If you are or have ever been pregnant, you will surely know what a craving is. Cravings can differ from woman to woman. Some have intense cravings that are hard to ignore and others manage to brush the craving away and opt for something better and healthier.
Cravings during pregnancy also vary in the food item that the pregnant woman craves for. Weird cravings are not unusual to have in most women.
Pickles, tamarind, raw mangoes are all common cravings that women develop during pregnancy. Pregnancies also see weird cravings like eating ice cream with pickles too. Sometimes, a woman may have a particular food that she has hated all her life but once pregnant, the same food may become all that she eats.
There have been cases where women who turned vegetarian years ago start craving meat again.
It is said that these cravings that pregnant women develop is a way that the body communicates its needs. It is usually fine to indulge in the craved food during pregnancy, but there are some food items that can pose a danger to both you and your unborn child if consumed during pregnancy.
It is best to avoid these food items, no matter how much you crave for them. Today, we shall talk about the foods that pregnant women crave for, but do note these are not safe for them. Read on to know more.
- Raw Cake Batter Or Cookie Dough
- Junk Food
- Pre-made Salads/Packaged Salads
- Unpasteurized Dairy Products
- Raw Meat
- Certain Fish
• Raw Cake Batter Or Cookie Dough
Even when not pregnant, licking up the freshly mixed batter from the spoon is a guilty pleasure for most of us. When pregnant, there are women who crave more for the uncooked batter than the cooked and ready cake or cookies. But the fact remains that raw and uncooked batter or dough is dangerous for your health and that of your baby's too. This is because, in most cases, these dough and batters contain raw eggs that can contain salmonella and other harmful bacteria. These can cause serious infections that can even lead to miscarriage.
• Junk Food
There is hardly a pregnant woman who has not craved for junk food at some point. While most junk food may not be directly harmful to you, it can cause you to lose out on the essential nutrients that you could receive from choosing healthy foods instead. It is also seen that babies whose mothers indulged in junk food while pregnant prefer junk food too. It is best to lay foundation for healthy eating, while the baby is still in the womb by choosing healthy options. The ideal thing to do is to indulge in your cravings, but making sure that you do not go overboard.
• Pre-made Salads/Packaged Salads
While having a bowl full of greens and raw fruits and vegetables is a very good thing to do when pregnant, it is important to make sure that you prepare them yourself. Pre-made or packaged salads, while convenient, are known to harbor bacteria that can be harmful to you. You can never be sure that the salad was prepared in hygienic conditions and is stored under the right temperatures. It is best to be safe than sorry.
For most people, a cup of coffee serves as a refreshing drink that helps them start their day. But when you are pregnant, this cup of joe may prove to be harmful for your baby. The caffeine in the coffee raises blood pressure in pregnant woman. It also causes you to urinate more, making you more susceptible to loss of water and dehydration. The caffeine is also capable of crossing the placental barrier. This means that your unborn baby is already getting a dose of the stimulant and it might not be able to process it properly.
• Unpasteurized Dairy Products
Dairy products are integral to a healthy diet during pregnancy, but you must make sure that these products are made from pasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk contains a lot of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, cramping, diarrhea and vomiting. All of these can lead to dehydration and extreme fatigue in pregnant women. You may also stand the risk of kidney failure too. If you crave dairy products, make sure that they are pasteurized and are from a reliable source.
• Raw Meat
It is seen that expectant mothers crave foods that contain raw meat. The most common examples are steak tartar, rare cooked steak and sushi. It is only to be expected that these foods contain a lot of bacteria and parasites. While a healthy and normal body may be able to process these, a pregnant woman and her growing baby may not. Opt for cooked versions of your favourite meat or seafood to avoid diseases and other risks.
• Certain Fish
Fish contains important nutrients that help in the healthy development of the baby in the womb. But it is important to know which of these are really safe for consumption during pregnancy. Raw fish needs to be completely avoided. Fish like mackerel, white tuna, sword fish and shark are bad to eat during pregnancy, as they contain a high level of mercury. Mercury can wreak havoc on a developing nervous system of your baby. They can cause birth defects and developmental anomalies.
Some pregnant women get a hankering for dishes made out of animal liver. The liver has a unique taste, flavour and texture that can cause either extreme aversion or an intense craving in pregnant women. While a little bit of the liver is healthy, too much of it can be harmful. The liver is full of vitamin A. Too much of Vitamin A will cause toxicity and can harm your baby.
Alcohol is one of those things that you absolutely cannot have during pregnancy. It is linked to the alcohol spectrum disorders, which can leave your baby with lifelong disabilities and disorders. Some women who are addicted to alcohol cannot go even a day without a glass of wine and will need to talk to the doctor about the problem and tackle this harmful craving.