Craving Ice Cream During Pregnancy? What it Means

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Written by Shandra Williams

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Do you find yourself constantly craving ice cream during your pregnancy? It’s no secret that pregnant women crave all sorts of interesting things, and ice cream is one of the most common pregnancy cravings. So what does it mean?

Craving ice cream during pregnancy is perfectly normal. It has no known cause, though some think it might mean you are craving nutrients, such as calcium or vitamin D.

Do ice cream cravings always mean something is deficient, or is there a whole spectrum of things it could be? Keep reading to find out more.

What do Ice Cream Cravings Mean During Pregnancy?

There are a few things that ice cream cravings could mean during pregnancy. First, it could simply mean that you’re craving something cold and refreshing. Pregnancy can be a hot and sweaty experience, so it’s no wonder many women find themselves craving something cold to help them cool down (source: HHS Public Access Journal). 

pregnant young woman sitting on bed and eating ice cream

Another root cause may be that you’re simply craving something sweet.  Pregnancy can cause hormonal fluctuations, leading to intense sugar cravings (source: The Faseb Journal). However, it’s important to be mindful of how much sugar you consume during pregnancy, as too much can lead to gestational diabetes (source: Psychology Today).

Furthermore, craving ice cream could also mean that you’re in need of more calcium or vitamin D, though the science on this is not conclusive. Ice cream is a good source of both of these nutrients. If you’re craving it, your body might be prompting you to consume more of these key nutrients (source: Frontiers of Psychology Journal).

There are other ways to get both, though, such as through milk, yogurt, and other dairy products that don’t contain as much sugar, fat, and calories.

Talk to your physician about what’s best for you and your healthy pregnancy. They can help you determine if your ice cream craving is nothing to worry about or if it’s a sign that you need to modify your diet.

Lastly, most of the time, cravings may be rooted in cultural and psychological sources (source: University of Albany). For example, If you’re from the South, then you might be more likely to crave warm peach cobbler with ice cream on top. Or, if your favorite flavor is chocolate, you might be more likely to have cravings for chocolate ice cream when you’re feeling stressed.

So, next time you have a craving for ice cream, evaluate what may be going on below the surface of that desire. 

Does Craving Ice Cream Mean I’m Having a Boy or Girl?

There is an old wives’ tale that says if you’re craving ice cream during pregnancy, you’re having a girl. The logic behind this is that girls are “sweeter” than boys. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. So, whether you’re craving this treat or not, there’s no way to know the sex of your baby for sure.

It’s fun guessing, though – and an excuse to indulge in an ice cream craving, after all.

soft serve ice cream in a cone

How to Safely Indulge Ice Cream Cravings When Pregnant

If you’re going to indulge your ice cream cravings, make sure you do it safely. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose ice cream made with pasteurized milk and eggs to avoid food poisoning. Unpasteurized dairy products can contain bacteria that can harm you and your baby (source: CDC).
  • Avoid ice cream that has a lot of sugar or is high in fat. Too much sugar can lead to gestational diabetes, and too much fat can cause weight gain (source: Indiana University).
  • Make sure you are not lactose intolerant. Some women find that they can no longer tolerate dairy when pregnant. If this is the case, you might want to avoid ice cream altogether or find a lactose-free variety.
  • Avoid soft serve ice cream because the machine it is made in is difficult to clean properly, which can lead to food poisoning.

If you have any concerns about consuming ice cream during your pregnancy, talk to your physician. They can help you determine if it’s safe for you and your unborn baby.

Pregnancy can be a confusing and overwhelming time, but it’s essential to listen to your body and trust your instincts. There are several reasons why you might be desiring ice cream. But most likely, there is nothing to be concerned about. Craving something sweet? Then go ahead and indulge in moderation.