Truth be told, no one knows why pregnancy cravings happen. Some experts say they may be nature's way of providing nutrients an expectant mom may be lacking. Others say they're an emotional thing. Regardless, as long as you're eating an overall healthy diet, it's usually OK to give in to your cravings. Just be careful to limit portions—don't down all that ice cream at once!—and know which snacks to steer clear of. A few foods to avoid: raw and undercooked meat or eggs; brie, feta, and other types of unpasteurized cheese; herbal teas; and raw sprouts.
Find ways to meet other pregnant women, whether that's through a prenatal yoga or childbirth class, a neighbourhood parents group, or an online parenting forum. The support, resources, and camaraderie from other women in the same boat as you can be crucial for getting through the ups and downs of pregnancy. "These are good connections after you have the baby, too," said Dr. Miller.
Learn About Postpartum Depression
You've probably heard of postpartum depression, but you may not know that 10 percent to 20 percent of women experience symptoms of major depression during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. This could increase your risk for preterm labor. If you're feeling unexplainably sad, angry, or guilty – or if you lose interest in activities you usually enjoy or sleep too much – tell your doctor. Therapy, a support group, an antidepressant medication, or a combination of the three will likely help. Not all antidepressants are safe for pregnant women, so be sure to work with a doctor who is familiar with pregnancy-related mental health issues. To search for a prenatal/postpartum support organization in your area, visit postpartum.net.
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