For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but not limited to: rice and ranch, cheese and pickles, and mashed potatoes and popcorn. But there's one craving that stands above the rest: chocolate. I asked moms to reveal their most intense chocolate cravings during pregnancy and, well, prepare to get real hungry real fast.
The good news? Not only is chocolate delicious, but giving into that chocolate craving may actually be beneficial to your still-forming fetus. A 2016 study found that chocolates high in flavanol assist fetal growth and work to decrease the risk of preeclampsia. As if you need any more reason to indulge, just tell the pregnancy police that chocolate also helps the placenta be "more efficient," too.
And those are just the physical health benefits, my friends. Emotionally, dark chocolate may help correct stress-related biochemical imbalances, according to a 2009 report published in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research. So in case you need a few ideas to help you combat your relentless chocolate cravings, here's what other moms did to scratch their cocoa itch:
"Chocolate milk with a chocolate Long John donut. Every. Day."
"I’ve eaten four pints of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream in the past two weeks. I’ll be 38 weeks Thursday."
"The last month of my first pregnancy I ate chocolate pie: Pre- bought Oreo pie crust, Jello pudding instant pie filling, and whipped cream on top. So delicious and so easy. My husband would make them for me and I would finish an entire pie every two or three days."
"Chocolate Thunder From Down Under at Outback! Almost every night in my third trimester. I only gained 12 pounds the entire pregnancy, so the baby really did want it."
"I had hyperemesis gravidarum with both pregnancies, and, at the end of my second pregnancy and after barely being able to keep anything down, I had huge cravings for chocolate ice cream. When you're that sick you'll eat anything that works, so I ate it whenever, regardless of whether or not it was morning, noon, or night. When the doctor called out 9 pounds, 12 ounces after my baby was born three weeks early, my husband said, 'Must have been the chocolate ice cream'."
"I drank a chocolate whey protein shake every single day, and that really helped with chocolate cravings without adding a bunch of sugar to my diet. This was especially important while pregnant since I was bordering on gestational diabetes. I also ate Annie's Homegrown Organic Chewy Granola Bars in the chocolate chip variety. I kept at least one bar in my night stand and would snack on it when I'd wake up in the middle of the night in my first trimester. (I had terrible all-day nausea, so small snacks like that where the only thing that helped!)"
"I had to have a Steak-N-Shake chocolate milkshake every night for three months when I was pregnant with my son, and if my husband didn’t finish his fast enough I'd threaten to eat that one, too!"
"My son is 20 percent Hershey Bar with Almonds, 20 percent Kit Kat, and 60 percent chips and salsa."
"During my first pregnancy I needed frozen hot chocolate drinks constantly, even in the winter. Some coffee shops have it on their regular menu, but some people gave me really strange looks. I never tried to make it myself, since luckily during that pregnancy I lived in a city and could walk to four different coffee shops."
"These healthy dark chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie bars aren’t exactly ‘healthy,’ but I found the recipe while pregnant with my first and I love them. After giving birth I would add brewers yeast to the recipe and tell my family they were special lactation bars and were only for me."
"The brownies at Panera bread. They were one of the few things I could keep down first trimester."
"With my current pregnancy, chocolate made me feel extremely nauseated. Thankfully, I’ve been able to eat it again recently (I’m 24 weeks) and my go-to is a piece of dark chocolate."
"Chocolate chip cookies, or just chocolate chips if the baking process is too much to handle."
"Crushed Butterfingers sprinkled on strawberry ice cream. Craved it the entire time I was pregnant."
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.