman up in as many ways as possible” bandwagon with all sorts of crazy pregnancy cravings.
Weird pregnancy cravings are a very real and very strange part of pregnancy. According to Libby Conn, a clinical nurse/midwife specialist in Melbourne, pregnancy cravings are linked to possible deficiencies in the body, hormone fluctuation and altered sensation in taste and smell.
“We do not fully understand the reason for food cravings or aversions but a link has been made between certain cravings and deficiencies within the body. For example, a pregnant woman who is calcium-deficient may crave milk or yoghurt, whilst vitamin C deficiency may lead to cravings for tomatoes or oranges,” Libby tells Mum Central.
What’s in a pregnancy craving?
Whatever the cause of the crazy cravings, it seems A LOT of women experience them.
“I had a patient who ate an entire one kilogram jar of pickles (in one sitting!)” Libby reveals. “And another patient who craved peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches every day.”
Sweet vs salty
During the first trimester many women will crave salty foods which are plain and less likely to cause gastrointestinal distress. Common pregnancy cravings include “salty, savoury dry biscuits or chips, chocolate or dry cereals (often higher sugar content such as Nutrigrain).”
Of course, many pregnant women will also experience food aversions. Libby says some of the more common aversions include tea, coffee and meat.
There is also an ‘old wives tale’ that suggests you can determine the gender based on your cravings. If you’re craving savoury, it’s a boy. If you want sweet things, it’s a little girl.
Soap, chalk and other strange pregnancy cravings
While we’re talking weird pregnancy cravings, it is also common for pregnant women to crave non-food items, a condition known as pica.
“I have encountered many women working in an antenatal clinic over the years, who feel embarrassed by admitting they crave things such as dirt, clay, or even chalk! Be reassured, it is actually quite common!” Libby explains.
Ice, ice, baby
Another obsession for many mums-to-be. Ice cubes!
“Some people believe that craving ice cubes is related to the slight increase in basal body temperature, and metabolic rate in the third trimester in pregnancy,” Libby tells us. “The circulating blood volume of a pregnant woman increases by almost 50%. Therefore craving ice cubes may help women to feel they are “cooling down”.
But ice cubes can also help in the other trimesters, especially when struggling with morning sickness and heartburn.
Crazy pregnancy cravings revealed
Sure, we’ve all heard of pickles and ice cream, but here’s a few more pregnancy cravings from our Mum Central readers.
- “Pancakes with mandarins” – Alexandra
- “Pickled onion and ice cream” – Belinda
- “Mussels and pickled onion” – Julie
- “Spearmint toothpaste” – Barb
- “Cucumber with tomato sauce” – Mel
- “Pickled gerkins on cold toast” – Marj
- “Ice cream, pineapple and tomato sauce” – Michelle
- “Mash potatoes with tomato sauce” – Amanda
- “Bacon, chilli sauce and ice cream” – Yolanda
- “Sliced strawberries and salt and vinegar chips together in a sandwich” – Amanda
- “Lemon and salt” – Lhauren
- “Lemon tarts covered in chocolate custard” – Catherine
- “Gravy…on everything” – Emma
- “Ice cream with peanut butter” – Taz
Take a look at more strange Mum Central cravings below and share your own weird pregnancy cravings in the comments!
Think those are crazy? Check out the hilariously awful combinations featured in pregnancy cravings book, Pickles and Ice Cream. With items like Toothpaste Oreos (above) and Oranges with Tomato Sauce (below) on the menu, it’s safe to say pregnancy is a taste bud life ruiner.
This bacon and Mars Bar burger looks half decent though…
Looking for more weird and wacky pregnancy symptoms? Check out these unexpected symptoms you get when expecting.