Food Aversions During Pregnancy

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Food Aversions During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is associated with women craving for pickles, lemons, khatti imli (इमली), ice creams, etc at odd times of the night. Many women expect that they will feel the urge to have their favorite pastry in the middle of the night. But that’s not all.

Pregnancy also makes some women not stand food that they loved their entire lives. It could be smell, taste, look or anything else that may cause one to discard food and not want to look at it again. This is known as food aversion during pregnancy. Like food cravings, food aversions during early pregnancy are also very common among women. pregnancy pillow

In This Article

What is Food Aversion During Pregnancy?

A food aversion is a strong desire to dislike a food item, even though you were in love with it earlier. Actually, aversion is a very light word used for it; during pregnancy, many women develop a feeling of disgust towards a particular food item, smell, or taste. This hate is so intense that sometimes just being around or in the same room with these things causes vomiting or nausea. Like cravings, there is no scientific reason for developing food aversions.

[Read: Food Cravings During Pregnancy]

What Causes Food Aversions During Early Pregnancy?

pregnant women saying no to food

Some claim it is due to hormonal change (increase in beta HCG hormones) during pregnancy while others relate it to the morning sickness. There is no evidence of such links. Food aversions during pregnancy generally strike during the first trimester – when morning sickness and nausea are at their worst as well- and go out with the second. But some women may develop permanent aversions to some food items.

Some people even believe that food aversions are nature’s way of telling a mother not to eat anything that can be harmful to the baby. Studies that show 85% of pregnant women develop an aversion to some or other food items. Sometimes you may not even like to see what your favorite food was prior to pregnancy.

Tips to Deal With Food Aversions During Pregnancy

sad women with food

Developing a dislike for something which is not very beneficial during pregnancy is good (like that sake of ‘No’ for red meat or coffee) but the problem arises if you do not feel like eating food items that are rich in proteins or contain essential vitamins (the greens and the fruits).

Read the below tips to handle food aversions while you are expecting:

1. Adding a Supplement

A daily dose of vitamin B-6 supplement will help you ease your nausea and morning sickness. Some vitamin B-6 supplements contain an antihistamine called doxylamine which will help to lessen the impact of morning sickness. However, do consult your doctor on this.

[Read: Vitamins and Supplements During Pregnancy]

2. Take a Prenatal Vitamin

Some studies indicate that women who start taking a prenatal vitamin early during pregnancy or even before it are experience milder cases of nausea and morning sickness.

3. Aversion to Poultry and Meat

If you do not even want to smell eggs, let alone eat them, it is alright. You can switch to some other food items rich in proteins like tofu, yogurt, flaxseeds, or almonds.

4. Aversion to Green Leafy Vegetables

Make way for vegetables like carrots, yam, and the like- that do not turn you green. You can even score on vitamin C by catching on to some fruits like cantaloupes, mangos, and apricots.

5. Aversion to Milk

Do not fret with worry that you are unable to stomach milk that has been scored to be the complete food for ages. Try yogurts, cheese, paneer, tofu, etc., which will give you all the benefits of milk. Calcium can also be derived from vegetables like broccoli, legumes, okra, soybean, or oatmeal; seeds like sesame and some canned fish.

6. Be Flexible With Time

It is quite possible that a particular food item makes you not eat your lunch, but you may like it in during dinner time. Sometimes it’s just the timing that needs to be tackled.

7. Keep You Pantry Stocked

Keep a large variety of foods rich in nutrients so that at some point in time if you do not feel like eating one item, you could try other. If you have it in front of your eyes (in your kitchen or fridge) choosing, picking and eating become more interesting and you are likely to end up eating something.

8. Manage Portion Sizes

Do not get upset if it is only a small amount that you are able to eat and not your usual meal size. If you are not able to eat a full carrot at once, eat small portions and be happy about it.

Other Aversions During First Trimester of Pregnancy

smell Aversion in pregnancy

Other aversions during pregnancy, which may make you uncomfortable are particular smells oils, perfumes, room fresheners, and cigarette smoke. For smell aversions keep some good sprays with you so that you may use these to avoid those smells. For cooking smells you may let your windows open and fan on to let them out.

Generally, aversions occur during the first trimester, but in a few cases throughout the pregnancy. Some women may not experience it all or it may be for a very short period. Do not get upset as you will regain your normal taste after pregnancy (if not consult your doctor).

Read Also: Heightened Sense Of Smell During Pregnancy – How To Deal With It?


1. How Long Do Food Aversions Last During Pregnancy?

Food aversions may occur at any time during pregnancy, although they are most frequent during the first three to four months. Food aversions will usually subside once your baby is born.

2. What Week Do Food Aversions Start In Pregnancy?

Morning sickness is the most common cause of pregnancy-related food aversions. Food aversions, like morning sickness, may strike pregnant women at any time, but are most frequent between weeks 6 and 14 of their pregnancies.

3. What Do Food Aversions Feel Like?

Extreme reluctance to eat a certain food is known as food aversion. When pregnant women think about, smell, or eat the food they dislike, they often feel nauseous or gag.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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