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J Am Diet Assoc. 1989 May;89(5):647-51.

Dietary cravings and aversions in the postpartum period.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Although food cravings and aversions are commonly experienced by pregnant women, the degree to which they persist in the postpartum period is unknown. This study examines this issue in both lactating and nonlactating women. A random sample of 463 subjects was selected from all prenatal patients receiving care at a large health maintenance organization (HMO). Even though almost all of the subjects reported craving some food or beverage during the last trimester of pregnancy and half reported some aversion, those phenomena dropped markedly in the postpartum period. Evaluation of dietary quality as related to food cravings revealed no clear association; that is, the data provided no evidence to support the hypothesis that cravings are caused by dietary deficiencies or that they result in significantly augmented intake of key nutrients found in those foods. Overall, food cravings and aversions do not continue into the postpartum period at a higher rate than one would expect in the adult female population; manifestation of food cravings/aversions is not related to dietary quality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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