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Top 10 pregnancy cravings

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Mums-to-be are at the mercy of their taste buds. Many pregnant women have cravings they simply can’t ignore. It’s ok when it’s a pickled egg or a banana and Marmite sandwich but some cravings are downright bizarre and could even be dangerous.

There are lots of theories about cravings. Some experts think it’s our body telling us we need certain nutrients. There could be hormonal and psychological reasons for cravings or it could just be pure indulgence.

From chocolate to chillies to coal

This is at the top of the list. It could be that pregnancy is an excuse to have a bar of chocolate.

Pregnancy can be a draining time. You can feel tired and bloated so maybe chocolate cheers us up by releasing those feel-good hormones. Alcohol is off limits in pregnancy so chocolate can be used by some mums to be as a replacement treat.

Ice cream or ice
In a survey of more than 2,000 pregnant women for a parenting website,15% said they had a longing for ice cream. Ice by itself is a popular craving too. It seems to be the crunchy texture that’s the powerful draw.

Sweets and sugar
A common craving that could just point to the fact you are tired and need an energy boost, even if it’s short-lived. Pregnancy is hard work: carrying extra weight coupled with the emotional anxiety and often doing too much.
Giving into your sweet cravings occasionally won’t do you any real harm, but sweets and sugar are empty calories with no nutritional value.

Sasha Watkins from the British Dietetic Association warns, "Sweets and sugary foods are high in calories and too much weight gain in pregnancy can increase the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure."


A healthy craving and one to be encouraged! It could be down to a lack of vitamin C but pregnancy dietitian Fiona Ford from the University of Sheffield says, "This could be a subconscious health message. We all know that fruit is good for you, and when we’re pregnant we want to have a healthy baby."

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