Many women experience things they may describe as "strange" during their pregnancy. From weird food cravings to crazy emotional roller coaster rides, is it more than just hormones that cause these reactions?
We all know women gain weight, get sick sometimes (or MANY times), have crazy thoughts and fears at times, and wacky food cravings, but what's the reasoning behind all this? Yes, a substantial part of it can be related to the elevated hormone levels that a woman experiences during her pregnancy, but is there more to it than this?
From the infamous "pickles and ice cream" cravings to any range and combinations of foods, what makes an expecting woman want these bizarre foods? Some women have said they want seafood on cakes, salty and slimy foods on fruits, and any combination you can imagine; and sometimes pregnant women crave to eat items that are not even food!
As aforementioned, one culprit is hormones, the obvious answer. Elevated temperatures, different skin conditions, and differences in appetite (to put it mildly) are strongly linked to more hormones in the system. This also explains why menopausal women often experience many similar symptoms.
Another factor creating these urges most people consider strange is the need for nutrients. Men and women who are not pregnant feel these urges sometimes as well. At times, one might be hungry and eat something but still not feel satisfied. Some say this is due to dietary needs that are not being fulfilled.For example, one who has an iron and/or protein deficiency may crave red meats. One who does not eat enough vitamin K may sometimes have urges for cauliflower. Someone needing more beta carotene may want to eat lots of baby carrots all of the sudden... These are just a couple examples from a large pile of potentials!
Pregnant women have specific and even varying caloric and nutritional needs during the development of the baby. This can cause one to be hungry for something but not quite knowing what. Pregnant women usually need more folic acid and other nutrients in general to ensure the baby develops in optimal health, so sometimes these strange cravings might be instinct taking over.
Imagine also having the psychological burden of knowing something is growing inside you and that it's dependent upon you to provide its every need. Protect it. Nourish it. It can change one's train of thought. It's a huge responsibility that sometimes, even if one is ready to handle this, may cause a person to be overwhelmed.
Hormones can make one moody, seeming completely happy and satisfied one moment and the next second the mood can change to irritated and irate. It can also change skin health, one's thoughts, body temperature, and desires (for sex, food, exercise, and more), needing to urinate more frequently, and other things that might not even seem related to a developing baby. During pregnancy, women experience many changes, which can help explain why they desire certain strange food combinations and even a sudden love of something that was not pleasing to them before. Although these cravings are not fully explained yet in science, there are many factors that may contribute to these desires.
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