Food cravings during pregnancy are very common, in fact approximately 80% of pregnant women experience food cravings food at least one specific food during their pregnancy. There are theories as to why pregnant women have the cravings, however, there is no evidence to prove the theories. A popular belief is that a craving is the body’s way of indicating that there is a deficiency in the body that needs to be filled, and while this makes sense, there is no real evidence for this.
Some women crave sugar or salty snack foods, while others crave fatty or spicy foods. Often pregnant women crave foods that they would not normally eat and sometimes things that normally they do not even like. On the contrary almost as many women (50-80%) women are repulsed by food that they would normally enjoy! Sometimes the smell of a food that they would normally enjoy eating or even the thought of such food is unbearable. A smaller percentage of pregnant women experience cravings to eat things that are not food. This is called pica and can be harmful to the health of the baby and pregnant mother.