Taste Changes Across the Pregnancy – Why Does It Happen?
During pregnancy happens many physical changes; some of them are visible to the outer sights and some of them are not. One of them is the sense of taste that changes across the whole pregnancy. From pregnant women you can often hear that they want something they have really hated before.
How does it happen? Why sense of taste reacts differently before and throughout the pregnancy? Let’s find the answer together.
What is different with the body during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an amazing period when the organism works in totally different level. We all used to identify pregnancy from the shape of the tummy or from morning sickness that is followed by nausea and vomiting.
During pregnancy the whole body prepares for maternity, so physiologically the organism undergoes the adaptation to support the development of fetus. Pregnancy brings increased appetite; a woman starts to eat much more than usual and quickly gains weight. Beyond the weight gain other changes include increased blood volume, increased estrogen level, adjustments in endocrine system and immune tolerance. In addition, the sense of smell and taste becomes too sensitive so a woman starts to feel everything twice stronger.
The fetal development goes on in a very high pace and all changes come at once, so it creates many inconveniences to a future mom. Interestingly, in different trimesters occur different changes.
How pregnancy affects the sense of taste?
During pregnancy a sweet-tooth woman can suddenly give up eating sweets or out of the blue she may want pickled vegetables that she hated most before? That’s not surprising, pregnancy changes the taste preferences in most females.
Changes with taste buds is only due to fluctuation of hormones and it’s not a secret that hormones have impact on our body, appearance and even mood. Therefore, it is a usual condition for pregnant women to experience changes in taste preferences. Especially, in the first trimester taste buds become oversensitive and preferences may change up to 180 degrees. And across the pregnancy tastes will change several times, but they will be less intense.
Moreover, many women complain about sensation of unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth. This is also one of the side effects of pregnancy period. Usually after caffeinated drinks or something unpleasant a woman may feel metallic taste. Experts say that this is the way how the body informs you about that you don’t need that particular product.
Why do I want things that I disliked before?
As we said before hormones play the most important role during pregnancy and taste changes also occur because of this. High level of estrogen hormone increases sensitivity to sweet and bitter tastes, while decreasing sensitivity to salty taste. Therefore, often women start eating things that they’ve not liked or hated before.
The same goes for sour food. During toxicosis period or across the whole pregnancy time a woman may suffer from morning sickness. Salty or sour food helps to ease unpleasant feeling of nausea, vomiting or heartburn.
Actually, every woman is different, so as their level of hormone and food preferences. Because of that reason during pregnancy taste buds change differently in different women and they want different types food. And how long it may last, also depends on hormones. For some it lasts only during the first trimester, for others till the end of the pregnancy period. Some may experience it even after giving birth. When the hormones come back to the normal level, taste buds also return to the previous condition.
What to do when everything tastes bad?
Some women experience taste change in a light form, while others may suffer from it a lot. Anything they taste may seem bad and any food may cause nausea. This condition is called dysgeusia. So, what to do when everything tastes bad? Actually, taste change doesn’t demand medical treatment. It is not something you can prevent; however, you may ease your condition with some small tips.
These tips may help to cope with dysgeusia and decrease unpleasant taste in the mouth:
1) Acidic foods like citrus, lemonade and salads with them
2) Going sour – meat or vegetables marinated in vinegar or soy sauce
3) Consuming salty snacks like crackers or peanut butter
4) Chewing sugar-free gum or mint
5) Stay hydrated
6) Brush your teeth more often and wash mouth with salty or baking soda water
Remember, you mustn’t starve, in any condition. When food tastes bad eat what you can eat. Food is very important for your health and the health of your baby. But, if you still can’t eat anything and vomit several times a day, ask your midwife for medical treatment.
Pregnancy is a wonderful period when you are expecting for baby counting days. Taste changes across pregnancy is a temporary condition and your taste buds will be back after giving a birth, so just enjoy your pregnancy until the sleepless nights come.