Gluten-Free Pregnancy: The Second Trimester

Told from the perspective of a first-time mother living gluten-free

Once my morning sickness subsided (around 16 weeks), I was able to expand my diet to include more than just gluten-free toast. I did not have crazy cravings per se, but I did experience very specific changes in my eating habits.

hummus on toastI ate cheese at every meal.

Every. Meal.

I no longer had a sweet tooth…

Most of the time.

I needed a lot more protein…

But I couldn’t tolerate red meat or fish until late in my third trimester, so I ate a lot of hummus (usually on gluten-free toast).

I was not able to eat as much as before I got pregnant, especially as my belly grew bigger.

There just wasn’t room for much food at any given time…which meant I ate more frequently…which meant I carried a “food bag” filled with snacks wherever I went. I highly recommend the “food bag” strategy, which I have happily employed since college—it usually involves a separate bag or backpack, but I’ve even been known to take small food bags (hidden inside a fancy clutch or small purse) with me to weddings or other events that may or may not have safe options for me to eat.

Living gluten-free for several years prior to my pregnancy definitely helped prepare for me for managing pregnancy-related changes to my diet. I was used to thinking about food in advance as well as how to creatively fulfill cravings for foods I may not be able to eat. I was no longer tempted by gluten-y foods because I simply wasn’t interested in eating gluten ever again.

If you’re fairly new to living gluten-free, it may be helpful to find a local bakery or restaurant to help satisfy some of your cravings. It may sound silly, but if you’ve been pregnant, you know…

I distinctly remember craving a cupcake. I had never before experienced the phenomenon of not being able to stop thinking about a cupcake. I was actually distracted by how much I needed a cupcake, more specifically an apple-pie flavored cupcake. After three days, I confessed my craving to my husband and he dutifully accompanied me to a local gluten-free bakery where I selected an apple pie cupcake—I ate it in the car on the way home and didn’t want another cupcake for the rest of my pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a miracle…but it’s also pretty weird.

Did you have any specific cravings during your gluten-free pregnancy?