Appetite, cravings, and aversions

Appetite may vary from one woman or pregnancy to another, and even from day to day.

The physical changes you undergo can affect your appetite. Early in the pregnancy, hormonal changes can increase your appetite, even if your needs haven’t changed. As the pregnancy progresses, your uterus will compress your stomach, slowing digestion and reducing appetite.

Some of the discomforts of pregnancy (see Discomforts of pregnancy) may also increase or reduce your appetite, especially during the first few months.


During pregnancy, most women have cravings—a strong desire for a particular food. You may find yourself longing for chocolate, salty snacks, ice cream, or candy. Sometimes, cravings are for more nutritious foods, such as fruit or dairy products.

Eating regularly can help reduce cravings. But regardless of what kind of foods you hunger for, the important thing is to eat well overall.


During pregnancy, you may also find yourself avoiding foods you enjoyed before you became pregnant. Even if you stop eating a particular food, you can still get the nutrients you need from other sources. For example, if you don’t feel like meat or poultry, you can opt for other protein foods like legumes, eggs, or fish.

Aversions are most common in the first trimester of pregnancy. If you stop eating certain foods, you can always try them again later in your pregnancy

If your cravings and/or aversions happen very frequently, bother you, or make eating complicated, don’t hesitate to raise the issue with your prenatal care provider or a nutritionist.

Nutrients: Components of food, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, sugars, and fats.