What is Food Aversion in pregnancy?
A food aversion is a mere opposite of a craving. Instead of deeply wanting to eat a certain food, you don’t want to eat a particular food or any food at all. Just like cravings, many pregnant women have food aversions or a new sense of repulsion at the very thought of food that they previously enjoyed.
Certain smells and tastes tend to get repulsive to you. Even a slight whiff or a sniff of it may trigger your nausea and morning sickness to strike while at times it could take tantamount proportions.
Cravings and Aversions can be Unpredictable and often unavoidable too. It is better than you know about these as you tread on your wonderful journey of womanhood to the blessed motherhood!
Also, read about Healthy Summer Food that You Can incorporate In your Diet
What causes them?
Most think the culprit behind these reactions to food is hormonal. Progesterone and Estrogen are quite elevated during pregnancy and are probably to blame. Stress can heighten the reactions and improper diet can exacerbate symptoms as well.
Food Aversions and their crazy cousins Cravings disappear or at least subside or get toned down usually by the second trimester. But this is not the last word. For some women, it may continue.
Risks of Aversions
Nausea and food aversions during pregnancy may range from mild to very severe. Aversion is a mild word for such a strong response. They’ll also send you running from foods that contain important baby-friendly nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin B12, Omega 3 Fats, Calcium etc.,
While you only need an additional 300 calories while pregnant, you do need to choose all your calories with ideal combinations of Calorie and nutrient-rich foods. If you have an aversion to certain things, you may need to substitute something else to make sure there are no gaps in your diet. Let us take this with examples –
- Can’t drink Milk – substitute with Yoghurt, fresh Curds
- Can’t eat Chapathis, at least try broken wheat, germinated wheat powder mixed into porridges or while making soups
- Can’t eat Fish or rather started hating Fish/Meats – eat a small fistful of Nuts, try different Dals, legumes such as chickpeas, black peas, kidney beans etc., to compensate.
How to Manage
- Make sure you have lots of choices
- Eat small portions, and eat more often
- Nausea can be exacerbated by fatigue, so getting extra rest and going to bed a little earlier each night and taking a nap during the day may help ease feelings of morning sickness.
- Listen to your HEALTHY cravings
- Eat any foods (even if they don’t provide the healthiest of diets) that do not make you nauseated.
- Try cold food items
- Add a Vitamin B-6 supplement for morning sickness ( nevertheless, better take it after consulting to your Obstetrician)
- Have ginger as Ginger tea and make a mild tea with water and tea leaves shredded
If you are unable to eat:
- Meats – Opt for other protein sources such as beans and legumes, dairy products, and egg yolks, chicken soups and stews. Or snack on fortified cereals.
- Dairy – Get your calcium from dark, green leafy veggies, or calcium-fortified orange juice
- Vegetables – Drink vegetable juice, fruit juice or a combination juice.
- If you can’t swallow veggies, munch on fruits rich in beta-carotene, like mango, peaches, apricot.