In the spirit of full disclosure, melaniewinters.com is a compensated affiliate, meaning we may make a small commission when you click on/purchase something through the links in this post.
For newcomers and those who have not gotten the memo, we're expecting! I'm 20 weeks pregnant and am over those first-trimester woes. In fact, I've become one of those women I used to hate. The energetic, perky, let's go to spin class, "I love pregnancy", women that I used to think were delusional and full of sh!#. I'm trying to enjoy it now and live it up, because I know it'll be short-lived and I'll soon feel huge and crabby and way-past ready to be done.
I've been lucky, I know. My first trimester wasn't terrible. I never yakked, was just nauseous pretty much all the time. But I was tired, sore and uncomfortable. I was whiney (sorry babe) and hated everything. Everything except carbs. Carbs on carbs on carbs. Toast, bagels, pizza and macaroni & cheese - that was my diet for a good 13 weeks. Once my second trimester started; however, it was like a switch flipped and suddenly I had energy again and, even better, an appetite!
No major cravings have struck yet (aside from the first trimester carbo-load), but with 20+ weeks left I'm sure there's still time for cravings (or aversions) to strike at any time. While enjoying a variety of foods including those common pregnancy cravings like pickles, an occasional burger (or double) from McDonalds or Culver's, and everything salty, I got to thinking what are other women craving?
It is clear that cravings and aversions can change drastically over the course of a 40 week pregnancy, so I surveyed a group of women still in the 13-23 week range to find out where they're at when it comes to food. I got responses from all over the United States, Europe and even Australia and it was pretty eye-opening to see common threads all across the globe.
While many mentioned the non-surprising cravings I listed above, there were five cravings commonly shared that I had no idea people would so-frequently be indulging in. Images below are affiliate links to amazon, indulge responsibly.
1. Sweet & Sour Gummies
Or Sour Sweets if you live across the pond. I didn't realize so many adults still enjoyed these middle-school favorites. Not sure if it's just a pregnancy thing or they've never been able to let them go but this was one craving that came up over and over again.
The majority of people claimed to have a hard time stomaching anything creamy or dairy-based. I was surprised to see several say just the opposite, and claim that, above all things, they're craving coleslaw. Seemed like risky business to me for those of us who couldn't stand to look at a vegetable during the first trimester - but maybe that creamy dressing was all that was missing... Now I'll never know.
I have to say I'm on board with this one. Before getting pregnant, I thought you were to avoid seafood during pregnancy but I couldn't have been more wrong! Certain types are encouraged although limited to a weekly amount to reduce mercury intake. Salmon and shellfish are just a couple of the great-for you (and baby) seafoods that are A-ok to indulge in from time to time.
Having been a sushi lover prior to pregnancy, it's no surprise that I still think about it often and wish I could get my weekly sushi-fix like days past. Turns out I'm not the only one hankering for some good fresh sushi. As long as it's made with a cooked fish, shrimp tempura, imitation crab meat, spider roll (deep fried crab), eel, etc it's fine to dive in as long as it's from a trusted source and you're not worried about cross-contamination from surrounding raw items. I'm in the camp where if I can have the real-deal raw stuff, I'm just going to wait and stuff my face with it in a few more months. I keep telling my husband that all I want brought to the hospital post baby is a sushi boat, a medium rare steak and maybe an Italian sub from Potbelly's. He thinks I'm kidding....I'm not.
4. Foods that are Warned Against During Pregnancy
Speaking of steak... there were a surprisingly large number of women claiming they were craving and indulging in steak on a regular basis, and several who were very open about the fact that they throw caution to the wind and don't have it cooked well-done as advised. My philosophy is if I can't have it medium-rare there is no point in having a steak - I'll wait.
Other foods that are advised against during pregnancy but were openly claimed as regular meals among the women surveyed include hot dogs, eggs (yolks still runny) and sub sandwiches (not toasted). While I desperately want all of these things, I'm going to be honest - if my doctor (and most medical professionals) advise against it as a precautionary measure, I'm going to listen to them. There are so many things that can go wrong that it makes no sense to me to add an unnecessary risk (even if it is incredibly minimal) just to indulge in something I can eat in another few months. To each their own though... some people clearly have no problem eating whatever they want and end up just fine, more power to them!
5. Non-Food Items
Seriously you guys, this is a real thing. I had never heard of it until an article popped up on one of my pregnancy apps. Pica disorder is a real thing where people crave substances with no nutritional value. It stated that during pregnancy women may crave non-food substances like dirt or chalk. Some of the people I heard from added toothpaste and Vick's VapoRub to the list as well! At least those two items smell good I suppose....
So there you have it, five of the most surprising cravings from women in the first half of pregnancy. It was certainly a fun and eye-opening experience for me and a great opportunity to connect with some fabulous ladies with similar due dates! What cravings are you experiencing? Comment below to add your strangest or strongest cravings/aversions and join the conversation!