Cravings are a part of pregnancy. Some women crave spicy foods, while others want some chocolatey goodness. The most common craving is that of sour foods. But a lot of women also crave ice. We are not talking about ice cream that many pregnant women enjoy gorging upon. When we say ice, we mean some solid frozen water that can be crunched upon or is let to slowly melt in the mouth.
It is thought that every craving is a way that your body lets you know what it needs for a healthy pregnancy. When you have a baby getting ready for the world in your tummy, it is only normal that you would need a lot of nutrition and good food. No matter how weird the craving might seem, in the end, it serves the purpose of giving the body exactly what it needs.
Are you a pregnant mom who is craving a mouthful of ice? Do you see yourself discarding a glassful of cold and refreshing drink only to gobble up the ice that remains in it? Do not worry because you are not alone, there are hundreds of women who are craving ice too. Though not a very common craving, it is still what many moms crave during their pregnancy.
What Makes You Crave Ice During Pregnancy?
Actually, there are many reasons why you might be reaching for ice when pregnant. Read on to know about the many reasons that may be causing you to want ice while pregnant.
- Ice helps relieve morning sickness
If you are a pregnant woman, you probably are familiar with morning sickness. Morning sickness can come at any time of the day or may even stay with you all day. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and more. All of these are the unpleasant side effects of being pregnant. The intake of ice somehow makes you feel better and helps you deal with the morning sickness better. The fact that ice is odourless and tasteless can have something to do with it.
- Helps relieve heartburn
The hormone progesterone is released in plenty during pregnancy. It is responsible for the relaxation of the uterine muscles and the placenta besides other functions. One side effect of the progesterone hormone is that it also relaxes the sphincter muscles of the stomach that helps in keeping food and stomach acids contained. With the sphincter muscles relaxed, the acids of the stomach can escape and cause heartburn. Eating ice can help you cool down the stomach and can also relieve heart burn.
- It helps you escape heat and hot flashes
A pregnant woman is faced with an increase in blood volume which is translated to the body being hotter than normal. It can cause you to feel very hot or have hot flashes when pregnant with your little one. If it is the summer season, you might feel unbearably hot. When you crave ice, it might be your body telling you that it will help cool down a bit. Ice and water that is chilled great refreshments too. Keep in mind not to consume ice with carbonated or sugary drinks, as they are not very good for you or your baby.
- It might point to pica syndrome
On a more serious note, a craving for ice can be due to pica syndrome. Pica syndrome is a disorder when a person craves and consumes things that are either inedible or have no calorific or nutritional value. The most common things craved when you suffer from pica syndrome during pregnancy are chalk, iron, sand, card board and so on. Ice too falls in this category but is obviously not as harmful as the others. You should talk to the doctor if you consume so much ice that it interferes with your healthy nutritious diet.
- You might be craving ice due to an iron deficiency
It is seen that pregnant women crave ice when they have anaemia or in other words are iron deficient. It is a serious problem, as iron is important for the healthy growth of the fetus in your womb. It is best to get yourself tested for an iron deficiency as soon as possible.
- Munching on ice can help you beat stress
When pregnant, you come face to face with stress and anxiety of various kinds. Eating ice can help you to beat the stress by cooling you down, calming you and just giving you something to do. It works the same way, as chewing down on food helps beat stress, but it does not involve all the extra calories.
- Ice keeps you hydrated
Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do when pregnant. But with all the water comes the need to make frequent trips to the loo. The body wants ice in a way to fool itself into thinking that it is eating while it is making sure that it stays hydrated. Munching on ice might therefore save you some trips to the bathroom, while making sure that you get sufficient amount of water in you.
Things To Keep In Mind When You Consume Ice
- Eating too much ice can cause damage to your teeth
Crunching ice can cause tiny cracks on your teeth, which will leave it exposed to sensitivity and bacteria that can cause caries or cavities. You must make sure that you do not overdo the consumption of ice. Instead of crunching the ice with your teeth, you can try to let it slowly melt in your mouth to minimize its contact with your teeth.
- Overconsumption of ice can be harmful
When you eat ice, it calms your hunger. You may no longer want to eat the actual food. Ice does not contain any calories or nutritional value. In fact, it can actually burn more calories when eaten. This is not a good thing when you are pregnant. Your body needs all the nutrition and calories that it can get to support the growth and health of your baby. So, make sure that the craving of ice does not interfere with a healthy diet.