Do you find yourself suddenly feeling queasy at the thought of the leftover pasta that you couldn’t get enough of the other night?
Food aversions are a normal part of pregnancy and the flip side to food cravings. Nearly 85% of all pregnant women suffer from food aversions.
Food aversion is when the food you normally are able to look at, smell and eat suddenly send you running in the opposite direction. They appear in the first trimester and usually trigger morning sickness. Some women find that the problem disappears by the start of their second trimester right around the same time morning sickness disappears. Other women find that their food aversions stay with them their whole pregnancy and a few women find that foods they developed aversions to throughout the pregnancy stay with them even after they deliver.
Just like with food cravings, your hormones are likely to blame for your food aversions. Some people believe that just as food cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you need a certain food, food aversions are your body’s way of protecting you from eating anything that can harm your baby. This might be why a lot of women report that they experience aversions to alcohol and coffee. The theory is still under debate though because so many pregnant women are turned off by food that is healthy for them and their babies. And really, none of their opinions matter because you are the one suffering from food aversion!
Try not to fight a healthy aversion. Consider it a blessing if the mere thought of your normal morning cup of coffee turns your stomach upside down. Cutting back on caffeine is much easier when your stomach rebels than at any other time. The same goes for cigarette smoke. Many women have said that the first clue they had that they were pregnant was the fact that the smell of smoke sent them running for the bathroom. Others say that the first clue they were pregnant was when they had actually felt sick when thinking about having a glass of wine with dinner.
If you find that you have aversions to healthy food, try to work around it as best as you can. Don’t force yourself to eat food that you have aversions to. It isn’t a pleasant experience; instead, try to look for alternatives. Some women find the thought of salad or anything green revolting. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering how you are going to get the nutrients and vitamins you need. One alternative is to try and drink some vegetable juice. While drinking vegetable juice isn’t the same as eating vegetables it has its benefits when you can’t look at your veggies. You can also try eating different colored veggies like peppers or carrots.
If it is a protein like fish and chicken that make you sick, get your protein in other forms. Cheese, yogurt, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and nuts are fantastic protein alternatives. Or you can try and hide your meat in dishes. Stir chicken into a casserole or mix some seafood into a pasta dish. This way you can still get your protein in, and with less of a risk of getting sick.
Just like with morning sickness, don’t beat yourself up if you cannot eat as healthy as you would like while you are dealing with food aversions. Chances are that once you enter your second trimester, they will disappear and you can eat more of a variety of foods.