Why am I off my favourite food?

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The hormonal changes that happen in pregnancy affect all your senses. Your eyes may not see as well as usual, your nose may become extra sensitive to bad smells. And your sense of taste may undergo changes you never expected.

Coffee may have been your favourite, but now you can’t smell it without feeling nauseous. Or it smells great, but when you taste it you just can’t take a second sip. You usually have a sweet tooth, but now it’s crisps and pretzels that catch your eye, and chocolate just doesn’t appeal.

About 50% - 85% of women show an aversion to at least one food type during pregnancy and can be anything from oranges to milk. Even once morning sickness passes, this change to your tastes may linger on, and in some cases it can be permanent.

Get someone else to do the cooking for the family if you can, or make dishes that have a less pungent smell. Make sure your home is well-ventilated so you have fresh air moving through all the time.

If the food you can no longer tolerate is a nutritious food, try to substitute another similar food from that same food group so you do not miss out on important nutrients. For example:
  • If you can’t stomach milk make sure you get calcium from leafy green veggies and tofu. Or you might be able to eat yoghurt if you can’t drink milk.
  • If oranges now make you queasy, try strawberries, kiwis, green peppers, or tomatoes to replace vitamin C.
  • If meat puts you off, try getting protein from vegetable source such as lentils and beans.
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