Ask Sofia: Should I give in to my pregnancy cravings?

From pickles to pasta and ice cream to hot sauce, pregnancy cravings can run the gamut from sweet to salty, from long-time favorites to new preferences. These cravings are normal and often go away (and sometimes even become aversions) post-partum, but should you give into them in the meantime? That depends.

Hormonal changes, shifts in sense of smell and new nutritional needs can all contribute to pregnancy cravings, most of which are harmless. However, if you find yourself indulging in junk food and fast food on a regular basis, it might be time to reassess your daily food intake to ensure you are receiving important vitamins and minerals. Likewise, pregnant women should not give in to cravings for raw or undercooked meat and seafood, alcohol, raw eggs and deli meat.

“Moderation is really the key when it comes to pregnancy cravings. If you deny yourself, your cravings are only likely to grow, and if you overindulge, you may not feel so great and can miss out on the nutrition your baby needs to grow,” said Nurse Practitioner Elise Pesch. “If your overall diet is varied and rich in nutrients, then it’s ok to enjoy the foods you really want on an occasional basis. Be patient with yourself and know these cravings won’t last forever!”

If you find your cravings are becoming obsessive, talk with your doctor to discuss healthy strategies for a balanced pregnancy diet. It can also help to eat more smaller meals throughout the day so you don’t get so hungry, find healthier versions of the foods you crave and focus on other activities that bring you joy.


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