As an expecting mom, we all are told of the weird cravings. Pickles and ice cream, and cheese puffs dipped in milk. Or you could be like me and not be able to smell food without getting sick. Some of us have even stranger cravings during our pregnancies. Below are the Weirdest Pregnancy Cravings That Aren’t Food.
What are Pica Cravings?
There is actually a name for nonfood cravings during pregnancy. Pica cravings are the act of craving things that have no substantial or nutritional value.
There is no solid explanation of where these cravings come from, but it might be because of a lack of iron. Your body is telling you it needs iron, so you look to places that have high levels of iron.
When you hear weird cravings during pregnancy, you think of food-ish things first. Many of my friends craved chewing ice. It is not the taste so much as the action that scratches that itch.
Like when you are really craving chocolate during a diet and one bite is enough to get you through it. Chewing ice can be bad for your teeth, but it will not harm you or the baby.
There are some cravings that can be harmful to yourself and the baby. For instance, some women crave clay, dirt, hair, and laundry detergent. You don’t need me to tell you that drinking laundry detergent is very toxic!
Hair can be harmful because your body cannot digest it. The hair clumps in your digestive system creating a bezoar. Bezoars can be very harmful because they create a blockage that needs to be removed.
Handling Pica Cravings
What do you do when you’re in your second trimester and you can’t stop your need to chew on your hair or are downing handfuls of ice? The best thing is to let your doctor know what is going on.
These pica cravings can point to an imbalance of nutrients and can suggest a need to change your diet.
Always Ask the Question
During my sister’s first pregnancy, she was craving very salty and high-fat foods. Her OB/GYN suggested she eat more dark greens to help the cravings. Kale salads with blue cheese dressing did the trick!
Your doc also might tell you there is nothing to worry about and to just keep them updated.
Everyone’s Pregnancy is Different
At the end of the day, your pregnancy is different from mine. Your current pregnancy can also be different from your other pregnancies.
The best thing you can do is be informed and keep track of the changes in your body. If you feel like your cravings are getting strange, ask a friend to be a check-in partner.
Having someone to talk to can be very helpful in keeping track of the changes in your body. If you don’t want to “bother” a friend or your partner, keep a journal or running note on your phone to keep track of changes or eating habits.
I prefer writing everything down so that I can share it with my OB/GYN during appointments. That way if something happens, or I have a random question, I have it all right there to ask.
Pregnancy is hard and does a lot to your body. You are growing a little human after all! The experience is wonderful and unique to everyone. But the worst thing you can do is not ask the question.
Do not be embarrassed about the changes that are going on. If something does not feel right, or you all of a sudden want to chew on a piece of chalk, ask your doctor. They are there to make sure you and your baby are happy and healthy.