Watermelon during the summer can be a huge favorite, especially among pregnant women. The sweetness, along with the juice, makes it a wonderful summer treat. But is it normal to crave watermelon?
While not one of the cliche cravings, it is normal for pregnant women to crave watermelon – both salted and plain. This may be a sign that their body needs vitamin C, but it can also provide other helpful nutrients plus aid in hydration, which can help alleviate morning sickness. It does not, however, indicate the sex of the baby.
Read on to find out more about watermelon cravings and the old wives’ tales associated with them.
Is it normal to crave watermelon while pregnant?
Fruit is a common food craving for many women, although the amount of women craving watermelon specifically is really unknown.
Many women will crave apples, oranges, and melons (including watermelon). A cold, juicy watermelon sounds like heaven, especially during a heatwave, and can provide hydration.
One of the theories behind women craving watermelon and other fruit is that there may be a deficiency in vitamin C, which is found in fruit. There has not been enough research done to say definitively if this is the case, but this is a leading theory among doctors.
When in pregnancy do you crave watermelon?
Cravings will typically start during the first trimester and get more intense as a woman gets closer to her due date. For many women, this can be as early as 5 weeks.
A woman’s cravings can also change over the course of the pregnancy, with cravings shifting to other foods or expanding to include seasonings such as watermelon with Tajin or salt. Some women will crave the raw fruit, which is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, while others will want it with something else.
Watermelon with salt is a popular treat since the salt will activate the salivary glands and helps pull out the various flavors in the watermelon. Just be careful since adding in salt or other toppings may change how healthy a snack is.
Is eating watermelon good during pregnancy?
Watermelon is safe for a woman to eat during a normal, healthy pregnancy. There are many benefits to eating it since it is full of water, vitamins, and other nutrients. Just like with anything, though, you should eat it in moderation.
Not only does watermelon provide juicy, sweet hydration, some of the benefits associated with eating it include providing mom and baby with vitamins A, C, and B6, plus magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in antioxidants which may help decrease pregnancy complications and a decreased chance of preeclampsia.
Along with food cravings, morning sickness is another common side effect of pregnancy. Watermelon is one of the foods that may help alleviate some women since it is 92% water. It can also provide hydration for those who are vomiting or too nauseated to eat or drink a lot.
One of the biggest concerns with eating watermelon during pregnancy is an increased chance of getting listeria if the fruit has not been handled correctly or has been sitting out too long, which could create complications in the pregnancy. When having watermelon, it is best to take the whole fruit home and cut it up yourself after properly washing the fruit. Scrub it with a fruit brush to remove any dirt before cutting it, and make sure you do not eat watermelon that has been sitting at room temperature for over 2 hours to be safe.
If you have gestational diabetes, watermelon should be eaten in small amounts as part of a balanced meal and after discussion with your dietician, incorporate it appropriately. Although it is full of nutrients and antioxidants, it is also full of sugar, does not contain a lot of fiber, and is also high on the glycemic index. Eating too much watermelon can lead to sugar spikes for mom and can also lead to serious complications for both mom and baby, so talk to your OB-BYN and dietician for more information.
What does it mean if a pregnant woman craves watermelon?
There are various myths surrounding watermelon and other fruits during pregnancy. Some are about baby’s sex as well as beliefs about what women should stay away from. Most of these are good fun, but some can cause worry in expectant mothers, so it’s important to take all these with a grain of salt.
Here are some old wives tales and myths regarding watermelon and fruit:
- If you crave watermelon or fruit, you are having a girl – This is a myth. While guessing can be fun, the only way to be sure of the sex of your unborn baby is through an ultrasound.
- If you swallow a watermelon seed, it will grow in your stomach – Many children are told not to swallow fruit seeds because it will cause the fruit to grow inside you. I remember watching my stomach closely as a 5-year-old after accidentally swallowing an apple seed. The apple never emerged, but many people grow up being told this and believing it!
- If your belly is shaped like a watermelon, you are having a girl – Some people believe that if mom’s belly is shaped like a watermelon, it means she’s having a girl, but if she’s carrying more upfront, then it’s a boy. The way the mother carries has more to do with her body’s structure, but it can make a fun conversation.
- Eating certain fruits will cause you to miscarry – This last old wives’ tale is not so much fun and deals with staying away from certain fruits like papaya, pineapple, and green bananas while pregnant because it could cause you to miscarry. This is not true, although be careful with unripe papaya, and expectant mothers should talk to their obstetrician before avoiding specific foods.
Does craving watermelon during pregnancy mean it’s a boy or a girl?
Unfortunately, what mom is craving does predict whether their little one is a boy or a girl.
One of the biggest myths about watermelon and fruit is that they can tell you what the gender of the baby is. Wanting sweet foods such as fruit means the baby is a girl, while craving savory foods mean that it is a boy.
If you go through parenting forums such as Baby Center or The Bump, many women report that they crave fruit and ask what it means because they have heard the old wives’ tale. Some women respond that they craved fruit during their pregnancy and ended up having a boy or say they craved chips and ended up with a baby girl.
Of course, there is no scientific evidence to back this, but many women have fun trying to figure out if a baby is a boy or girl based on this! Whatever you crave, this is always a fun guessing game, especially at gender reveals!
Why do pregnant women tell others not to eat watermelon seeds?
Many women have great fun with this particular myth and may say not to eat watermelon seeds when asked if they’re pregnant!
Typically used in a joking manner, it can also be used as a cute pregnancy announcement. The imagery of a watermelon growing inside a woman’s stomach definitely mimics that of a growing baby, but at a much slower rate!
Whether you are craving watermelon or something else during pregnancy, it’s fun to look at what the old wives’ tales are and make predictions based on it. Have fun but remember not to put too much stock into it.
If you want to learn more, I have a HUGE list of the most common pregnancy cravings just for you!