Being a surrogate is a wonderful thing. You’re helping a parent-to-be make their dreams come true, which is something very few people are able to do. Being a surrogate also means that there are a whole lot of changes happening all at once, and as your tummy blossoms, your cravings might grow as well. In fact, around 50% of all women report having cravings during pregnancy. Scientists have explored the phenomenon every which way and they don’t have a certain answer, but what they think is happening just might surprise you.
A lot of women start craving ice or popsicles during pregnancy and there are a couple of reasons why this may be. First, the body temperature rises, and these things will naturally cool you down a bit. However, an odd symptom of anemia is a swollen tongue, and sucking on something cold can reduce the swelling. For this reason, some specialists believe that a craving for ice could be a sign of low iron. If you’re worried, have the doctor check your counts at your next visit. A simple supplement can help.
The jury’s out on pickles. Some people think it has to do with being low on sodium and the salty pickle delivers. However, it’s also believed that if your pickle cravings go from sweet to salty or you want it all at once (pickles and ice cream) that your liver is feeling overwhelmed. There is no evidence to support this, but foodies who are into natural cures swear by adding lemon in their water when they feel this way.
There are a few theories on ice cream alone as well. In some cases, it could be that your body wants calcium or maybe even some healthy fat. On the other hand, if you have a hankering for a whole lot of sweet foods, it could be a harbinger for gestational diabetes. In this case, the pros don’t know if the high sugar intake associated with the cravings brings on gestational diabetes or if the two are just linked together. If you have worries, mention your sweet tooth to your doctor. It’s also worth noting that soft serve ice cream is a no-no during pregnancy due to the risk of listeria, so stick to the kind that needs to be scooped when you indulge.
Oftentimes, lemon is the citrus fruit that’s craved during surrogacy. There are a couple reasons why this might be. First, your taste buds change during pregnancy, and the strong flavor of the lemon is more palatable. Secondly, it could be related to a Vitamin C deficiency. This isn’t generally cause for concern, and you can get what your body needs from drinking juice, eating the fruit, or by adding some citrus to your water.
One of the biggest ones during pregnancy is chocolate and, thankfully, there are a lot of health benefits to dark chocolate as well. It’s a natural source of magnesium and antioxidants, plus it has components in it that can boost your mood. As a surrogate, you might crave chocolate for any of these reasons.
Some women also have worrisome cravings, like for chalk or laundry detergent. If you find yourself craving anything odd while being a surrogate, be sure to mention it to your doctor. Most of the time, the things that women crave during pregnancy are totally fine, and even healthy in moderation, so feel free to dig into your dish of pickles and ice cream without remorse.
At SPS, we help match women who are interested in being a surrogate with intended parents who need the help of a generous woman to complete their family and we see them through the process. If you’re interested in being a surrogate and you meet the criteria for our program, please contact us today.