What causes pregnancy cravings?

What causes pregnancy cravings?

Green mangoes and bagoong may not seem like gourmet fare, but they surely give pregnant Filipinas a different kind of happiness!

You’ll experience a lot of bodily transformations during pregnancy. In fact, your appetite will also change, and you might start craving for foods you don’t normally eat.

But what’s causing these pregnancy cravings? Could they be harmful? Read further to find out.

Why do cravings develop?

The exact cause of pregnancy cravings have yet to be determined. However, there are several theories that attempt to explain such a phenomenon.

Some say it’s the body’s way of saying it needs certain vitamins and nutrients. Others speculate that hormonal changes make you have lots of cravings.

But with all the changes you experience during pregnancy, maybe you’re just craving for your favorite comfort food!

When do cravings start?

Pregnancy cravings often start along with morning sickness towards the end of the first trimester. Then, it will peak during the second trimester, and decline as the third trimester progresses.

But you won’t be craving the same things for the rest of your life! After delivery, your cravings almost immediately stop altogether.

What to do about cravings?

It’s okay to give in to some of your food cravings. But you still have to be mindful of what you eat.

Too much sweets, processed foods, and junk food isn’t good for you and the baby. Also, you don’t necessarily have to “eat for two people.” Sure, there’s another human growing inside you. But this human is still very tiny!

Pregnancy is not a free pass to eat anything and everything. An extra 200-300 calories a day is enough.

Overeating and an unhealthy diet can lead to complications such as gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain. These can even make labor more difficult.

Your OB-GYN or midwife will guide you on the best foods to eat during pregnancy.

Are there dangerous cravings?

Some cravings seem a bit odd. But other pregnant people may crave for non-food items, such as dirt, chalk, laundry detergent, crayons, and a lot more.

This could be a sign of pica. It’s a condition where a person experiences an overwhelming desire to eat items that don’t have nutritional value.

It’s usually temporary, but it’s best to consult a doctor immediately. Treating it right away will help you avoid potentially serious side effects.


Greenwood, V. (July 16, 2020). What’s behind pregnancy cravings? Probably not what you’re thinking. BBC Future. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200715-the-surprising-reason-why-pregnant-women-get-cravings 

Wisner, W. (November 28, 2022). What To Know About Pregnancy Cravings. Very Well Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/pregnancy-cravings-5069392 

Food cravings during pregnancy (n.d). Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/food-cravings-during-pregnancy 

Bouchez, C. (October 8, 2008). Pregnancy Cravings: When You Gotta Have It!. Grow by WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnancy-food-cravings 
Newton, A. (August 9, 2018). When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-do-cravings-start

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Modal's Close Icon