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Craving Sour Foods While Pregnant (Why It Happens & How To Handle it!)

Craving Sour Foods While Pregnant (Why It Happens & How To Handle it!)

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Pregnancy can feel like an assault on a woman’s body. Hormones are thrown out of whack, and your body can be stripped of vital nutrients. Throw in the wild cravings, and it can make for a crazy nine months! A common craving women often get hit with is sour foods. But why does this happen, and is there any way to ease these cravings?

Pregnancy cravings will typically start toward the end of the first trimester and peak during the second. Cravings for sour foods are thought to be from a combination of allowing for better transfer of calcium and other nutrients from mom to baby, hormones fueling the cravings, and mommy’s body craving vitamins and nutrients sour foods can provide.

Are you craving a little more information? Keep reading below to find out more info on craving sour foods while pregnant and precisely what it means for mom and baby!

Is it normal to crave sour foods while pregnant?

When a woman is pregnant, she will typically begin feeling certain cravings during the first trimester, peaking at some point during the second and usually dissipating toward the end of the third trimester.

These cravings come in a wide variety of types and combinations:

  • Sweets
  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Starchy food
  • Ice cream
  • Fast food
  • All things sour
  • and more!

These cravings are a normal part of pregnancy and not always indicative of a problem. However, it is always a good idea to let your doctor know about these cravings and feelings you may be having.

One of the most common and famous pregnancy cravings a woman can get is sour foods like pickles. This may be due to more than a psychological desire. The soon-to-be momma may be craving pickles or other sour foods as a way to retain body fluid.

Sour foods often contain salts that can help our bodies replenish low sodium levels. Maintaining proper sodium levels is vital for the body to transfer essential vitamins and nutrients from mom to baby.

Is craving sour foods bad for pregnancy?

Things are changing fast and can be scary while you’re pregnant, so it is never a bad idea to let your doctor know about any changes in your body or cravings you may be experiencing. However, when it comes to sour foods, OB-GYN Dr. Idries Abdur-Rahman says, “Sour foods like limes and lemon and sour candies can reduce morning sickness by increasing salivation.” Still, like everything in life, moderation is key, and excess desires and consumption should be reported to your doctor.

Cravings for wild foods and drinks are a normal part of pregnancy; cravings for non-food items are not. You should tell your doctor as quickly as possible if you find yourself wanting to scarf down non-food items.

This feeling is referred to as pica and is caused by deficiencies in vitamin B, iron, and zinc. Those suffering from pica may feel the desire to eat a long list of non-food items, such as:

  • Ice
  • Clay
  • Soap
  • Buttons
  • Sand
  • Hair
  • Dirt
  • Cigarette butts
  • Ashes
  • Chalk
  • and more

If you let your doctor know about these cravings, they can run tests to determine if you have low iron or zinc levels. The condition can be eliminated with time and vitamins.

Can eating sour foods cause miscarriage?

Eating large excessive amounts of anything during pregnancy can be unhealthy.

When consumed within normal quantities, Sour foods do not pose an increased risk to the pregnancy and can help with nutrient transfer between mom and baby. They can also help replenish key vitamins and nutrients lost during pregnancy.

Some foods could potentially lead to a miscarriage or other major health concerns for mom and baby:

  • Caffeine
  • Fish with high mercury levels
  • Raw eggs
  • Cheese made from unpasteurized milk
  • Animal liver in large portions
  • Large amounts of peaches and wild apples
  • Raw seafood

Many of these foods are potential carriers of e. Coli or other harmful bacterias if they are not appropriately prepared. Expectant mothers are generally advised to limit consumption (in the case of caffeine) or avoid these foods altogether.

What if eating sour foods while pregnant upsets your stomach

Saying pregnant women go through a lot during pregnancy is an understatement. Swelling, cramps, and nausea are all super common. Nausea is a common ailment, affecting around 70-percent of pregnant women.

In general, sour foods are not a primary cause of nausea during pregnancy. In fact, a woman can use sour candies and peppermints to help stimulate salvation and potentially ease an upset stomach.  

Unfortunately, there are quite a few things that can lead to an upset stomach and nausea for a pregnant woman:

  • Smoke
  • Excessive heat
  • Different random foods
  • Certain chemical smells
  • Perfumes
  • Quick movements

Sadly, it can seem as if there is no real rhyme or reason behind the things that can cause some women to become nauseated during pregnancy.

Luckily, women can do and eat a few simple things at home to help alleviate a nauseous tummy:

  • Sour & peppermint candies
  • Small portions of bland snacks
  • Saltine crackers
  • Small amounts of ginger
  • Limit spicey & acidic foods
  • Avoid strong odors and crowded, stuffy rooms
  • Make sure to get plenty of rest
  • Anti-nausea wristbands

One major product to avoid while pregnant is bismuth subsalicylate, also known as Pepto Bismol. The FDA has linked to increased bleeding risks during a woman’s second and third trimesters.

What does it mean if you crave sour foods while pregnant?

The world is full of old wives’ tales and myths about everything under the sun. Some of the most popular ones most of us have heard of are: if you pull one gray hair, two will grow to replace it; if you constantly crack your knuckles, you will end up with arthritis in your hands; and that cats are evil and will steal your soul.

Pregnancy has a lot of its own myths and misconceptions. Many revolve around the belief that craving sour foods and a long list of other indications will let you know if you are having a boy or girl long before you would have an ultrasound. But like so many other myths floating around, these are not true. 

Let’s take a look below at a few more of these myths and separate fact from fiction.

Does craving sour foods while pregnant mean it’s a boy or girl?

The sooner you can find out your baby’s gender, the sooner you can plan for explosions and fireworks at a gender reveal party! That last part was a joke; please stop the explosions and fireworks trends for reveal parties!

According to the myths and old wives’ tales, it is possible to use cravings to tell your baby’s gender. If momma has been craving sour and salty foods, she is going to have a boy. On the other hand, cravings for sweets point to having a little girl. Of course, none of these are accurate and in no way should be used to predict if you are having a boy or girl. But, they are still fun and memorable things you can look back on after your little one is born and see if the predictors did pan out.

If you want to know your baby’s sex, and many of us do, non-invasive ultrasound is the way to go. At 12 weeks, the baby’s gender can be determined with 98 percent accuracy; at 13 weeks, that number goes up to 100 percent.

Other myths about eating sour foods when pregnant

Myths about sour food cravings determining your baby’s gender, being the cause of intense nausea, and worsening menstrual cramps are all false.

Let’s take a look at a few more common beliefs that don’t hold up to medical scrutiny:

  • It is believed that if you sleep on your right side while pregnant, you are having a girl; your left side would mean it’s a boy.
  • If you make it through pregnancy with little to no nausea, it’s believed you will have a boy. But, because girls are thought to be so much sweeter than boys, you will be very nauseous if it’s a girl.
  • Smooth, soft hands while pregnant? The belief is you are having a girl. Rough, dry hands, on the other hand, pun intended, means it’s most likely a boy.
  • Old wives’ tales say you can expect a girl if you have a bad case of adult acne while pregnant.
  • A popular myth is that if mommy becomes clumsy during pregnancy, you can expect a little boy to pop out.
  • If mom gets a round, fuller face while pregnant, the old wives’ tales say it will be a girl.

Again none of these are true. Chances are some of them will seem to be true with your pregnancy and baby; some certainly matched up with our baby. But with a 50/50 chance, any prediction will be accurate half the time and appear real.

Another common belief that many believe to be a myth is that if a mom has a lot of heartburn during pregnancy, the baby will be born with a lot of hair. That sounds crazy, right! Well, that one may be true. It isn’t the heartburn that directly causes an increase in your baby’s hair. The hormones estrogen and progesterone relax your esophageal sphincter leading to heartburn. It is believed that these two hormones also contribute to a baby’s hair growth in the womb.

If you want to learn more, I have a HUGE list of the most common pregnancy cravings just for you!

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!

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