What are pregnancy cravings?

While some might think it’s a myth, many women experience cravings and urges to eat a particular type of food when they’re pregnant. It’s natural and often unpredictable what you might crave.



Sometimes pregnancy cravings take the form of common foods like ice cream and chocolate, while for some mums-to-be, there’s an urge to eat unusual food combinations or types of food they wouldn’t usually like.


As well as craving certain foods, it’s also common for women to suddenly develop a dislike for strong tasting or smelling foods that they previously enjoyed, to the point of causing nausea with certain smells. No one really knows why food cravings or food aversions develop, but they may be related to pregnancy hormones, which can change the way some foods taste and smell.


If you’re experiencing pregnancy cravings, it’s fine to give in to them (within reason). Try to continue eating some healthy foods as it’s good to keep a variety in your diet. If you’re craving a lot of sweet snacks, try not to over-indulge as hard as it may be! You may also find you crave the smell of something, rather than wanting to eat it.


Here are a few strange cravings women have shared online:


  • The smell of tar
  • Ice cream on toast
  • Tomatoes with icing on top
  • Mustard sandwiches
  • Ice cubes
  • Chocolate cake with pickled onions
  • Chicken nuggets and custard


Some pregnant women develop cravings to eat things that aren’t food, such as chalk or soap. This condition is known as Pica[1]. Although thought to be fairly rare in well-nourished women, it can still happen. If you develop a craving for non-food items, you should seek out advice from your midwife or GP.


[Reference 1 – https://www.babycenter.com/404_what-causes-pica-during-pregnancy_1186643.bc ]