We have all seen the tv show or movie where the father to be is sent out in the middle of the night to get some sort of random food concoction. It is usually something bizarre like strawberry ice cream, paprika and caramelised onions at like 3am. Whilst these types of scenes are certainly over exaggerated for comedy effect, it is true that your pregnant partner will have food cravings during her pregnancy. As a rule of thumb, just get her what she wants. The cravings are often tied into specific nutrients mum or baby (or both) needs. This is why a vegan or vegetarian would crave red meat for example during pregnancy. Red meat is high in iron and babies need a lot of iron.
Never skip breakfast
Whilst it is natural (and in fact required) for your partner to put on weight during pregnancy. There is such a thing as putting on too much weight. Roughly 10-15kg is pretty natural, although it could increase to about 20kg if your partner is on the smaller side to help support the baby’s growth. One way to reduce unhealthy cravings is to ensure that your partner never skips breakfast. This is a nutritional basic, but it also helps to reduce especially unhealthy cravings for things such as cookies, sweets and generally anything high in sugar. Protein and complex carbs for breakfast will help prevent blood sugar dips that lead to sugar cravings.
Dark Chocolate has its benefits
When some chocolate is being craves, opt for dark chocolate instead of the usual milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has actually been linked to happier pregnancies. The chemicals in dark chocolate actually boost a person’s mood and it’s also be linked to a lower chance of preeclampsia. If you have not heard of this condition before, preeclampsia is a complication that can arise during pregnancy. It usually presents itself after about 20 weeks and can result in high blood pressure and even damage to liver or kidneys. It effects about 8% of pregnancies and it can lead to serious complication and even be fatal to both mother and baby.
Craving salt is common
Another common craving is for something salty. This is because when your partner is pregnant her fluids increase dramatically. She will have more blood, water and so on. Sodium helps keep everything in balance and so from time to time she will want something salty. This can naturally lead to cravings for crisp (or potato chips to the non-Brits) but a great replacement is popcorn. It actually has less calories and popcorn is much higher in fibre, so all around it can be a better snack. The same can be said of salted nuts instead of that can of pringles.
*If you would like a personal coaching session via zoom with myself to help you navigate your first time dad journey, you can reach out to me directly by sending me a message on social media or the “contact” page on my website to organise a session