One of the most common preconceptions about pregnancy is that you'll be plagued with intense food cravings at some point in the 10 month span. Although many women do experience some kind of craving, they're usually not nearly as intense or all-encompassing as women are led to believe. In fact, there are many old wives' tales about pregnancy cravings that are, simply put, total bullsh*t.
The reality is that pregnancy cravings are as diverse and unique as the women who experience them, and most of the "legends" surrounding them are simply that: legends with little to no scientific backing to support them. Although it can be fun to guess what your cravings might mean, more often than not, they can be chalked up to fluctuating hormone levels with no real significance or meaning.
Whether it's pickles and ice cream, something less stereotypical, or you don't experience cravings at all, there's a wide range of "normal" when it comes to pregnancy cravings. Determining the difference between myth and fact when it comes to your cravings can help you know that what you're experiencing isn't all that abnormal at all and that every woman may (or may not) experience pregnancy cravings in some way or another.
Myth #1: The Cravings Start Right Away
Although they can start right away, having pregnancy cravings doesn't have to be the moment you find out you're pregnant. According to Mom.me, cravings can start as soon as two to three weeks, but Healthline noted that they can wait until the end of your first trimester or later.
Myth #2: Most Pregnant Women Crave The Same Few Foods
Although there is a range of common cravings that most women experience, there isn't necessarily a set of foods that you will crave if you're pregnant. According to one study from Frontiers in Psychology, sweets, dairy, starchy carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and fast food are the most common cravings, but they're not the only ones.
Myth #3: Sweet Cravings Mean You're Having A Girl
Many believe if you're cravings sweets (sugar and spice, and all of that), you're having a girl. However, according to Enfagrow, your cravings aren't linked scientifically to the gender of your baby.
Myth #4: Salty Or Sour Cravings Mean You're Having A Boy
Similarly, salty, sour, and savory is often pegged on mothers who are carrying boys. The same article from Enfagrow however noted that the foods aren't necessarily linked to your baby's gender.
Myth #5: Your Cravings Get Worse As Your Pregnancy Progresses
Although you could experience food cravings at any point during your pregnancy, New Kids Center noted that, typically, cravings are worse during the first trimester of pregnancy and taper off by the fourth month.
Myth #6: You Shouldn't Give In To Your Pregnancy Cravings
Even though your cravings might not have a deeper meaning, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't indulge in the foods you're dying for. Except in the rare case that you crave non-food items like dirt (which, according to the aforementioned Enfagrow piece, can totally happen), indulging within reason is fine.