Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Here's to Pickles and Ice Cream

Constant Cravings

Chocolates, Blueberries, and Those Pesky 'Momisms' continued...

But that doesn't mean cravings are your body's way of screaming for foods it needs, experts say. That may be an eye-opener for those of us raised by mothers who took every opportunity to point out that our bodies must be deficient in a food we're craving -- proof that we're not eating right, or enough.

Niebyl says an example commonly used to disprove that old wives' tale is the urge to eat ice cubes, which is often associated with anemia. "That doesn't help the iron deficiency. They need to be eating iron-containing foods." One exception to the rule, however, may be salty foods. The body needs a little more sodium [salt] to balance the extra fluid volume during pregnancy, although the normal diet usually includes enough, adds Ward.

There's also no scientific evidence that what you crave during pregnancy will become one of your child's favorites. Anne Pike, a mother of four who lives in Evanston, Ill., says she ate tons of blueberries during her first pregnancy, and sure enough, by the time David was 1, he already showed an affinity for them. "He loved them as a baby, couldn't get enough of them," she says. With her second, she craved hot dogs, and her daughter, Sara, loves those.

But it's hard to tell whether those would be foods the children would like anyway, or if it's really a matter of conditioning. "There's an element of a self-fulfilling prophecy here," Pitkin says. "Let's say a woman eats chocolate during pregnancy. If she likes it, she's going to have it around the house afterward, too."

And while studies have shown that a fetus does develop a sense of taste in the womb and will even swallow more when the amniotic fluid is sweetened, it's doubtful that the fetus can actually taste what you taste. The food you eat is already metabolized by the time it gets through the umbilical cord to the baby, he says.

The sole evidence for a link between eating habits during pregnancy and children's food preferences is new research indicating that women with morning sickness tend to have children who crave salt as adults. Researchers speculate that it may have to do with dehydration that can occur when pregnant moms are too nauseous to drink enough.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Woman looking at pregnancy test
calendar and baby buggy
dark chocolate squares