For many expectant mothers, cravings are a normal experience. Usually, these symptoms appear suddenly and are marked by the appearance of a desire to eat certain types of food. Although cravings are a common phenomenon during pregnancy, each person will experience this symptom in a different way. There are some women who may not feel cravings at all.
However, there are still many myths about cravings circulating in society. Therefore, many pregnant women are wondering, what exactly causes cravings in early pregnancy? Are there certain factors that influence this symptom? Are cravings real or just a myth?
Why Do Pregnant Women Experience Cravings?
Several theories and conjectures have been connected with this phenomenon, although there is actually no definite reason that can explain it. Nonetheless, there are several possible causes that have been identified, which may influence the cravings of pregnant women. Among them are:
- Hormonal Changes
Based on existing theory, cravings in pregnant women can occur due to hormonal changes in the body. This condition affects the senses of smell and taste so that they are more sensitive, thus making pregnant women have a tendency to like foods that they did not like before. In this case, hormonal changes can be the main factor that triggers cravings in pregnant women.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
The theory states that the desire to eat certain foods during pregnancy occurs due to lack of nutrients in the mother's body. For example, if a pregnant woman has cravings for red meat, it could be a sign that her body is experiencing a lack of nutrients, such as protein, sodium or potassium.
Conversely, if pregnant women crave sweet foods like strawberry ice cream, it may be due to a lack of glucose. It should be noted that cravings are not always caused by the type of food one wants, but can be due to the need for certain nutrients in it.
- Food/Drinks’ Preference Changes
Cravings in pregnant women can occur due to a preference change from the food or drink they usually consume, but this can have a negative impact on pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women need to limit or even avoid consuming risky foods or drinks. As an alternative, pregnant women can look for healthier types of food or drinks with similar tastes or textures to keep their nutritional needs met.
Myths and Facts Cravings in Pregnant Women
Have you ever heard of the theory that the food you crave during pregnancy can reveal the sex of your baby? In addition, there are other myths circulating and believed by some people. Want to know more? Let's look at the explanation below.
The frequency of cravings will increase as the pregnancy progresses
This is just a myth. Because during pregnancy, cravings usually start in the first trimester and can continue until the second trimester. Even though sometimes pregnant women feel quite heavy cravings, in general, the intensity of cravings tends to decrease when entering the last trimester. This naturally happens because the hormones in the pregnant woman's body begin to adjust to the state of pregnancy.
- Cravings can predict the sex of the baby
There is a myth that if a pregnant woman craves sweets more often, then the baby will be a girl. Conversely, if pregnant women often crave salty or savory foods, the baby will be male.
However, the fact is that this myth has no clear scientific basis and cannot be used as a benchmark in determining the sex of the unborn baby. Cravings for sweet or salty foods are common in pregnant women and do not give any indication of the sex of the baby they are carrying.
- Cravings are not fulfilled, so the baby often urinates
One of the myths about cravings that is often heard is that cravings that are not fulfilled during pregnancy can affect the frequency of urination of the baby. However, no research has shown the truth of this myth. In fact, it's normal for a baby to spit a lot, because the muscles around the mouth of a baby under two years old aren't fully developed.
Thus, the baby cannot control movements like when swallowing. Therefore, saliva that is not swallowed will come out of the baby's mouth and make him urinate frequently.
There are many myths about cravings that people still believe in, but the facts are not necessarily true. Hopefully this article can provide the answers you need.