Controlling Your Cravings

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You don’t have to let your pregnancy hunger pangs take control.

Intense cravings for very strange foods—think pickles and peanut butter, or tuna fish with fudge chunk ice cream—are completely normal during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones also cause cravings for normal foods, or more of a certain kind of food, like something very salty or very spicy. While no one knows exactly what causes these cravings, most medical professionals believe they are connected to the extra hormones being produced by your body while you are pregnant.

It can be tempting to give in to each and every craving, but keeping your cravings under control is important. While gaining weight is important during pregnancy, excess weight gain can also cause health problems for you and your little one.

Show Your Hormones Who’s Boss

If you find it difficult to keep a handle on your cravings, rather than letting them control you, try these tips that other women have found useful in their own pregnancies.

  • Keep a food journal. In the journal, list what you’ve eaten, but also keep a running list of your cravings. This will help you manage what you want to eat versus what you actually eat, and it can be useful if you decide to discuss cravings or your nutrient intake with your physician.
  • Distract yourself. Find other activities that you enjoy doing for when those really unhealthy cravings hit. Taking a walk is a great idea, because physical activity is important during pregnancy. You could also call a friend to hang out or find something like a puzzle or card game to keep you occupied.
  • Listen to your body. Give in to your cravings once in a while. The important thing is to remember “everything in moderation.” Eat a small amount of whatever it is your body wants, or find ways to incorporate your cravings into your everyday meals. You can also try to find healthier options that provide the flavor your body wants.

McKenzie-Willamette Birthing Center offers a variety of services for expecting parents and postpartum support. Call (541) 741-4649 for more information or visit McKWeb.com.

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