Birthmarks in pregnancy: what they depend on, how to behave

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Fonte: shutterstock

There are those who wake up at night in the grip of an insufferable deso of ice cream, cookies or whipped cream, and who would go crazy for a basket of strawberries, a sandwich at anchovies or pickled cucumbers... They are the classics pregnancy cravings and almost all pregnant women experience them sooner or later.

The cravings Most common concern:

  • foods rich in carbohydrates (sweets, focaccia, bread)
  • or very tasty (pickles, anchovies in oil),
  • but also fresh fruit or in juice.

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In this article

  • Causes
  • The calories
  • Weight gain in pregnancy

The causes

But what are they the causes of birthmarks in pregnancy?

  • hormonal changes that change eating habits
  • search for foods with a high energy content
  • search for nutrients such as calcium and antioxidants
  • social and psychological aspects

"There are several hypotheses" underlines the nutritionist biologist Angela , head of the NutrMyModernsParents service of the Icans (International Center for the Study of Body Composition) in our city.

"To begin with, there is the fact that the hormonal changes of pregnancy involve alterations in the senses of taste and smell, which in turn modify the eating habits. "Thus, it may happen that some foods that were previously appreciated no longer want to see them even from a distance (the classic example is the coffee), while others become the object of unstoppable des.

On a deeper level, cravings may depend on looking for high-energy foods to satisfy the increase in calorie requirement, or from the search for nutrients for which, again, the demand increases, such as calcium and antioxidants. "In fact, various inflammatory mechanisms are triggered in pregnancy which lead to oxidative stress", he explains." It is believed that it may increase the desire for foods rich in antioxidants, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and even chocolate. "In reality, there is no great scientific evidence capable of justifying these hypotheses, perhaps also because they are not particularly themes. However, these are absolutely plausible hypotheses.


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But that's not all: the cravings could also be involved social and psychological aspects, seeing as pregnancy is a strong period emotional stress, during which it is socially and culturally accepted that women "let themselves go" to eat a little more. "It is no coincidence that the chocolate, rich in antioxidants but also in tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, a substance that reduces anxiety and enhances well-being ", emphasizes the nutritionist." You can safely eat 20 grams a day, preferably dark ".

When the urge is absurd

Earth, ice, raw starch - some pregnant women experience very special cravings for inedible substances. It is bites the picacismo, fortunately a very rare phenomenon, therefore also not much studied. It is speculated that it could depend on nutritional deficiencies very serious, but not only excluded cultural aspects, especially in some areas of the world. In some African countries, for example, it is believed that the ingestion of clay can promote fertility and the good progress of pregnancy.

Beware of calories

But how much can you let go of satisfying the cravings of pregnancy? It depends. "If the cravings are healthy and involve, for example, fruits, vegetables, but also pickles, which are generally low in calories, there are practically no limits," she says.

If instead they refer to potentially dangerous foods, such as raw fish or fresh cured meats (for those who are negative for the toxoplasmosis test) must absolutely be kept at bay.

Read also: Nutrition during pregnancy, the foods to avoid

Finally, if the deso focuses on very energetic foods, the advice is simply to do not overdo it, because in the end what is needed is very little extra energy: "On average 270-280 kcal more per day and if the woman is sedentary even less. Only 150-180 kcal more, those of a packet of crackers or a cup of milk ".

No problem, therefore, if the desire is satisfied with small quantities of even greedy foods, but beware of binges. "If sweets are the attraction - explains the nutritionist - yes to 3/4 biscuits or a slice of homemade cake even every day, while cakes with whipped cream and creams are allowed a couple of times a month".

You can also try some substitutions, such as almonds (20 grams per day, a dozen) or dark chocolate instead of biscuits, but if the desire arrives, you don't necessarily have to hold back: it's gratifying and it doesn't hurt.

"The important thing is that the the rest of the diet is balanced, and possibly with a Mediterranean imprint, because this type of diet has been shown to reduce the risk of excessive weight gain in pregnancy. "Read also: How much weight can be gained in nine months

Cravings and weight gain: is there a relationship?

In fact, everyone now agrees: Excessive weight gain seems to increase the risk of obstetric complications (gestational diabetes, preeclampsia) and may have long-term effects on the baby's health.

For this reason, women starting from a normal weight (for example) should not gain more than 11-16 kg, but many fail: according to a small survey by the Buzzi hospital, one in three does. It is inevitable to wonder if cravings can also play a role in buying these extra pounds. In reality, the factors at play may be different, but an American study that appeared in Appetite has advanced the hypothesis - yet to be confirmed - that the famous cravings for pregnancy may also be involved.

Read also: Pregnancy, how much weight can you gain?

Aversions and repulsions

Not only cravings: while waiting it can also happen that you feel distinct repulsions for previously appreciated foods such as:

  • meats,
  • eggs,
  • dairy product,
  • coffee 

perhaps as a strategy to move away potentially dangerous substances and parasites for the embryo. For example, some studies suggest a link between excess caffeine and risk of miscarriage, so it is recommended not to exceed 2/3 cups of coffee per day.

The aversions must be indulged and they are not a problem if they do not limit too much caloric intake and that of important nutrients. In these cases, just find alternative strategies. "If mom refuses fish, rich in omega 3 fatty acids important for the neurological development of the fetus, these substances must be taken in other ways, for example by eating dried nuts such as walnuts and almonds or with food supplements "says nutritionist Angela.

Read all the special wellness in pregnancy:

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  • the importance of nutrition in the nine months
  • vitamin b6 in pregnancy
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