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Craving Vinegar While Pregnant (Why It Happens & What To Do!)

Craving Vinegar While Pregnant (Why It Happens & What To Do!)

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Whether you’re craving salt and vinegar chips, a vinaigrette salad dressing, or pickled vegetables, you may find yourself craving vinegar while pregnant. What does this mean and is this a safe craving to indulge in?

It is very common for pregnant women to crave vinegar-based snacks.  Vinegar is safe for both mother and baby, although excessive consumption can exacerbate heartburn, a common complaint during pregnancy.

Read on to learn more about pregnancy cravings for vinegar, how to indulge them, if it is safe to drink vinegar, and what it means if you crave vinegar while pregnant.

Is it normal to crave vinegar during pregnancy?

Many women have the stereotypical cravings for pickles or pickle juice during pregnancy, which could be due in part to the acidic vinegar flavor.

Although it sounds odd, craving vinegar is actually a very common occurrence during pregnancy for many women. In fact, one of the most cliche pregnancy cravings is for pickles, which are typically cucumbers that have been preserved in a vinegar solution.

However, you may also find yourself wanting to just drink straight-up vinegar or eat vinegar-flavored foods such as a salad with vinaigrette dressing or vinegar-flavored potato chips.

All of these cravings are completely normal.

Several types of vinegar and oil arrange on a chopping block

When do women normally crave vinegar while pregnant?

Generally, food cravings begin to occur during the 1st trimester, and peak in the 2nd trimester before gradually winding down during the 3rd trimester.

Although some women will never experience any food cravings at all, a large majority (50-90%) eventually will.

Is it safe to have vinegar during pregnancy?

Vinegar is considered very safe for all types of uses during pregnancy including consumption.

There are not any concerns of major harm to the mother or the baby by eating vinegar. Vinegar is not on the American Pregnancy Association’s list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

One caveat, however, is that vinegar can cause or exacerbate heartburn, which is already fairly common during pregnancy.

This is because vinegar is more acidic than alkaline and can irritate your stomach and esophagus. Excessive intake of acidic products like vinegar can also cause problems with tooth enamel erosion, which could be transferred to a developing fetus as well.

Can having vinegar harm an unborn baby?

There is no evidence to suggest that eating or drinking any vinegar products can be harmful to your unborn baby in any way.

When in doubt, check with your medical provider, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

How much vinegar can you have while pregnant?

As they say, too much of any good thing can be a bad thing, so is there a limit to how much vinegar you can have while pregnant?

Certainly, if you are consuming several ounces per day, you are most likely going to trigger some major heartburn.

Generally, you will want to limit yourself to 1-2 tablespoons per day of vinegar products such as apple cider vinegar.

Is it safe to drink vinegar?

It is generally considered safe to drink vinegar, although some types of vinegar are better for drinking than others.

For the sake of flavor, if you are craving vinegar, you might have better luck with taking a swig of some apple cider vinegar instead of plain white vinegar.

Drinking vinegar (and especially apple cider vinegar) has been a popular remedy for centuries for many ailments. Uses include lowering blood sugar, lower blood pressure, aiding with weight loss, helping heal a sore throat or cold, and lower cholesterol.  

Is vinegar good for pregnancy?

In addition to being safe to eat, there are actually many benefits to having vinegar during pregnancy.

Consuming a little bit of vinegar each day can help with nausea, give you a high dose of antioxidants, and provide a sodium-free option for flavoring your food. Vinegar can be a good source of help with morning sickness in some pregnant women.

There are many different ways to enjoy some of the many flavors of vinegar during your meals. Below are some of the most popular types of vinegar and their most common uses!

Woman pouring olive oil and vinegar on plate

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is an excellent addition to many dishes including salads, sandwiches, cheese and fruit, and sautéed meats and vegetables.

Keep in mind, however, that balsamic vinegar does contain a higher amount of sugar than other forms of vinegar. You may want to limit your balsamic vinegar usage if you have been told to lower your sugar intake.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular forms of vinegar and is made from the fermented liquid of crushed apples.

It is generally considered to be very healthy in addition to being very flavorful. Enjoy some ACV on a salad, or as a marinade for a sweet and savory dish.

bottle of apple cider vinegar with spoon and squirt bottle

Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized products due to bacterial risk. Some apple cider vinegar is unpasteurized, but ACV is also antimicrobial, meaning that beneficial bacterial growth is favored over others.

To be completely safe, only pasteurized apple cider vinegar should be consumed when pregnant if possible.

Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is made from fermented un-hopped beer and is used most often in various sauces and dips, and it’s especially good on fries.

Because the flavor of malt vinegar is very strong and acidic, you may want to avoid it if you are prone to heartburn or morning sickness.

Black Vinegar

Black vinegar is a term that refers to a family of grain-based vinegar most commonly used in Asian food dishes such as stir-fries and noodles.

Black vinegar is very flavorful and can be compared in some cases to balsamic vinegar.

It can safely be enjoyed during pregnancy with great frequency if desired.

Does red wine vinegar actually contain wine?

Finally, another popular vinegar is red wine vinegar. You’ll see this used in many Italian recipes and in sauces in marinades. Does the prohibition of alcohol during pregnancy extend to red wine vinegar?

Red wine vinegar must be less than 0.5% ABV to be sold in the United States, so it contains only trace amounts of alcohol. So, unless you’re guzzling it by the bottle, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Red wine vinegar is made from red wine. However, bacteria eat the wine during the fermentation process, transforming it into vinegar. Only the smallest amount of alcohol is left behind.

What about lead in vinegar?

While there’s no official recommendation against pregnant people consuming vinegar, recent studies have pointed to notable amounts of lead in vinegar made from grapes.

Consumer watchdog groups have asked the FDA to regulate acceptable lead limits, particularly because of concerns about developing fetuses.

Vinegar industry professionals argue that one would have to consume an impossible amount of vinegar to reach the known harmful amount of lead.

If you want to err on the side of caution, many vinegar manufacturers provide an analysis of their product, including the average lead parts per billion. You can use this information to buy the vinegar with the least amount of lead.

What does it mean if you crave vinegar while pregnant?

Medically, a craving for vinegar could mean that you need more salt, or are lacking in amino acids, as these are some of the nutritional properties of the acetic acid in vinegar.

Despite having little to no scientific backing, old wives’ tales are popular ways of predicting your future child’s characteristics, including gender.

So what does craving vinegar while pregnant mean for your child?

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

Pregnant women commonly try to interpret their cravings to find out whether or not they are having a boy or a girl.

One of the myths and old wives’ tales around craving vinegar is that you will be having a boy.

Of course, there is no scientific evidence to support these conclusions, and this type of prediction is just for fun.

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


Craving vinegar while pregnant might be your first clue that you’re really pregnant, or one of many food fixations you develop over the course of your pregnancy.

Either way, it’s a safe craving that you can indulge in. However, if you find yourself drinking vinegar while pregnant and consuming huge quantities, let your doctor know.

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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