Why do pregnant women experience cravings?

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Many women will experience cravings at some point during their pregnancy. Whether you find yourself reaching for sweets in the middle of the night, or eating pickles by the jarful, cravings are a normal and healthy part of pregnancy. The pregnancy vitamin experts over at Vitabiotics Pregnacare conducted a survey of women across the country, to find out what the most common cravings were. Take a look at what they found.

pregnancy vitamins guide

Why do we experience cravings?

Although cravings are a healthy and natural part of pregnancy, there can be some hidden meanings behind your hankerings. Check them out below.


If you find yourself reaching for a sweet treat whilst pregnant, you’re certainly not alone. Sweet foods like fruit and cake are some of the most popular cravings women experience.

When pregnant, you’ll likely find yourself feeling more tired than usual, and activities you used to find easy may feel like a mammoth task. By eating sugary foods, your body gets a little energy boost which can help you to keep going when you feel sluggish.


During the first two trimesters of your pregnancy, it is normal for your blood pressure to drop slightly as your body adjusts to the pregnancy. This can leave you feeling dizzy, lightheaded, tired and out of breath. Craving salty foods may be your body’s way of helping to alleviate these symptoms, as salt can increase your blood pressure.

Although a little salt is needed each day for good health, it’s important not to overdo it, as high salt intake can put you at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. If in doubt, speak to your GP for further advice.


Although the old wives’ tale says that eating spicy food will lead to labour, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. Despite this, many women will find themselves reaching for spicy curries during pregnancy. Strangely enough, spice is generally better tolerated during pregnancy, so if you’re normally not good with hot food, you may find yourself going for the chili more often!

The weird and the wonderful

If you’re craving non-edible items, such as coal or sponges, you may have a condition called pica which makes you eat weird and wonderful items. If you think you may have pica, check in with your GP or midwife to see if there are any underlying causes, and to get some advice about what is safe to eat.

Did you experience any unusual cravings during your pregnancy? Let me know in the comments!


Disclosure: post in collaboration with Vitabiotics, all opinions are my own. Not intended to replace medical advice.

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  • Reply Jon Ferraro

    Hey Jenny,

    Thanks for the information. My wife’s been craving gherkins and pickles and I don’t know why she’s been drinking a lot of Coke lately. I hope that’s alright?

    August 9, 2018 at 12:37 pm
  • Reply Daniel Chapman

    Your is formation is very helpful for me because my wife now pregnant so your tips is very helping me. Thank you for share really a beautiful post about pregnant women.

    September 25, 2018 at 8:12 am
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