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Serious meat cravings during pregnancy.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I have been vegetarian, vegan at times, for the past 14 years. During my first pregnancy I craved turkey/fish a couple times, but otherwise had a craving-free, healthy, happy vegetarian pregnancy that resulted in a 9lb baby girl. THIS time I am craving red meat big time. I was wondering if anyone has had this experience and how they dealt with it. I am vegetarian for all the reasons you can be - health, environment, animal compassion, and the general believe that eating dead things is not good for your soul,  but here I am wanting a steak! Anyone else experience this?? 

Thanks :) 

post #2 of 21

I'm not vegetarian, but during my pregnancy some of my red meat cravings were satiated by beet kvass. I wonder if maybe you are slightly anemic?  I believe our bodies, while pregnant, crave the minerals and vitamins in certain foods, and sometimes we can substitute certain foods.  You could try making some beet kvass at home, and seeing if it helps.  It's easy to make and nutritious. 

post #3 of 21
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Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 4:45pm
post #4 of 21

ooh that's tough-during both my pregnancies and for the first months of nursing, I really craved (and ate) fish. I'm not sure that I would have "given in" to the craving had it been red meat though, for whatever reason.  It does sound like your body is craving something in red meat as opposed to the meat itself, so maybe investigate that a little further and see if it helps?  Good luck!

post #5 of 21

I am not vegetarian (starting to lean that way) but have never eaten or liked a lot of red meat. When I was pg with dd2 I craved red meat like it was going out of style. I ended up being anemic. If you absolutely don't want to eat the meat, I would try to get iron in other ways first. Good luck!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for the replies. Excellent suggestion on the beet kvass crimsonandclover - it's fermenting as we speak!! And I'm definitely going to watch my iron intake and see if I can turn it around. I guess my prenatals are not cutting it. Has anyone tried Floradix?

If it comes down to it, i guess I'll have to put aside my non-pregnant beliefs just to ensure i don't get anemic. I can't imagine actually eating it though!! And certainly not cooking it.

I met a vegan last night who said she had the same thing for 4 weeks during her pregnancy and then it went away.. i doubt it's going to change my beliefs or diet in the long run. Oh, pregnancy, you weird and wonderful thing! 

 

post #7 of 21

That happened with my first son. I grew up vegetarian, and stayed for the most part vegetarian, and then when I got pregnant suddenly desperately craved red meat. I hate to say it, but it hasn't gone away. I am mentally a vegetarian, but my body most heartily disagrees . . . good luck!!! 

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 


lol. oh dear! now, was this your first child, or first son? My first child is a girl - no cravings. But this one wants meat.. maybe it's a boy! Or maybe that's sexist and ridiculous :)  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabihoneybee View Post

That happened with my first son. I grew up vegetarian, and stayed for the most part vegetarian, and then when I got pregnant suddenly desperately craved red meat. I hate to say it, but it hasn't gone away. I am mentally a vegetarian, but my body most heartily disagrees . . . good luck!!! 



 

post #9 of 21

I had serious cravings for meat this entire pregnancy (it was a girl).  I have never had cravings like that before and at no point was I anemic (checked regularly).  I still have had a few cravings post partum...I have no idea why, though.  I found a really hearty veggie burger tended to curb some of my cravings. 

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the different perspective Amaayeh -- I guess I will just check the anemia thing, and otherwise assume I know nothing! smile.gif

A black bean burrito really hit the spot today.

post #11 of 21

My first pregnancy, I wasn't a vegetarian, and I couldn't stand meat. My second two, after I became a vegetarian, I craved meat like crazy. I wasn't anemic either time, either. It did go away around the same time as the morning sickness both times, though. My midwives said it's totally normal, and that lots of women start eating meat again while pregnant, too.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

fascinating! 

post #13 of 21

I have experienced the same thing- i dont necessarily want meat- but am eating more eggs- and even fish with this boy baby growing inside me

post #14 of 21

I've been vegetarian since I was 7 and have never had anemia but when I was pregnant I craved meat. So I ate buffalo burgers and fish, and I don't regret it one bit yummy.gif The evidence about listening to your body is inconclusive, but this is really felt like something the body needed (unlike, say chocolate or coffee).

 

post #15 of 21

Not a vegetarian but I never in my life had any particular interest in red meat until my first pregnancy, when I found myself dreaming about steak on a regular basis.  No other particular food cravings or aversions really, just an incredibly powerful urge to eat red meat.  And boy was it delicious. :yum

This time around the meat cravings have not been nearly as powerful though I would say they are still there.  Both babies girls btw.  (At baseline I eat animal products, mostly eggs and fish, maybe 2-3x/week.  Like I said I'm not philosophically opposed to meat but just had never been particularly interested in it - I'd eat it if it was put in front of me.  My sister calls it being a 'guestitarian' lol.)  FTR I am always mildly anemic and continued to be so in pregnancy.

 

Honestly I do not think it is optimal for fetuses, babies and small children to have diets entirely free of animal products.  Adults just need to do maintenance and repair but babies are building bodies made of meat.  You have to eat a lot of tofu to build 8 pounds of baby, not to mention the micronutrient issues (B12 etc). 

 

If you are truly opposed to meat but are willing to eat eggs (you say you are currently vegetarian not vegan right?), what about systematically incorporating eggs into your diet on a daily basis?  Like two eggs every day maybe, and see how you feel in a couple of weeks?

post #16 of 21

being pregnant is when i went from being a straight-up vegan to an omnivore.  our roommate knew something was up when he came home and i was eating a hamburger (that was his expensive fancy grass-fed local beef)...  lol. 

 

a word of advice, though.. if you do decide to go for it, eat a very small portion and take some papaya enzyme or probiotic or something.  it can take your digestive system for quite a whirl if you aren't used to it then indulge.   and if you do.. try to go the farmer's market route and know your source. 

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

 

Honestly I do not think it is optimal for fetuses, babies and small children to have diets entirely free of animal products.  Adults just need to do maintenance and repair but babies are building bodies made of meat.  You have to eat a lot of tofu to build 8 pounds of baby, not to mention the micronutrient issues (B12 etc). 

 

 

I wasn't aware that we are literally, what we eat! So lions and cheetahs are made of meat, and cows are made of grass then? And I guess bees are made of pollen too...eyesroll.gif

 

And really, in the veg forum? I mean, this whole thread is kind of annoying, but seriously. It doesn't take a whole lot of research to find that a vegan or vegetarian diet is just as "optimal" as any other. 

 

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

SilverFish - I sorry to annoy you with my question. I am a vegetarian and I was hoping to have my question seen and answered by other vegetarians, which is why I posted it here. And thank you to everyone who did - It was nice to know I wasn't alone in this experience. Which is why forums such as those here at Mothering are so wonderful!

 

Mambera- thanks for the egg suggestion. I did the Bradley thing my first pregnancy and ate two eggs a day, quite happily, but I have not been able to 'stomach' them as often this time around. 

 

And yes, thanks for the enzyme suggestion Hildare! I definitely wouldn't be able to eat meat from just anywhere either. As much as it appeals to me right now, the thought of actually eating it ... well, that's hard too, because my brain is so conditioned otherwise! I have a great organic market nearby. But again, cooking it?! Eek.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post



 

I wasn't aware that we are literally, what we eat! So lions and cheetahs are made of meat, and cows are made of grass then? And I guess bees are made of pollen too...eyesroll.gif

 

And really, in the veg forum? I mean, this whole thread is kind of annoying, but seriously. It doesn't take a whole lot of research to find that a vegan or vegetarian diet is just as "optimal" as any other. 

 



 

post #19 of 21

Yeah, it's a veg-support forum redface.gif I had a totally vegan, sublimely healthy, over-10lb baby last spring. Didn't stuff myself with tofu, even.

 

Anyway, I agree that iron may be the culprit! Good luck, GreenRose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

Honestly I do not think it is optimal for fetuses, babies and small children to have diets entirely free of animal products.  Adults just need to do maintenance and repair but babies are building bodies made of meat.  You have to eat a lot of tofu to build 8 pounds of baby, not to mention the micronutrient issues (B12 etc). 

 

If you are truly opposed to meat but are willing to eat eggs (you say you are currently vegetarian not vegan right?), what about systematically incorporating eggs into your diet on a daily basis?  Like two eggs every day maybe, and see how you feel in a couple of weeks?



 

post #20 of 21

Pregnancy cravings are hard! I had a craving one night for my mom's beef stew bad enough that I called her for the recipe at 1 in the morning! Then I eat a piece of peanut butter toast and went to sleep, only to wake up and be totally over it. I had a completely vegetarian pregnancy, my iron levels were fine throughout. Interestingly enough though, I could not get enough beet greens the week after my daughter was born, and at the time, that wasn't a common thing on my table. I must have eaten 3 pounds of them.

 

I really don't think that a vegetarian craving meat means anything in particular, other than the fact that you are hungry! (I had a few chicken cravings, too, but that was generally when I was super hungry and smelled KFC or something).

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