The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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It's a bit of a cliche, but some women really do hanker for pickles during pregnancy. If you're one of them, consider these artisan varieties:
When it comes to cravings, some women can desire some really out-there things. Ice cream and pickles? Sure. But, coal and sponges? A British study in 2008 found that 31 percent of pregnant women there experienced pica, a craving of nonfood items, including mud, matches, soap, toothpaste and rubber, the BBC reported.
Pica is sometimes blamed on hormonal changes or lack of certain nutrients, such as iron or calcium, but often the origin is a mystery. The study also found that prenatal food cravings in general have doubled in the past 10 years. Researchers said the increase can be "attributed to the fact that modern mums are more assertive in asking for what they want than their older counterparts, who perhaps felt ashamed of their more unusual cravings."
If you're craving something in particular, fulfill your food lusts with our recipes for these nutritious alternatives. For example: Do you want fast food but know you should resist because you're pregnant? Try our fast-food recipe makeovers—they let you indulge guilt-free.
Remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing when it comes to food cravings while you're expecting. If you eat smart, the right foods can satisfy your cravings and be good for your baby, too.
—Lynne Meredith Schreiber and Philip Harris