Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy Food Aversions

We’ve all heard of the stereotypical pregnancy cravings — pickles and ice cream anyone? But what about when the opposite happens and you can no longer stomach the thought of what used to be your favorite foods? Why would the universe take the joy of your favorite meal away when there are already so many things you have to avoid during pregnancy? Here’s why you can’t eat some things you used to love and how you can cope with food aversions during pregnancy:

Why Do We Have Food Aversions?


Food aversions, like their counterpart pregnancy cravings, are likely caused by hormone changes that occur during pregnancy. The presence of the hormone that resulted in your positive pregnancy test — human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) —  rapidly increases throughout your first trimester. It is thought to be the cause of the pregnancy nausea we call “morning sickness” and also behind many food aversions you may experience. Whether that is due to the hormone causing the actual aversion, or the nausea experience being tied to a food that then creates the aversion isn’t certain. Sometimes these aversions are short-lived and other times a smell may trigger you for life. My mom still can’t stand the smell of watermelon bubble gum and I’m 40 years old 🙂

Is There Anything Can We Do About Them?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do about food aversions beyond avoiding the food your body isn’t enjoying. Doctors recommend listening to your body, because both aversions and cravings are a normal part of pregnancy. It is fine to indulge in cravings and avoid certain foods, in moderation, as long as you are getting the nutrients you need. If you experience an aversion to most foods, or a craving of things that aren’t food, like chalk or dirt, then you need to tell your doctor right away. Otherwise just know you’ll probably be able to enjoy your favorite food again one day, and avoiding it during times of nausea will likely help you to enjoy it sooner rather than later.

Did you experience any unfortunate food aversions during pregnancy? Did your enjoyment come back after?

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