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Pregnancy Cravings: The Reason Why You Want Ice Cream At 4 A.M

By LINDSEY BENSON, Jan 29 2015 10:48AM

You’ve always knew about pregnancy cravings, but really never knew what they were all about until you suddenly woke up at 4 a.m. one morning obsessing over a huge tub of strawberry ice cream when you’ve always been a chocolate kind of girl. And no matter how hard you try to fight the cravings and go back to sleep, a big scoop of strawberry ice cream is all you want.

Pregnancy cravings are probably one of the oddest things about being pregnant. At least you’re craving something totally normal; some women crave the most obscure things possible like ice cream and pickles and other things that just don’t go together. But the thought of these unquenchable cravings for something you don’t even know the taste of is making your mouth water and your mind obsess over having them.

Doctors don’t even though why pregnant women get cravings, although there are numerous theories about how the cravings are some indication that the mum is lacking some type of nutrients in her body. So the craving is her body’s way of telling her she needs to supplement it somehow. So it’s not necessarily that the mother’s body needs that specific type of food she’s craving, but can just need something in that particular food item.

According to many scientific and medical experts, our taste buds actually play a big role in how our mind interprets our body’s needs. So since pregnant women have high hormone levels that actually alter the pregnant mother’s smell and taste, some foods might be desirable while other favorites are now detested. Although pregnancy cravings are odd, don’t get scared that your body is lacking something since they aren’t a huge threat your unborn child or yourself.

Know that if you’re carving ice cream or more chocolate, your body might be telling you that you need more fat or calcium. A craving for a huge hamburger with fries might mean you need more potassium, sodium or protein. If you are dying for some processed cheese, your body could want more sodium.

During pregnancy, the majority of women either crave sweet, salty or sour food items, with surveys suggesting that only about 10% of pregnant women actually crave something that’s really good for them – more veggies! There’s nothing wrong with giving into your pregnancy cravings, doctors say. However, it is important to remember to also eat other healthy foods that will actually provide the nutrients your body and your baby need to stay healthy. It’ll also help you keep a healthy pregnancy weight so that you don’t gain more than what is recommended by your doctor.

So when that 4 a.m. ice cream craving hits, make sure that your freezer is stocked up, but also add in a double dose of veggies later on during the day to give your baby what it needs to grow and be healthy!

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