Yes, in Tibetan Medicine we say a pregnant woman must eat everything she craves. It is believed that the craving comes from the child. To deny the cravings could even cause damage to the growing baby. Even if the craving is for something that is not suitable to that individual mother’s body, she should still include small amounts with her normal healthy foods.
Another aspect for fulfillment of cravings is keeping the wind in balance. When we really crave something, denying ourselves also causes an internal tension that can increase the wind element. It is very important to keep the wind element balanced in general and especially during pregnancy. Wind stirs everything up. If you have some inflammation, wind makes it much stronger. If your digestion is weak, the wind will make it weaker. Being internally relaxed and happy is a very good way to keep wind in balance.
The main point here, in terms of what to eat when pregnant, is not a list of specific foods. Rather it is the encouragement to follow your cravings, in moderation, along with that which is healthy for your individual body. For example if you desire grilled cheese sandwiches but normally you have a dairy intolerance, then have half a sandwich with a meal you would normally eat. In general if you crave specific brands of candy for example, the best option is to actually partake in a healthy alternative. There are lots of “health food” alternatives to candy bars now that leave out the GMO and artificial ingredients. Once in awhile having whatever it is, is also ok. Remember relaxing that internal tension is one key point.
For many women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and for others for much longer than that, they feel so nauseous that being able to eat anything at all is awesome. In this case each woman needs to work with her own situation. Some women find fruit every hour is all they can take. For many, carb laden foods are easiest. Some women may choose to take a multivitamin at this time since they cannot tolerate many of the most nutritious foods for their growing baby.
When you’re pregnant meeting with your midwife or other trusted birth professional to understand how to care for your individual health is the base. And from the wisdom of Tibetan Medicine we encourage you to heed your cravings, in moderation and along with the healthful foods for yourself and your growing baby. And as much as possible keeping an internal state of relaxation and happiness to keep the wind in balance.