Pregnancy food and drink tips from mums

Mums give advice about dealing with cravings, caffeine and smells

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For pregnancy smell torment – peppermint oil appears to be a favourite solution

“The smell of fried or grilled meat during my first trimester made me feel really sick. To get around it, I carried a small bottle of peppermint oil in my bag to smell if I was out and got a sniff of something horrid. It worked a treat and helped me avoid vomiting in public, which I was really grateful for!”

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Susie Jones, 33, from Dorset, 22 weeks pregnant

“The smell of fried or grilled food is making me really heave during my pregnancy. To help mask the smell, especially when my husband insists on cooking a fry up, I splash a few drops of peppermint oil on a hankie that I can sniff. I keep my distance too!”

Jenny Cole, 33, from Berkshire, 15 weeks pregnant

For cutting out caffeine

“When I was pregnant with Isabel, my craving was tea and I had to switch to decaf as I was drinking about 15 cups a day. The only way I could cut down was by using the same tea bag over and over, just dipping it in the cup so the tea was very weak. Having an unused tea bag close by and smelling it as I drank my weak decaf tea really helped the cravings too.”

Emma Cummings, 24, from Shropshire, mum to Isabel, 7 months

“I love tea and used to get through a good eight cups a day before I was pregnant, so I knew giving it up was going to be a bit of a struggle. But I’ve found that by keeping my usual cup first thing in the morning I still get my fix and for the rest of the day I’ve switched to Redbush tea, which is caffeine-free but looks and tastes more like normal tea than all those fruity varieties.

Pamela Bruce, 29, from Scotland, 28 weeks pregnant

For controlling unhealthy cravings

“I’m finding it impossible to avoid ice cream and chocolate altogether so to cut down I’ve trained myself to think small. I have one scoop of ice cream instead of a bowl and one square of chocolate instead of a whole bar, which is just enough to kick the craving. But to stop me wanting more I go for a walk straight after to distract me.”

Jessica Hughes, 27, from Leicester, 33 weeks pregnant

“I’ve been craving sugar for the last few weeks and it got so bad even the packet of icing sugar looked tempting. I’ve found sweet fruit satisfies it and have been munching on pears, figs and strawberries throughout the day. It seems to work and definitely keeps my mind off the sugar jar enough for the craving to pass.”

Laura White, 29, from Barking, 13 weeks pregnant

For sweet cravings

“When I was expecting Maisie I used to whip up homemade milkshakes with milk and bananas to satisfy my cravings for something sweet. It was a great energy booster when I was feeling low and tired during the day.”

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Suzanne Doble, 34, from Cornwall, mum to Maisie, 9 months

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