To celebrate 6 months of prenetal bliss (lies), I’d like to start a segment called #preggoproblems. Let me begin by saying that I realize, in a world where women left and right are having difficulties conceiving, I am incredibly lucky. I do not, for one second, take that for granted. I am truly blessed and over the moon with joy to be having a happy, healthy pregnancy when I know that so many others cannot say the same. Still, while being pregnant is a wonderful and miraculous thing, some aspects of it quite frankly suck. I hope that by sharing my personal experiences, I can help other first-time mommies cope. If not, then hopefully I can simply inject some humor into your day. 🙂
Today’s topic: food. Everyone in the world has heard about those pregnancy cravings, right? The kind that make you wake up at 3:00 am begging your significant other to find you a pint of pickle-flavored ice cream or something equally appalling that under normal circumstances you would never eat? Yeah, I don’t have those … well, not any that are that weirdly specific … at least I don’t think so. I guess I’ll let you be the judge.
I have always loved pizza. My pregnancy has only increased that love. Now, I can never say no to a slice (or two or three) when presented with one. I am always in the mood for it and it’s gotten to the point where even mediocre pizza is more desirable to me than any other delicious meal. Though I’ve never been a big fan of cheese, my guess is that that’s what my body is craving specifically. I’ve been eating a lot of mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwiches as well as Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese. It’s gotta be the cheese right? The funny thing is that I’m 99% sure I’m partially lactose intolerant; however, none of those symptoms have been showing up while I’ve been pregnant—both a blessing and a curse. More cheese, please!
Onto aversions. While I haven’t been completely put off by anything (thank God!), my relationship with Chinese food has certainly changed. I used to eat it like it was going out of style pre-pregnancy. Now, I’ve only had it a handful of times within the past 6 months. While still delicious, it never seems to sit well with me. After a few bites, I feel grossly, uncomfortably and unbearably full. I can’t really describe it, but it has never been an issue before. I clean plates people! As weird as it’s been to not chow down (see what I did there?), it’s definitely been a money saver!
Let’s see what else? I still rank pickles as my least favorite food in the entire planet, and I still occasionally feel like a Snickers bar. I will say that I am more open to sweets than I was before (I’m a salt-lover through and through), but I can’t say I’ve had any die-hard cravings. Sweet or savory, if I want something in the moment, I don’t feel the unrelenting urge to make hubby run out and get it … although he does it sometimes anyway. 😉
Before I hear the awful criticisms about all of the junk food I just mentioned, I’ll have you know that I am absolutely eating better for baby. I know every blog, article, book, relative and doctor under the sun drills our brains with how much of every food group we should be consuming per day. I’m not a counter and I personally don’t take stock in any of that nonsense (although good for you if you do). I take my prenatal vitamins. I have fruit and veggies every day. I incorporate yogurt, oatmeal, salad, good meat/produce and A LOT of water into my diet. I don’t touch any of the risky stuff including cold cuts, under-cooked eggs and meat, nitrates, sushi, soft cheeses, caffeine, unpasteurized milk/dairy and seafood high in mercury. For me, I think that’s sufficient. It’s just a few changes, but I know she’s healthy and happy in there without me having to count how many grams of whatever are in foods X, Y and Z.
I have one last thing to say about food and I think it’s the most important. Early on in my pregnancy, people warned me to make sure and eat when I was hungry. Um, duh! Why wouldn’t I? This seemed like the most logical and unnecessary advice I had ever heard. That is, until I actually experienced the kind of hunger they were referring to for the first time. I don’t claim to know what starvation feels like (again, this is me acknowledging that I am incredibly blessed), but if I had to guess … this was it. In my first trimester, there were multiple times when I would wake up in the middle of the night with physical hunger pains. I was literally in tears from how “starving” I was, but didn’t understand why I was feeling this famished at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. I couldn’t go back to sleep, not with those intense hunger pangs. Logically, I began listening to my body. I would get up, have some crackers or a piece of bread (whatever was ready to eat) and then FINALLY go back to sleep. It was the most bizarre thing, but it felt like I hadn’t eaten in days. Having even just a little bite of something always brought instant relief. While this doesn’t happen as often anymore (I have learned to NEVER deny my body what it’s asking for), I do start to get those pains when I forget or don’t have time to eat something. My biggest recommendation when it comes to eating is to (1) MAKE time and (2) always ALWAYS have a snack with you—crackers, fruit, ginger cookies (the only thing that cured my morning sickness but more on that some other time), granola bars, whatever! It’s so incredibly important to always carry little yum-yums with you. I promise, you’ll thank me for it later.
In conclusion, like I said before, listen to your body. Give into those cravings when they arise and then you’re not at risk for overdoing it when the next one strikes. As fun as it is to say, you’re not REALLY eating for two. 🙂 Depending on your body and pregnancy type, just a few extra calories daily will do (with an average of around 300). Enjoy your food! Enjoy your pregnancy! Your body knows what you need! All you have to do is be mindful of it.