Pregnancy sends your body and mind on a hormonal roller coaster ride. While you’re busy building a crib and painting the nursery in-between all those random mood swings, your body is going through its own interior decorating overhaul. Estrogen and progesterone levels skyrocket to facilitate healthy fetal development, all while leaving you wondering if your sanity will ever return. After all, creating a new life isn’t exactly a piece of cake – although that’s exactly what you’ll be craving even before your baby bump fills out!
During pregnancy, even the most disgusting food combinations smell and taste like heaven. Ever fantasized about mustard-topped brownies or cheese crackers and strawberry ice cream? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it – at least while under the influence of all those baby- making chemicals. Those crazy food cravings thankfully come with a rational explanation.
Your changing body is starving for the nutrients it needs to keep you on your feet while building a healthy, tiny human in your womb. Biological science aside, you’re also more likely to give in to your late-night cheeseburger urge when your feet are swollen, your back hurts, and your round belly gives you a free pass to a guilt-free chow session.
Before you dive into that anchovy-and-chocolate-bar dessert, make sure that your partner is the only one who’ll wind up as a nauseous by-stander to your latest kitchen creation. We’ve got the details on how to safely indulge your primal hunger by cutting out foods that pose risk to your baby without sacrificing flavor.
Fish are Friends, Not Food (At Least for Now)
Whether or not you consider fish a friend, a tasty dinner, or a little bit of both, you may want to skip food category while pregnant if you can. Some (though not all) ocean-caught fish – like tuna – are known to harbor high levels of mercury, a chemical that can interfere with your child’s brain and nervous system development. Even farmed fish have tested positive for mercury, and freshwater fish caught for sport may also be full of industrial contaminants. According to FDA recommendation, pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces of seafood per week, but as Earth’s pollution levels rise, why risk it? To play it absolutely safe, completely avoid seafood and fish.
Be Wary With Raw
Your pre-pregnancy taste buds might love a well-done steak, but don’t trust your baby brain not to scream out for a rare burger. Eating a raw food diet is undeniably healthy and perfectly safe during pregnancy as long as you account for all essential vitamins and minerals, but stick with the vegan options.
Most raw vegetables and fruits are excellent for delivering much-needed nutrition to mamma and baby, but raw meat can pose the risk of catching a bacteria, virus, or parasite. If you’re both a raw food fan and an omnivore, order your steak well-done during those crucial 9 months.
Yes, You Can Still Have Chocolate
Did you really think they’d take away your wine and your chocolate? Most people aren’t crazy enough to steal candy from a baby, much less a hormonal pregnant women, and the good news is that chocolate is totally safe for your growing baby.
Sweets in general carry many of the same general health rules while pregnant, like eating in moderation to prevent extreme weight gain and avoiding artificial sweeteners like saccharine (stevia is a great natural option!). Just watch your caffeine intake with dark chocolates, as 200 mg per day is the limit recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Sweeten Your Health Routine
Salty and sweet are two of the most commonly-reported craving mixes for pregger babes. As long as both flavors are from a healthy source, go ahead and eat that dill pickle-and-banana sandwich. As luck would have it, some of the tastiest, sweetest fruits are just what the doctor ordered!
Get your sugar rush from apples, mangoes, bananas, and berries, and then mix some lemon and avocado with a little salt to satisfy your need for sodium and fats. Raw fruits can do it all, from boosting your immune system to helping cure morning sickness while crushing that intense pregnancy sweet tooth. And let’s face it – you’re pregnant, and you definitely deserve that peanut butter-covered orange slice.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.
Colleen began her sexual wellness career as a sex toy educator in manufacturing and retail. She has since branched out as a writer and marketer, covering all facets of sexual health and anatomy. At Intimina, she specializes in women’s medical care and health concerns, menstruation, sex and pregnancy, and birth control. Colleen frequently confers with top sex educators and intimate wellness experts to stay on top of the constantly changing sexual wellness space.