Food Aversions During Pregnancy: Definition & Treatment

Instructor: Marisela Duque

Marisela teaches nursing courses at the college level. She also works as a unit educator, teaching experienced nurses about changes in nursing practice.

After completing this lesson, you will have a better understanding of food aversions during pregnancy. A short quiz follows this lesson so that you can test your knowledge.

Cindy's Food Aversion Story

Cindy is a happy newlywed enjoying the simple pleasures of life. One of her favorite things in the whole wide world, other than her husband, is bacon. Bacon for breakfast, bacon on her burger, bacon wrapped veggies and even chocolate covered bacon. YUM! To her, there is nothing quite like the simple pleasure of the smell and sound of bacon sizzling in the pan. It can make any dreary workday morning more uplifting and any weekend instantly more relaxing.

Due to her eternal love of all-things bacon, her husband, Charlie, thought it would be nice to surprise her with a bacon-inspired feast for her birthday. When Cindy walked in from a long day at work, she took a deep breath of the bacon-infused air, but instead of the expected reaction, it sent her running for the toilet to empty the entire contents of her stomach. If you guessed that Cindy might be pregnant, then you are correct. Much to Cindy's dismay, the mere mention of bacon would turn her stomach throughout her entire pregnancy. Read on to learn more about food aversion during pregnancy.

Defining Food Aversion

Food aversion, aka taste aversion, is when you are repulsed by a particular food. You can develop a food aversion for a food that you never particularly liked or one of your favorite foods (as in Cindy's case).

While the exact cause of food aversion is unknown, it is safe to say that it is related to the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy. These changes are most prevalent during the first trimester (first 3 months), when morning sickness is most common. Most pregnancy food aversions begin during this time and some get better after 16 weeks of pregnancy.

This condition can be mild, where you will not particularly like a certain food anymore, to severe. In more severe cases, the offensive food can cause waves of nausea and vomiting. You can also experience food aversion towards more than one food at a time. Luckily, most women go back to liking the offensive food once the baby is born, but sometimes it takes a long time before you can stand the food again.

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