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Cravings during pregnancy is a real phenomenon that has been the topic of many conversations. You don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy the combination of pickles and ice cream.  Look at this noodle company menu:  Artboard 19 copy 2 (luckypickledumpling.co)

This is the first time I saw the combination in the form of soft served ice cream.  If you are in New York City, you can enjoy your pickle ice cream at Luck Pickle Dumpling Co.  If you do not live near this dumpling company, make your own by using this recipe with two substitutions:

  1. Grated pickles for the lemon zest
  2. Cucumbers juice for the lemon juice

The history of this phrase started in the early 1900’s and was used in the combination of a comic relief.  During the baby boom of 1952 and 1953 season of “I love Lucy”, Lucille Ball sends Ricky all over town to find her very unusual cravings.  In the movie, “Susan slept here”, the character Debbie Reynolds loves to eat pickles and strawberries for breakfast because her mother ate them while pregnant with her.  As she ordered this strange combination, the rumors flew around that she was pregnant.

Whether you know someone who actually found themselves craving pickles and ice cream, the whole food craving and altered taste buds is very real.  A friend of mine said when she was pregnant, she craved “White Castle hamburgers” and ice cream.  I did not think that was so bad until I tasted them.  The whole steam bun and the texture of the meat was not for me.  Her husband said it would be almost 9pm and she would get a craving that was unbearable.  He would have to go out and buy her hamburgers and ice cream.  Sometimes she craved pickles too.

What causes these cravings for food combinations?  Some research places the blame on the hormones changes while others insist that it is a deficiency in nutrients needed.  Surveys show that in the first trimester women craved more sweets and dense carbohydrates.  In the second trimester, they craved sweets.  In the third trimester, they craved salt more. No matter your craving, remember to keep them in moderation.  Watch your blood pressure and your blood sugars levels.  Ask your physician about your cravings so he can advise you.  It was reported before that some women actually craved clay or dirt or maybe chalk.  Be advised that these cravings are not advisable.  Your physician can check your blood levels of vitamins to see if there is a deficiency or not causing these cravings.

Although eating pickles is fine to eat during pregnancy, you do not want to consume all the sodium involved in their makeup in one jar at a time.  Too many pickles can cause water retention and risk of high blood pressure.  A medium size pickle can pack 325mg of sodium alone.  The pickle itself is a good source of vitamin K and the pickle juice is a good source of vitamin C.  Savor that pickle and eat only what you need to save some sodium allowance for other food cravings.

Sweet tooth cravings affect blood sugar levels.  Your physician is an excellent resource for management of your sweet tooth.  A dietician is another good resource for guidelines on consumption of sweets.

Dairy Cravings are excellent for the babies’ strong bones.  Better to stick to pasteurized milk because we don’t need bacteria.  Another craving is spicy foods, you can have spice in your food if you are not experiencing heartburn or an upset stomach which is common during pregnancy.  Keep your esophagus free of burns. Don’t lay down right after eating that spicy food.

Have you ever experienced that extreme work out that afterwards you just crave beef or chicken?  Some women experience a craving for animal meat.  Tell your physician about it if it happens more than once.  It could mean that you have low iron.  Be sure you cook it well cause once again; we do not need bacteria.

If you experience cravings during your pregnancy, journal it and keep it for the baby.  Some day it could be a little comic relief for the family during an event in their lives. Enjoy those cravings and the fond memories of that beautiful pregnancy.

Other resources:

Pregnancy cravings: Weird cravings and when cravings start | BabyCenter

9 common pregnancy cravings: When do they start? – Flo

All About Pregnancy Cravings and When They Start | Pampers

Pickles and Ice Cream and Other Fables (brown.edu)



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One of the things I learned as a student and resident, is that in obstetrics you can have a lot to say about your outcome. In other words, you can pick your outcome much of the time—not all of the time—but certainly about 90% of the time. Pregnant women so often feel they shouldn’t question the expert, the obstetrician. My goal is to provide pregnant women a safe arena where they can freely ask questions about their choices in their pregnancy and delivery. I can’t offer you medical advice, but I can tell you about my experiences with the 6000 babies I delivered.

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