When you get the great news that you're pregnant, you begin making a lot of preparations to provide love and happiness for your baby. You start sorting out details and logistics on birth plans and nurseries when all of a sudden, all you can think about is chocolate ice cream, and how badly you want it. You try to shake it off and continue about your day, but you can't. You need that ice cream. Period. You may wonder if this is the beginning of the infamous pregnancy cravings. But when will pregnancy cravings start?
According to a 2014 report published in Frontiers in Psychology, an estimated 50 to 90 percent of all pregnant women experience food specific cravings, typically by the end of the first trimester. The study noted that food cravings become more frequent and intense during the second trimester, and then decline through the third trimester.
The study also cited that some research points to patterns in what foods are craved during the stages of pregnancy. It explained that salty and savory cravings are usually strongest in the first trimester and taper off, while sweet foods are likely to be craved in the second trimester. By the time a mom-to-be reaches the third trimester, the cravings for savory foods may be back until the end of the pregnancy.
While there is no conclusive reasoning, according to Psychology Today, there are a few theories as to what causes cravings in pregnancy, including the shifting of hormones, the increased sensitivity to tastes and smells, and food aversions.
If you do find yourself craving chocolate ice cream in the middle of the night, or crunching on a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips you just had to have, it is likely a pregnancy craving. One of the best parts of pregnancy is giving into your cravings, and getting away with it, guilt free, and delicious. (Trust me, this is one milestone you'll be excited to reach in pregnancy.)