CRAVINGS DURING PREGNANCY
a. Craving. This is a strong desire for a certain type of food, usually
b. Pica. This is an intense craving for and ingestion of nonnutritive substances
such as clay, laundry starch, raw flour, and rice. This type of craving is characteristic of
but is not limited to lower socioeconomic groups, ethnic groups, and regional areas,
which prefer certain substances. Even though the cause is unknown, it interferes with
good nutrition. Pica appears to be related to iron deficiency anemia as either a cause or
c. Treatment or Counseling.
(1) Anything that depresses good nutritional intake should be evaluated.
This type of depression may be caused by nausea or vomiting, food fads or lack of
finances, smoking or alcoholism, or personal or social problems. If a problem is
identified, it should be reported to the charge nurse or physician for appropriate referral
to the correct people who can relieve or eliminate the problem.
Total dietary intake on a daily basis may need to be assessed.
Dietary needs of pregnancy should be reinforced at every visit to the
a. Obesity is common and frequently a serious problem among Americans. The
patient is considered overweight if she is 10 percent over her desirable weight for their
height and age group. If the patient is 20 percent over her desirable weight at the
beginning of the pregnancy, she is considered at risk.
b. These patients require close observation and additional education. The most
frequently prescribed diet is 1500 to 1800 calories per day. The patient must be
advised that this in not the time to diet to lose weight. Encouragement is greatly needed
during the pregnancy.
a. A teratogen is an agent or factor that causes the production of physical
defects in the developing fetus.
b. Many drugs are known to have teratogenic effects on the fetus if taken during
pregnancy. Drugs are the most widely recognized cause of structural defects in the
developing fetus. Patients need to be cautioned about taking any medication without a
physician's approval. Over-the-counter medicines such as nose drops, cold remedies,