February is Pregnancy Education Month
You are here: Skip Navigation LinksHome > Health Matters > February is Pregnancy Education Month
February is Pregnancy Education Month 

Pregnancy and food cravings

During Pregnancy Education Month in February, Mediclinic Baby presents free sessions to enlighten and inspire moms- and dads-to-be.
Contact the Mediclinic hospital near you or
click here for dates and times.

Congratulations! The pregnancy test is positive: You're pregnant!

Now the excitement begins. You can begin educating yourself about pregnancy and healthy nutrition and understand your food cravings in the months leading up to the birth of your little miracle.

Almost all pregnant women - and some father! - have food cravings during pregnancy, particularly for unusual snacks such as peanut butter and pickles. You may also find that you turn your nose up for dishes that you generally like. Why does it happen and, more importantly, what can you do about it?

No one knows why this happens, but generally these eating aberrations aren't harmful if not practised to excess. Hormones play a role in food cravings and aversions during pregnancy, especially in the beginning, and there is some evidence to suggest that you may crave nutrients that your body needs. Hormonal shifts during pregnancy intensify sense of smell (which heavily influences taste) and are powerful enough to affect food choices.

Most pregnant women make changes to their diet. Some are for the better and are based on advice from their doctors or dieticians. Women who may have been eating a diet based on junk food may decide to eat a balanced diet rich in protective nutrients for the sake of their babies.

Despite the fact that we're now living in the 21st century, many women still adhere to old-fashioned beliefs when it comes to eating during pregnancy. They avoid foods like eggs, meat, milk and pork, to the detriment of the health of both mother and child. It is, however, best to avoid raw fish as the mercury content may be too high. Fresh produce should be cleaned well.

Whenever possible, a pregnant woman should seek advice from her doctor or dietician if she is practising an illogical eating habit.

Avoiding excessive weight gain
You need to gain a certain amount of weight during pregnancy to ensure that your baby develops properly. If you start your pregnancy with a normal weight, then it's important to allow your body and the developing foetus and placenta to increase in weight by 11,5 kg to 16 kg.

Pregnancy is not the time to be figure-conscious. Once the baby is born, you'll lose weight during the birth and shed the last few kilos if you follow a sensible diet, breastfeed your baby and go for walks every day.

For more information about Mediclinic Baby:

Tel.: 021 943 6039
E-mail: mediclinicbaby@mediclinic.co.za
Website: www.mediclinic.co.za