Cravings

Whenever you see fathers-to-be depicted in the movies or on television, two things invariably happen. One is that the man faints in the delivery room during childbirth (though this almost never happens in real life). The other thing you see occurs earlier in the pregnancy, when the woman develops some strange food craving and sends the man out in the middle of the night to get it for her.

Cravings are a normal and sometimes fun part of pregnancy. Also normal is the opposite of cravings: food aversion. Just as some pregnant women may develop cravings from time to time for pickles or peanut butter, they may also turn their nose up at food or beverages they formerly loved, such as a morning cup of java.

Studies show that up to 80 percent of all women experience food aversions of one kind or another during pregnancy. Cravings are even more common, with nine out of ten women saying they hungered for a certain food. The most popular food craving for pregnant women? Ice cream.

As with morning sickness, there are theories why women's bodies instinctively react in this manner. Those raging hormones, as always, lie at the root of it, but it may be that the reason a woman craves certain foods is that her body needs what those foods are supplying her with. Conversely, she may feel less than enamored by certain previously indulged-in items such as coffee or alcohol.

So what's a man to do if his pregnant partner develops a sudden taste for prestirred mixed-berry yogurt at four in the morning? The answer to that one is simple. He throws on his clothes, grabs the car keys, and goes to get it. Your partner will consider you a hero, and the two of you can sit in bed and eat berry yogurt together while watching the sunrise.

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