Aversions when pregnant

Many pregnant women will suddenly become repulsed by certain foods, even ones they previously enjoyed. Food aversions are most common during the first trimester as symptoms included in the umbrella of morning sickness.

What causes it?

When you add an elevated sense of smell, frequent feelings of nausea, and raging hormones together, oftentimes the result will be food aversions. Some speculate that food aversions are an evolutionary mechanism that function as your body’s way of communicating to you the fuels it does NOT want.


There is nothing you can really do to prevent or reverse food aversions, from a biological perspective, so your best bet is to keep your home – and especially your kitchen – as airy and fresh as possible. Air fresheners aren’t recommended during pregnancy, as they may release harmful chemicals into the air, and most candles that burn paraffin wax may be dangerous as well, so you’re best off going with a more eco-friendly soy candle to help freshen your home. Citrus smells could help as well, so it never hurts to keep a lemon handy either. You could also try ginger supplements, as the anti-nausea properties of ginger are well-known.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • CN Nyaruhucha. “Food cravings, aversions and pica among pregnant women in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.” Tanzania Journal of Health Research. 11(1):29-34. Web. 1/9/2015.
  • Amber Canaan. “How to Cope With Nausea & Food Aversions During Pregnancy.” Livestrong. Livestrong, 10/14/2015. Web.
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