This week is your last week in the first trimester. Congratulations! You are probably starting to look and feel pregnant now. You may still be able to wear some of your loose-fitting clothes, but that probably won’t last long. How is your appetite? It is very common to have appetite changes during pregnancy. You may be feeling hungry all the time, or if you are still having problems with morning sickness, you may not be hungry at all. Then there are the pregnancy cravings. Are you noticing yourself having an urgent need for a tuna sandwich with extra jalapeno peppers or salt and vinegar potato chips? Sour, spicy, or sweet cravings are common cravings moms get when they are pregnant. In this week’s newsletter, we are going to talk about all those weird and crazy pregnancy cravings.
What Is Going on with Mom & Baby
Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is 5-6 cm. (about the size of a plum). Your baby weighs about 14 grams. Your baby is starting to make hormones like insulin now. Your baby’s liver is making bile. Your placenta has taken over progesterone production now. You have a good chance of hearing your baby’s heartbeat on doppler now.
Mom: You may be finding yourself losing track of things or having difficulty concentrating. Pregnancy hormones and stress can cause you to be more easily distracted. If you are not getting enough sleep, this may make things worse and also make you even more irritable. Taking naps during the day is ideal, but if you can’t take a nap, try to rest a couple times a day or go to bed early.
This Week’s Pregnancy Checklist
- Write down any questions you have for your doctor.
- Make sure that you are taking your prenatal vitamins regularly.
- Start thinking about things you would like to include on your birth plan.
- Start looking at car seats and decide which safety features are important to you.
- Start a baby registry for your new baby.
- Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.
We have all probably heard that pregnant women love pickles and ice cream. Strange cravings for different foods are pretty common during pregnancy. We aren’t sure why this happens but here are a few thoughts on why pregnant women get cravings for certain foods.
Increased caloric needs- A pregnant mom needs extra calories. When you are hungry, you may have less impulse control. Sweets are a temptation for lots of people, pregnant or not. Being hungry and hormonal may kick up the urge to splurge on something sweet. If you are craving something sweet, try looking for nutritious sweets like frozen juice popsicles, fruit smoothies, or low-fat yogurt.
You are craving something your body needs- Some people believe that when you are having a craving for something, it may be your body’s way of telling you that you need more of something in your diet. The case is still out on this. For example, craving red meat could be a sign that your body is needing extra protein. In this case, a craving for a Big Mac could be your body telling you that you need a little extra protein, or it could just be that you are really hungry, and McDonald’s sounds good.
Pica cravings- Some pregnant women have very unusually cravings for non-food items such as ice, baking soda, dirt, or soap. Eating non-food items in response to a craving is called pica. Sometimes pregnant women also have strange cravings for certain smells such as fingernail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or pinesol. Eating or smelling non-food items is sometimes seen with other conditions such as anemia. If you are having strange non-food cravings, talk to your doctor about this. Your doctor can advise you on whether or not your cravings are something to be concerned about.
Staying Romantic When You Are Pregnant
Pregnancy can sometimes create extra stress in a relationship. Your partner may start feeling neglected when bedtime rolls around and you would prefer sleeping to cuddling. Even though you are pregnant, things in the romance department don't need to come to an end. If you are finding your love life starting to fade off into a distant memory, you can try some of our tips for staying romantic during pregnancy.
A romantic candle lit dinner - This sounds very simple, and it is. Light some candles, prepare a nice dinner (or have some delivered), put on some soft music, and have a dinner for two.
Back or foot massage - A body massage is great for relaxing, reconnecting with your partner, and relieving stress. Ask your partner for a massage or offer one in return, even if it is just for a few minutes.
Go out on a date - When was the last time you and your partner went on a date? Go out to the movies or to your favorite restaurant. Dress up, put on jewelry, wear make up or do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
Have a picnic or take a nature walk - Do something fun for you and your partner. Bring along a blanket to throw on the ground. You can get really creative with this or just do something simple. The biggest thing about your picnic or nature walk is that you and your partner are spending time together.
Star gazing - Plan a night of star gazing. Take binoculars and a blanket outside and watch the stars. You can spend the evening talking about your relationship and dreams for the future.