I get a lot of questions about whether or not I’ve started getting food cravings now that I am pregnant. The short answer is no. At least I don’t have any of the "I want chocolate ice cream with pickles" cravings. Usually my cravings are pretty short lived and they tend to be quite attainable. If we go out to eat and I look through the menu, I might suddenly crave French fries or a salad with ranch dressing. A few weeks ago I really craved taco bell and had to have it for lunch. Fortunately that only lasted a couple of days.
Fruit is the food I can’t get enough of. I love and crave citrus fruit, peaches, nectarines, melons, and especially plums. Unfortunately fruit doesn’t really satiate my grumbling tummy so I tend to only eat it between my every-two-hours meals. I need to have a protein rich food when I’m hungry otherwise I will still be hungry.
I like sweets like chocolate and ice cream, but during my pregnancy I have been fortunate enough not to crave them (they aren’t very nutrient rich). I will probably eat them if they are in front of me. My coworker brought brownies to work today and I had one. But I won’t go out and buy them. If I do want some sort of a treat, I’ll probably have a croissant or a turnover. I tend to prefer the buttery, salty food that is bad for me.
The only other weird thing is that I get very frustrated if the husband and I can’t figure out where we want to go when we go out to eat. I can’t decide because the possibilities are endless (Thai, Indian, Mexican, sushi,…) and that seems to frustrate me to no end. However, once we decide and I have a menu in front of me, I tend to decide on my meal almost immediately. Before I was pregnant I used to have a hard time deciding from a menu and I would often have regrets (I should have had the quesadilla).
Speaking of food, there’s a long list of things that I should not eat, including:
Alcohol – duh, and I’ve had no trouble remembering
Deli meats, cheeses, and unpasteurized items – I’ve eaten these quite a lot, not intentionally, but I am getting better; the risk here is Listeria; pregnant women are more likely to get Listeria, which can cause early labor among other things; I also need to wash my fruits and veggies properly
Sushi – this is a controversial one and if I do indulge in sushi, I tend to eat the cooked rolls; the risk here is the same to everyone – parasite infection; the only riskier bit for a pregnant woman is that major abdomen surgery (to remove the parasite along with part of the intestine, if necessary) would be bad
Anything but well-cooked meats – again I run the risk of infection of certain bacteria that would be bad for me and the baby
Caffeine – has been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage if consuming more than 200 mg/day; I am not a coffee drinker, so no problem there, but I do feel that I have been drinking a lot of caffeine in teas and coke; however, even on a bad day, I am not exceeding 200 mg of caffeine
Seafood – there’s complicated table of what seafood products are low in mercury and sustainable and the subset of the two is pretty small; even still, I shouldn’t have more than 2-3 servings per week; this is too bad because seafood is a great means for me to get protein and keep the fat/calorie count low
I have still been eating all the time. I am struggling a bit with my calcium intake. I get the extra calcium milk, OJ, and yogurt but it’s still a little tough to get 1200 mg/day. Tums are probably the greatest invention because one little tablet has 400 mg of calcium. The only bad thing is that I tend to forget to eat 1 or 2 a day and I think they are pretty gross – chalky, yuck!
Protein is also tough. I think I end up getting all the protein I need, but I have no craving for a big hunk of meat. The husband and I were trying to become vegetarians before I got pregnant but we decided to put that off so that I could get as much protein as possible. I love fish and seafood but I can’t have too much of that.
The final order my doctor gave me was to consume enough iron. I need to have either a large handful of spinach or a 6 oz lean meat serving every other day. This has not been much of a problem. Beef is the meat I struggle the least with (at least in it’s barest form) and I love fresh spinach.