When you’re eating for two, it’s normal for your appetite to increase. You may even wonder if the gender of the baby you are carrying is making you hungrier than usual or affecting your cravings.
Does gender affect appetite? Yes, the gender of the baby you’re carrying can affect your appetite when you are pregnant. Studies show that how much you eat could give you early clues about whether you have a boy or girl on board. However, your specific cravings aren’t gender specific.
You can’t definitively know the gender of your baby through pregnancy cravings, but you can look for clues that may help you determine whether you are in for a boy or a girl.
Differences in Appetite When Carrying a Boy vs. a Girl
Though not every woman may experience these differences, many do find that they eat different foods in different quantities depending on what gender they are carrying.
Are You Hungrier When Carrying a Boy?
According to research, you are hungrier when carrying a boy. Women carrying boys eat around 10% more, so expect to have more snacks and bigger meals if there’s a boy on board.
Testosterone is often credited with making mom want more food when having a boy.
Cravings When Pregnant With a Boy
Besides wanting to eat more, you might also have some specific cravings when you are pregnant with a boy.
Sour food tends to be appealing, and high-protein snacks also hit the spot. Salty treats, like chips and pretzels, may also sound like the perfect foods when you are having a male baby.
Cravings When Pregnant With a Girl
The first time I was pregnant with a girl, I could not get enough ice cream. It turns out that cravings for sweets may be a clue that you have a girl in the womb.
Though my tastes tended to lean toward straight processed sugar, craving the natural sugar in fruit could also be an indicator that you are having a girl.
Do Cravings Really Indicate Baby Gender?
While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that cravings help you predict gender, there is no scientific proof that this is true.
You may eat more when pregnant with a boy, and research backs that up completely. However, what you eat will not always be affected by the gender of the baby.
Why Appetite Increases During Pregnancy
Your appetite increases when you’re pregnant because your body is smart. Your baby is demanding nutrients to grow properly, and your body responds by making sure you want more food.
While your appetite may increase, it may be hard to get all the calories you need if you struggle with morning sickness.
If you can’t hold down food or don’t crave anything, talk to your doctor. You want to ensure you are eating a healthy, complete diet when pregnant so you and your baby will benefit.
Hunger in Early Pregnancy – When Does It Start?
You may feel an increase in appetite in those first few weeks of pregnancy. However, many women just feel nauseous.
When morning sickness decreases and energy spikes, your hunger will likely increase. This tends to happen when the second trimester starts, making it the favorite trimester for most moms.
When your hunger does surge, make sure you know what is and isn’t safe to eat while you’re pregnant.
Certain foods pose a risk to your baby and should be avoided. It’s also important to regulate your caffeine intake and stay away from alcohol.
Late-Night Hunger During Pregnancy
If you wake up hungry in the middle of the night, blame your hormones and your growing baby.
Even if you eat plenty of food during the day, you may wake up extremely hungry when you’re pregnant. Your metabolism is changing, and your baby is continuing to expand.
Try to eat a healthy snack before you go to bed, but know that it probably won’t keep you from some late-night food cravings.
Signs You Are Pregnant With a Boy
While it’s true you may eat more when pregnant with a boy, there are no other truly definitive ways to know the gender of your baby outside of actual testing and sonograms.
Signs You Are Pregnant With a Girl
There is a sign you may not want that could point to you being pregnant with a girl: hyperemesis gravidarum.
This extreme kind of morning sickness occurs in women who are pregnant with girls more often than those who are pregnant with boys.
Hyperemesis gravidarum will affect your appetite because the extreme nausea and sickness will make it very hard to eat or hold down food. Some women have to be hospitalized to deal with this condition.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is also not limited to sickness in the morning. It can last all day for more than one trimester and requires medical attention.
If you’re pregnant with twins, you may also have an easier time predicting if they are boys or girls.
Female twins are more common than male twins, though this mainly has to do with boys not surviving in the womb as often as girls.
Are You Hungrier When Pregnant With Twins?
Answering from personal experience, yes! Once I got past the morning sickness of the first trimester, all I wanted to do was eat.
Women who are pregnant with twins are also supposed to take in more calories because they are growing two babies, not just one.
Does What I Eat Affect My Baby While Pregnant?
Yes, what you eat while pregnant can absolutely affect your baby. Studies show that unhealthy eating can lead to mental and physical health problems for your baby later in life.
It can also affect your pregnancy and your baby’s growth in utero.
While pregnancy cravings and appetite changes can’t tell you everything about what is happening inside of the womb, they can give you some hints.
Pay attention to what you eat, and make good choices for the health of your baby.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.