Pregnancy is a time when a pregnant lady gets to eat many of food stuffs such as pickle, ice creams, sugary things, chocolates, meat, etc. This is a normal phenomenon and, in this way, a pregnant lady gets enough of nutrients that are required by the body during pregnancy.
However, pregnant women may get some weird cravings that may seem abnormal to others. They get cravings for some substances that a person can't eat and may be harmful.
The practice of craving for substances, which are not fit for eating or have no nutritional value, is called pica. During pregnancy, women may get weird cravings for non-edible items that may harm their baby. They may get cravings for consuming certain harmful substances such as dirt, petrol, mud, coal, etc.
The word "pica" has been originated from a Latin word of a bird called magpie, which eats almost anything. Most of the cravings during pregnancy can be for non-edible items in most women. Pica cravings are most commonly seen in children, but can occur during pregnancy as well.
What Causes Pica During Pregnancy?
It is clear what causes these non-food cravings during pregnancy. However, a study has shown that pica cravings can be linked to iron deficiency in pregnant women. It is also said that pica cravings are the body's defense attempt to obtain vitamins or minerals that are missing through the normal food consumption.
Non-Edible Foods That Pregnant Women Crave
A pregnant woman may crave for non-edible substances such as dirt, clay, detergents, cigarette ashes, baking soda, coffee grounds, paints, plaster, sand, toothpaste, stones, charcoal, burnt matches, and so on.
Are There Risks To The Baby?
Eating non-edible substances is highly harmful to both the mother and baby. These non-food items prevent the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the foods into the body, thus causing a deficiency of these nutrients. These non-food substances are also toxic for a pregnant woman and her baby.
Stop worrying about your cravings for non-food items (Pica), as it is normal during pregnancy. You must inform your doctor if you get such cravings. You need not have to panic, as such feelings lower down after a certain period of time during pregnancy.
How To Deal With Cravings For Non-Food
Diverting your attention may distract the feeling of craving. Chew a sugarless gum and eat mint leaves in such cases to curb the cravings. Also, get your iron status checked along with keeping a check on other vitamins and mineral intake. You might be having nutritional deficiency as well. Therefore, have foods rich in iron, vitamins and minerals.