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Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist?

Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist?

Is it hard enough to give up on eating those cheese and crackers during your pregnancy period? Pregnant women are thrust upon with endless notion that circles around for a long time: She must be craving those crispy, salty pickles and tacos. People also link those food cravings–including, but not limited to oatmeal, peanut butter, pickles, and ice cream–to the the weird yearning of their babies in the fetus. Different nations and their cultures experience a diverse range of foods that a women craves during pregnancy. The subject of food craving, whether it’s good to have or not, or what it heralds about the unborn baby, has become controversial among the people.

Pregnancy carving do exist and it’s not anything novice. It’s been around here for hundreds of years but there is not a one-fit-all food that is craved during pregnancy. Women crave pickles during pregnancy but that is not the only food at all. Expectant moms may desire for a lot of other foods, too. Pregnant women in the United States[1] have been reported to crave for fruit juices, pickles, Ice cream, and pizza. Other common craved foods among pregnant women include meat, mangoes, yogurt, oranges, plantain, and soft drinks.

Many researchers, and medical doctors have explained why there is a strong inclination toward some foods while an aversion to few others.

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Craving sweet foods during pregnancy is considered as a sign of having a baby girl and those savory snacks give sign of a boy. Dr Merriam Stoppard, an MD, Health care expert and Television presenter, debunked this myth of pregnancy craving that lingered around us for a long time. She says, “Cravings are thought to be the body’s response to deficiency in certain minerals and trace elements. Indulge them where reasonable but keep away from the ones that are obviously harmful such as coal.”

Pregnancy Craving May be Psychological:

Another research has been carried out to make the crazy pregnancy craving logical. They suggest that craving could be something on mind with no reasonable relation with the body demand for nutrients. A study conducted by the UAlbany[2] , while reviewing the existing data of women collected from blog posts, internet websites and other social media platform, suggested that surprisingly there was no relationship between pregnancy craving and nutritional needs of the body.

Julia Hormes, University at Albany Psychology Department researcher[3] , believes that a psychological factor of social norm that is prevalent in the U.S about the pregnant women could be the cause for food craving.

Some other studies suggested that food craving–during pregnancy–may lead to a weight gain.However, it’s not true for other nations. Such as a study carried in Tanzania[4] where foods of more than 200 pregnant women were meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains; those that cause no weight gain.

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Body Hormones May be Causing Food Craving:

Pregnant women are prone to resist leptin, a hormone in the body that impedes appetite. When these hormones are cut out of the way, other hunger stimulating hormone, Neuropeptides, plunge into the blood stream. Research has shown that more Neuropeptides are produced during pregnancy. This imbalance of hormones tends women to be voracious and hence the craving for certain food increases.

Other research has pointed that the production of abnormal taste in the mouth of expectant moms maybe indulged in stimulating food craving. The research showed that roughly 75 percent of the pregnant women reported to have a weird kind of smell or taste. Due to the interaction of uterine and gustatory neurons with each others, the buds make an unexpected taste. The craving enhances due to this sensitivity.

Cultural Aspect of Food Craving:

Some cultures across the world has a different explanation for the pregnancy craving. Hindus in India interpret food craving as a result of Dohada–means “two-heartedness.” The presence of a second soul in the mother body is the reason behind the pregnant women unusual errands to the pizza shop or beverages bars. They think that for the better health and nourishment of the unborn baby, those cravings must be fulfilled.

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What Should You Believe?

You don’t need to pay heed to the conventional beliefs of the people who, out of morbid curiosity, will leave you baffled with their contrived advises, dos, and donts. Instead, focus on the bigger picture: What’s good for you and your baby and what your physician recommends?

Craving is not something to worry about and it won’t make anything wrong with you. But you should discuss the diet and food with your physician . He better understands your position and what you should eat and avoid.

If the doctor refrains you from gnawing on raw vegetables–because they’re not healthy to eat during pregnancy–you should avoid it. Your fastidious belly won’t wrest your neck for that particular food. On the other hand, some food items are much better to eat more than once a day. And if that triggers craving, let it be. Because it’s good for your health.

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How to Deal with Food Craving?

 Avoid Unhealthy Food:

Check to see if that particular food you’re craving is really healthy? If that’s, congrats! You have a good point to hanker for it. And you have the logic to rave about it, everywhere. But this may not be a case with all other foods you eat that you’re obsessed with. Try to prevent sneaking into the kitchen to munch on the potato chips all the time–if they are not good for you. You can hold yourself accountable for not eating the food that’s not recommended by the doctor. This way you can control your food craving.

Don’t Skip on any of your meals:

Following a health lifestyle is the key to make it through that tough craving stage during pregnancy. If you skip on your lunch or breakfast or just dine too early, it may increase your craving. This would not only make you unhealthy but it’s also not good for that little baby curled inside the fetus. So it’s much better to be on time for that matter.

Talk to Your Doctor:

It’s most important to let know the doctor about your progress. when you’re not feeling well and are indulged in excessive craving, it maybe the time to see your doctor and update him on your unusual cravings. Some women crave for eating dirt, soap, coal, or ashes. This particular craving–called pica–maybe due to the lack of nutrients in your body. It is better to consult your doctor immediately.

Conclusion:

There is still a long way down the road to explore more about the causes of food craving of pregnant women. If those pickles are demanded repeatedly, there should be the deficiency of some specific nutrients in the body. There is, however, little support to justify traditional beliefs of pregnancy cravings. But nutritional deficiency in the body of the pregnant woman may make sense for the scientists to carry their research with.

Reference

More by this author

Taseer Ahmad

Freelance B2C writer

10 Foods That Guarantee Your Kids a High Fiber Intake! Why do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles? Do Pregnancy Cravings Exist? 8 Indicators To Help Identify The Narcissists Around You

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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