Food Aversions During Pregnancy: What AreThey? And, How Do You Cope With Them?
While food cravings have always been a well-known side effect for pregnant women, many people may not be as familiar with food aversions during pregnancy. Much like cravings and other appetite fluctuations, these aversions can complicate normal eating patterns and can prove difficult to cope with on a daily basis. For any pregnant woman who’s ever wondered why they suddenly hate food they once loved, here’s a dive into what food aversions during pregnancy are, as well as what causes them and ways to cope with the complications.
What Are Food Aversions?
So what are food aversions, and when do food aversions start in pregnancy? Similar to cravings, food aversions are said to be caused by hormonal changes and imbalances that coincide with pregnancy. The primary hormone that contributes to appetite changes, as well as nausea, is the human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, hormone. During a pregnant woman’s first trimester, the amount of hCG in the body doubles every few days, and eventually peaks and levels off around week 11 of pregnancy. Until that point, these spikes in hCG amount are very much behind common feelings of nausea, as well as both cravings and aversions.
Research has also indicated that aversions can actually be directly related to nausea when both occur during the early stages of pregnancy. If an individual feels nauseous while attempting to eat something they enjoy, it may alter the way they perceive the food going forward. The conclusion of this research, however, is still largely based on dated studies, and requires further research.
The next question then would be, when do pregnancy food aversions stop? While they do tend to calm after the first trimester, you can experience aversions at any point while pregnant, and new aversions can develop at any time. However, the vast majority of the time, these aversions cease after delivering the baby.
Common Food Aversions During Pregnancy
Food aversions during pregnancy can be experienced with any food. Some individuals may even have an aversion to food while pregnant that they later crave. Most aversions, however, are from foods that have a strong or pungent odor. Some of these foods include:
- Milk, tea, and coffee
- Onions, garlic, and other pungent vegetables
- Spicy foods
Ways to Cope With Food Aversions During Pregnancy
While both food aversions and cravings are normal during pregnancy, it’s always important to listen to your body, and take things in moderation. If certain nutrients that your body needs are lost from current food aversions, consider taking other measures to ensure that you can still receive these nutrients. For example, if specific vegetables or fruits are causing nausea, try blending them into a smoothie with other foods to “hide” them, and avoid their specific scent or textures.
For the most part, food aversions shouldn’t be too concerning as they are completely normal. However, if an individual develops an aversion to a large amount of varying foods, it can impact the growth of the baby. For these instances, it’s always recommended to speak with a doctor about weight gain, and to find healthy ways to keep our bodies in check while pregnant.
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