We’ve all been there – waiting for the right moment to announce to our SOs that we need to get our hands on a milkshake because “that’s what the baby wants.” Whether you’re sipping on a milkshake or daydreaming about one, you’re probably wondering why you’re craving milkshakes during pregnancy.
Weird pregnancy cravings and aversions are some of the first pregnancy symptoms you’re going to experience. You might start the day with a feeling that your favorite coffee might be off-limits for a little while or a thought that a Subway sandwich might be the one thing that’s going to satisfy you.
You might notice that you’re suddenly obsessed with milk, cheese, and dairy products. You might even start planning your entire day around the possibility of getting ice cream when you’re done with work. What’s wrong with you? Worry not, you’re not the only one to experience pregnancy cravings.
Why are you craving milkshakes during pregnancy? Pregnancy cravings can be caused by a myriad of factors, from hormonal changes and nutritional needs to psychological expectations. With that out of the way, milkshake cravings can be caused by an array of factors, too, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
What are milkshake cravings?
A milkshake craving refers to an intense desire to drink a milkshake. Cravings, especially pregnancy cravings, typically go beyond enjoying the taste of a milkshake or wanting a milkshake as a part of breakfast or dinner. Craving a milkshake represents a specific urge to drink a milkshake.
Whatever your reasons for scoffing down a milkshake with everything you eat might be, we’re 100% positive your milkshake cravings are a consequence of your pregnancy. Milkshakes are made with milk, ice cream, and sugar, all of which happen to be some of the most common pregnancy cravings.
Worry not, milkshakes aren’t your number-one enemy during pregnancy. Women are known to crave all sorts of things, some of which are borderline dangerous (a.k.k.a sand, coal, and cigarettes!), and that’s why your milkshake cravings are OK – for now. Why are you craving milkshakes during pregnancy?
5 reasons you’re craving milkshakes during pregnancy
1. You’re going through hormonal changes
Why, why, why? When you’re expecting a baby, you’re met with a million questions because you’re adamant about doing everything you can to maintain the health of your baby. While you’re focusing on your diet, though, your body is going through an array of changes that affect, well, everything.
When you get pregnant, your body experiences a surge of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that are proven to affect the way you perceive taste and smell. Because of estrogen and progesterone, you might suddenly feel like you’re disgusted by your favorite foods and drawn to your least favorite foods.
Before you contact your doctor and shower the poor professional with questions, know that your pregnancy cravings are most likely a consequence of your hormonal changes. When you start craving milkshakes for no apparent reason, your hormones are probably throwing your baby a party.
2. You’re experiencing nutritional deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies might also be the reason why you’re craving milkshakes during pregnancy, too. When you’re pregnant with a baby, everything you eat affects the baby, too. Whether you’re nibbling on pickles or devouring milk, cheese, and dairy products, you’re feeding your baby vitamins and minerals, too.
Women are known to experience nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy, whether that’s because they’re not eating right or because they’re struggling with diarrhea, vomiting, and similar pregnancy symptoms. When you experience a nutritional deficiency, though, your body might send you a signal.
Pregnancy cravings might be one of the signals your body sends you to urge you to eat something that’s going to replenish the nutrients you’re lacking. Milkshakes might not be the most nutrient-dense foods, but they’re known to contain calcium, protein, vitamin D, potassium, and phosphorus.
3. You’re tired
Pregnancy can be pretty freakin’ tiring, and that’s OK! When you’re expecting a baby, you’re dealing with all sorts of stress, deadlines, pressure, and people who think they’re allowed to comment on you and your body – or God forbid, touch your body without consent.
Pregnancy can be overwhelming and there’s nothing wrong with resorting to a milkshake to pick you up when you’re feeling down. What makes milkshakes irresistible to pregnant women, though? Milkshakes contain an amino acid called tryptophan which aids in the production of melatonin and seratonin.
When you’re tired, all you want to do is sleep. Melatonin and serotonin can help you feel more relaxed and sleepy, and a lack of the two can make you feel restless, nervous, and even depressed. Who needs a therapist when you can get a milkshake, right? When you’re craving energy, you’re craving a milkshake!
4. You’re actually craving sugar
Milkshakes might not be the worst thing to consume during pregnancy, but they’re not the best, either. Depending on the type of milkshake you opt for, you might consume more sugar than vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make milkshakes worth the calories.
Sugar cravings can mean a million things, but you’re probably not eating right or experiencing sudden crashes of energy throughout the day due to hormonal changes or blood pressure changes. Sweets and other carbohydrates digest rather quickly, causing our blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly.
What does that mean? Well, the more milkshakes you consume, the more milkshakes you crave!
5. You’re conditioned by psychological and cultural expectations
With that out of the way, though, we can’t forget about the psychological and cultural expectations that might be causing you to daydream about milkshakes. When you get pregnant, you’re bombarded with TikToks, Instagram posts, and articles related to pregnancy and pregnancy cravings.
You’re probably talking to your friends and family members about different pregnancy experiences, too, and you’re learning a lot about what to expect when you’re pregnant. You’re conditioned to expect to crave milkshakes, cheeseboards, and chocolates because that’s what everyone craves.
According to research, there’s a connection between pregnancy cravings and psychological and cultural expectations. And that’s why you’re more likely to crave foods your friends and family members craved rather than something that’s not talked about where you live – like durian or pickled herring.
What are the benefits of drinking milkshakes during pregnancy?
An average milkshake made of sugar, milk, and ice cream might not be the best way to go when you’re pregnant. Women who are pregnant require a variety of food from each food group daily (grains, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, and dairy). With that in mind, milkshakes can be healthy.
We suggest making a milkshake (or something that resembles a milkshake) more often than going out to get one. Homemade milkshakes can be enriched with fruits, veggies, and even supplements to ensure they’re a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
When you add your favorite fruits, for example, you don’t take away from the deliciousness of a milkshake – you build a better milkshake that promises to keep you and your baby happy and healthy. Milkshakes, other than that, are easy to digest, can be nutrient-rich, and can provide variety.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to get a good old milkshake from your favorite drive-thru anymore. We suggest treating yourself to a proper milkshake here and there but putting an emphasis on adding vitamins and minerals to the milkshakes you make at home.
What are the risks of drinking milkshakes during pregnancy?
We do need to talk about the risks, too. Milkshakes can be extremely sugary, fatty, and calorically rich, and that’s why you might not want to consume them every day of your pregnancy. Consuming too many milkshakes can cause excessive weight gain and other health complications.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy, for example, can negatively impact your health and the health of your baby. Whether you go ham on chocolates and sweets or scoff down every milkshake you can get your hands on, you develop a greater risk of gestational diabetes – a very dangerous condition.
Gestational diabetes can pose some health risks to your baby, too, such as early delivery, breathing problems, and low blood sugar levels right after birth. We suggest swapping regular milkshakes for homemade ones or opting for smoothies and protein shakes which might satisfy your cravings.
What’s the best way to consume milkshakes during pregnancy?
What better way to satisfy your pregnancy cravings than to opt for smoothies and protein shakes rather than straight-up milkshakes made with a ton of sugar, milk, and ice cream? We know what you’re thinking – when you’re craving a milkshake, you’re not craving fruits, veggies, or protein powder.
While that’s a fair point, we do need to mention that the Internet is filled with incredible, pregnancy-friendly recipes that might change your mind. Smoothies made of raspberries and raspberry leaf tea, for example, can encourage shorter labor. Smoothies made of bananas and berries can help with vomiting.
Whatever you decide to do, know that there’s nothing wrong with craving milkshakes during pregnancy. Milkshakes might not be the best way to go when you’re trying to be healthy, but they’re not going to ruin your progress – especially when you’re mindful of the amount you’re consuming every day.
You’ve got this, Momma!