Pregnancy cravings

From Catherine Zeta Jones’ fondness for Branston Pickle to Nichole Richie’s desire for doughnuts, pregnancy cravings affect most mums-to-be. Here’s the lowdown.

Cravings during Pregnancy


Despite much research and the experiences of millions of mums-to-be, it is still unclear exactly why we crave certain foods during pregnancy or even non foods - called pica - (Davina McCall had an urge to chew on bath sponges...). Some say hormonal changes are responsible, or a need for certain nutrients. There’s no scientific evidence to back these theories up though, so we know pregnancy cravings happen but don’t know the reason for them.


Pregnancy cravings can strike at any stage, but are common in the early weeks and can change throughout your pregnancy. They may even be a sign you’re expecting. London mum, Ali, knew she was pregnant second time around because of her cravings: ’I had a thing for sucking lemon quarters and drinking spicy tomato juice (not at the same time!) in the early weeks of my first pregnancy, so when I craved them again, I knew I was pregnant.’


Sour and spicy foods are common cravings in pregnancy, along with salt, pickles, red meat, dairy products and chocolate. But it could be anything, as a quick look at Bounty’s pregnancy cravings forum reveals:

Weird pregnancy cravings

Bounty mum starhelper08 is loving ’tuna, curry and bacon sandwiches’, while Lisa2672 prefers to smell rather than taste her cravings (some cravings, often non-food ones, are satisfied by sniffing rather than eating): ’At the moment I am loving bad smells, petrol fumes, the garden shed - which smells kinda mouldy, but oh so good that I feel high on it! The shoe repairer’s shop also smells fantastic.’


Pregnancy cravings can be mild or intense, but however they strike you, try and keep the rest of your diet as well-balanced as you can to help keep you and your baby healthy. You only need about another 300 calories a day when you’re pregnant, so make them as healthy as possible. Take a look at the Bounty Your Pregnancy guide for healthy eating information.

Who says?

Doctors and health experts advise that as long as what you really, really want isn’t harmful and is in moderation, even strange pregnancy cravings are not a problem: ’As long as you stick to a healthy food intake and don’t eat too much of something unsuitable, like foods that are high in fat or sugar, don’t worry: you’ll find that your craving will pass,’ says paediatric dietician, Lucy Findlay. But always discuss it with your midwife or doctor if you are in any way concerned.


In the beginning. I craved cheese spread but now im 5 half months and I just love medical smells like neutradol, handrub bleach awww I do love pregnancy.
In the beginning. I craved cheese spread but now im 5 half months and I just love medical smells like neutradol, handrub bleach awww I do love pregnancy.
I'm 23 weeks pregnant with my first child. At the start all i wanted to eat was chocolate covered malted milk biscuits, now I've completely gone off them. Instead of eating pickled onions i was all about pickled beetroot, again I've gone off that as well now. At the moment i seem to be eating a lot of fish and crisps (not at the same time) but it depends on the flavor of the crisps if they don't taste right i wont eat them. Before i became pregnant i loved pineapple, I thought it best for me to eat some fruit but when I did it tasted like i was chewing on metal so i guess I've gone off pineapple as well now.
I'm 26 weeks pregnant at the moment with my second and I started off craving meat and spicy food but now it's all about jelly! With my first it was garlic especially garlic sausages and garlic mayonnaise!
Pesto at the moment :)
im 7 weeks and 2 days and i only like chicken i cant stand red meats but now iv gone off chicken and i like sausages that normal? and i like chewing on pennys? iv never heard of it before so is that normal?? x
I had an urge at the beach at about12 weeks to lick the salt off the rocks and to chew a few grains on sand I'm 36 weeks now and it's overwhelming my urge to eat a bit sand or chalk now
I'm 9 weeks 3 days :) I also can't stand chocolate at the moment (which is probably good for my waistline) but my cravings have changed lots . . . First it was chicken just plain chicken not sauce etc then salt and vinegar crisps, then it was anything citrus fruit and juice, and now it seams to be toast! Anything savoury can't stand sweet stuff! The joys of pregnancy xx
Just found out really happy, 4-6 weeks pregnant im craving Macdonalds pancakes yum,full fat milk so creamy and pork chow main :-) congratulations to every new mum's and new dads out there good luck :-) x
I am now 20weeks pregnant and all I seem to do is bite my fiance but have had cravings in early stages of pregnancy such as pickled onions crisps chocolate coke and chips.
I am 6-7 weeks. I am craving Mint chocolate and mint sauce, i hate mint sauce, but cant get enough of it it. Also, I have not done this yet but going to give it a go, pickled onions dipped in melted chocolate. sounds fab. In my last pregnancy, i didnt really crave anything, my husband suffered from sympathy cravings and got addicted to banana and stilton sandwiches! crazy man! good luck everyone xxx
i am 12 weeks and 6 days pregnant and i crave pickled onions and the juice plus salt and vinegar pringles. also if i am cooking i cant eat as when i smell the food cooking it over whelms me and makes me feel very nauseas.
I'm 10 weeks with my first and all I can think about is Branston pickle with red cabbage and carrot sticks. Also, Salt and vinegar pringles and Haribo tangfastics. I love the cravings!
not 100% on my dates, guessing around 10 weeks, had real bad morning sickness to begin with and couldn't eat anything but grapes and sparkling water and polo mints! i cant stomach the smell off coffee no more when before i would drink at least 7 cups a day, not necessarily a bad thing thou! now thou i have the strongest craving for salt n viniger crisps, but cant find any with enough flavour???? tried loads just not good enough lol!! i already have a son and daughter and didnt have one single craving with either :)
I'm 29 weeks and for the past couple of weeks have been craving really strong smells, especially the "bad" ones like nail polish and petrol, but more strangely (for me) newspaper print and today I was talking to someone who had just had a cigarette and was loving the tobacco smell coming off him, whereas normally it would make me retch. I've read some other info on this and one suggestion for the particularly bad ones is a possible iron deficiency! Has anyone else had this?
i seem to be craving cheese toasties dipped in tomatoe soup n chocolate cake this is my second pregnancy and im 12weeks 2days i craved cheese and salt and vinger walkers crisps with my first daughter also pickles basically anything i could get my hands on but mostly ate them and cheese salads :-/ congrats to all mummys n daddys to be :)
Hi :) I'm 6 weeks going on 7, though it will be confirmed at my early pregnancy scan tomorrow. All I'm craving is cocktail sausages, and because I'm paranoid about my weight I need to work out a healthy eating plan that encorporates cocktail sausages lol :) Congrats to everyone :)
On the beggining of my pregnancy (when I haven't known jet) I wanted to eat fried rice with chicken which was very strange as I hate rice. Then around 6-7 weeks I started to feel sick or being sick. I could not eat anything. Then I have discovered I had crawings for any fruits like bannanas, oranges, mandarines, aples, bluberies, kiwi, plums etc. I could not stand vegtables if I have tried to eat it I was sick afterwards. Apart from fruits I was eating pieces of bread with chocolate spread or beef bergers. Than around 14 weeks I started to eat steaks but I still could not standed cooked vegs. Around 18 weeks I started to love again salads with tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper. Now at 23 weeks I have cravings for bacon sandwiches, steaks, tomatoes, fruits, salami sandwiches and chocolate. I still hate cooked veg. It make me sick. Now I am 23 weeks
im just 6weeks, tho i only found out last week but it now explains why this past few weeks ive been craving pepper chips from a particular restaurant now im onto bananas and pineapple, plus stealing my horses cabbage and carrots lol tho i cant eat full meals at min so plus side is at least im eating fresh fruit and veg lol
i am craving ice, ice cubes, ice cream , ice blasts anything ice, also strawberry tarts , choc peanuts , and anything sweet really , with my first which was a boy I craved cheese and crackerbread so I dont find out with this one till 13 june due to medical reasons ....cannot wait tho x
salad cream with most meals, apple juice, pork scratchings and tip tops nom nom nom . lisa = 32wks with a girly :)
cravings are wierd.... too begin with i was eating lots of tinned pineapple, and was fine with ox heart, but recently the smell of it cooking makes me feel sick, even tho i usually love it, ive gone off peanut butter, and if im cooking southern fried chicken for my partner then i need to have the window open as i cant stand the smell it makes me feel sick, ive been occassionally eating marmite strait out the jar with a spoon tho, and toast i used to hate but now love, and i could eat cottege cheese or cream cheese constantly [if it was possible]. im 14 weeks 6 days.
I'm 7 weeks and as someone else said I cannot stop eating cheese, any kind I don't mind! When I'm not eating it I'm thinking about it! At this very moment I really need a bowl of pasta covered in mature grated cheese, yum yum yum, off to the kitchen then :)
I'm 15 weeks 4 days pregnant & I can't stop eating pickled onions. Then drinking the vinegar juice.. Yum yum.
im 6 weeks and 2 day i started with chicken korma for 3 weeks every day cant stand any curry now andi hate kfc now used to love it before i got pregnant and all i wnt now is potato and meat pasties :-) yummy yum yum
I have had big bunch of cravings lol. At start when I didn't know that I'm pregnant I was addicted to Chocolate fudge cake even if I never have been chocolate or sweets fan! After chocolate fudge cake I jumped to grapes - that was my morning sickness time. Grapes were so tasty and almost my main food. I knew that I need calcium and I tried to drink milk, but I milk wasn't for me and it didn't matter how hard I tried to drink it - plain milk, milkshakes - no no no! :D Then everything changed and I was an enemy to any kinds of meet and rice. After that I jumped to apple "diet" lol, then I was searching for grapefruits in shops. At the moment I love milk :D :D what is good for both of us, I love fruits (except grapes and apples and oranges lol), what is funny - I love orange juice (but I don't like oranges as fruit). Now I'm over 26 weeks, just found out that best craving part is coming...cmon can be more fun as I have had already? lol
I am 27weeks and 5day and all I've been wanting is 7up and chocolate bar with ice cream
i had the same cravings as "earlgreydecaf" fruit but mainly oranges and tangerines then i couldnt stop eating sweet things an the smell of my partner was just like heaven to me haha i think its because when there not around and you think of them an their smell and it feels like they are there. now im nearly 18 weeks and im still craving sweets an the smell of my partner and also chocolate an wotsits the crisps it driving me insane cause im trying to stop eating them things for my own and my babys health but i just cantdriving me mad :)
I am currently 28 weeks pregnant, I have been fortunate to avoid coal, sponges, pickled onions :-) I crave for cups of tea, surreal considering its a drink I have never liked. Congratulations to mums -to-be :-)
7 weeks and craving cheese-- any kind, i'm not fussy!! =)
I am 5 weeks and haven't really had any major cravings only gone off certain foods. I used to adore peanut butter but the thought of it now makes me feel sick, Cheese is also hard to stomach. The only thing I am craving is toast, Jam on toast is amazing at the moment :)
im 8 weeks gone and so far my main craving has been jalfrezi curry with salt on and apple tango im sure my husband is sick of the smell and sight of curry now :D
I'm pregnant for the first time, not sure quite how far along yet, probably 12 weeks and getting my scan soon. I've so far had cravings for all fruit, especially oranges, even before I knew I was expecting. Now I've moved on to raw carrots, jelly sweets and my fiance. I can't stop sniffing him, all the time (unless he's put after shave on), I think he's slightly un-nerved. Is it normal to crave the smell of a particular person?
18weeks and I can't stand mcdonalds anymore,, coulndt eat chocolate or drink tea in the beginning, could only drink squash. Now all I really want to drink coca cola and eat turkey twizzlers, but they don't do them any more :(
Im 8 weeks and I'm craving Turkey twizzlers they were discontinued in 2005 thanks to Jamie Oliver i know they wasn't the healthiest but I am so badly craving them now and i cant find them anywhere i wont be able to rest until i have one lol. I found a recipe online that someone has made i may try and make them but they wont be like the real deal !!
hey im 12 weeks with my first and the past 3 weeks i cant get enough of pickled onions :) or anything picked really xx
just found out am 6 weeks preg and am craving fruit apples oranges mainly and pickled onions and cheese and onion crisps ive cant stop eating its only the start lol xx
im only 7 weeks and havent craved anything... but i love the smell of new thing. petrol for example just love to sniff it and the smell of wood lol weird haha my twins are strange lol x
Hi i'm 11 weeks with my first baby and he/she is wanting to try every thing and i love smelling things lol
i have gone from apples to cucumber to carrots now :) and cheese and onion sandwiches. love those! :)
im 30 weeks and 5 days and expecting a little girl in feb :) and all i want is hot doenuts:') , when i first started getting cravings it was always ice or mash? it changes alot!! x
Pickled onions! Fed up of eating them but god ... they just taste too good :) And i am only 16 weeks into my pregnancy, and can't wait to find out in 4 weeks if i am having a boy or girl <3
I usually have a very sweet tooth but the thought of chocolate or sweets is making me feel sick (or should I say even more sick!)
all i want to eat is apple's with ice cold apple juice and ice cube's!! really strange i cant eat meat at all was the same with my other 2. lol x
I'm 5 weeks pregnant & i've been craving toasted current teacakes with cheese. Also I don't know if this is a craving but I keep wanting to smell everything!
i craved things that didnt exist anymore like cadburys marbles and snaps........ found it very hard but luckily my boyfriend found something similar in aildi lmao
I am 7 weeks pregnant with my second child and i have just eaten a whole jar of pickled onions :/ massive craving for Glinsters Pasties and salt & Vinegar crisps also. I know i should be watching the cals but they taste to good :-D
I am 8 weeks and 6 days with my first pregnancy, I craved salt badly and coco cola, two of the worst but luckily that has past in the last week, now all I seem to want is BBQ chicken wings and toffee crisps. :)
I'm 7 weeks an I just want any kind of fruit and I'm definitely not usually a fruit person!at least it's a healthy craving!
I am 24 weeks today, so far I have craved- whole lemons (peeled and eaten like an orange), McDonalds (although I usually hate it!), salt and vinegar crisps, hot chocolate, tomatoes, prawns (before I even found out). Foods I literally can't eat are: toast, cold bread, asparagus and bananas! Most of my cravings last no more than a few weeks and then its another one :-)