Saturday, September 25, 2010

on pregnancy cravings and other myths

summer picnic

I think one of the most common questions to ask a pregnant woman is, “so have you had any crazy pregnancy cravings yet?”
Even hearing this question prior to getting pregnant made me roll my eyes.

I think it’s all a big load of crap.

(hold your guns and your judgment and hear me out)

Everyone has cravings.
Pregnant women, non-pregnant women, men, kids.
There is a time in everyone’s life when you want something and you want it bad.

Now, I’m a weird eater to begin with.

My mom denies it but my sister is around to attest to the fact that we were made to eat peanut butter, mayonnaise and lettuce sandwiches as children. We snarl at the thought of it now but we don’t remember hating them back then.

My tastes are about the same as my fascination with the travel channels food shows. Bizarre Foods, No Reservations, Man vs. Food.

I have no problem eating most things (sans ketchup or any kind of cake)

So when it comes to pregnancy cravings I become wary.

See, I think “pregnancy cravings” are just women who aren’t ashamed to say out loud what they’ve wanted all along.
Freedom to eat.
And eat weird.

So when people ask me if I’ve had any cravings I tell them that I always have and it’s no different now.
Like most people, when I get something in my mind, it doesn’t leave until it’s been satisfied.
Some people are like this with stuff, some with food, some with other things that may go unmentioned.

Pregnant women just happen to be hungry.
all the time.

Right now, the only things I really want, of course, are the things I can’t have
which I’d call less of a craving and more just plain mind games
psychology 101

Hot dogs
Raw fish sushi (we went out for sushi one night and I had to made due with the cooked variations)
Lots of caffeine

I wouldn’t call these cravings,
I would call these desires based on denial

We always want what we can’t have don’t we?

But hey, I’m open-minded…what did you “crave” during your pregnancy???


Quiet Oasis said...

Orange juice. And cheese.

For me, I think sometimes cravings can be things your body needs more of (healthy foods anyway...). So I guess my body needed vitamin C and calcium. Because normally (non-pregnant) I don't really crave these items at all.

Amie said...

Oh, I totally think there are cravings in pregnancy. When not pregnant I get "a taste for something" it is much more calm and "normal" then the I-need-to-have-this-for-dinner-and-nothing-else-will-do feeling. I never had bizarre, weird cravings of odd combinations of foods (i.e. pickles and icecream). But with Jackson I could have eaten red meat (mostly steak), potatoes and cold milk at every meal. I do enjoy red meat on occasion and who doesn't like potatoes. But I HATE to drink milk- yuck. I was always lactose intolerant so even the idea of it turns me off. But guess what, while pregnant I lost my milk intolerance! My body needed calcium! And my doctor told me I am slightly anemic when pregnant so hence the red meat craving....

Now with this little guy, my cravings aren't as strong. But I do notice that really all i want to eat are carbohydrates, red meat (again) and peanut butter. I eat other things of course.... but I could do without if I had the choice ;) My cravings didn't show up until the 2nd trimester... so wait and see Jess!!!

Kati said...

Hi Jess!
I love food, and I'll admit to cravings even when not pregnant. Maybe non-pregnant people ask because they are looking for new and interesting food pairings?

Pregnant, I am hungrier, and my senses of smell and taste are heightened and changed. Fast food provides a consistency and speed that I cannot achieve in my own cooking, which is great when extra picky!

Pregnancy 1: Chipotle chips were so amazing - slightly stale, slightly lemony and very salty.

Pregnancy 2: Pizza Hut breadsticks - warm, a little greasy, soft insides but especially the crumbly savory bits on top.

Anonymous said...

From the quick research I did, it does seems to be a consensus that a food craving is real during pregnancy, and that it is your body telling you it needs certain minerals because your body increases blood volume by 20%. Something else I found interesting is that the average weight of a baby was 6 pounds 30 years ago, and the increase in weight is due to pregnant women's poor diets, thanks to fast food and other processes foods in grocery stores that require little preparation.
So Jess, although I thought your blog post was a little, um, rude, haha, I do think it is an interesting conversation.
One other thing I found was that pregnant women will crave sugar and carbohydrates because of the serotonin it releases, which helps to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, and muscle contraction.
Perhaps the question "What have you been craving?" should be a question your doctor is asking, so they can give you healthy alternatives for feeling better, or getting more iron, calcium, etc.?

Veda Penick said...

With Tara--craved nothing, but could not look at or eat syrup.
With Travis--craved Taco Bell tostadas, and Chinese take out chow mien, together bite for bite.
With Curtis--all food all the time!

David + Kim said...

I'm not pregnant so I don't have much to contribute...but I just wanted to stop by and say hi...and share our blog with you : ) It's no fun when it's one sided!

We had fun at lunch last week and would love to do it again!

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