The cravings experienced by pregnant women range from none at all, to normal, to downright bizarre. Being pregnant affects your body in a lot of different ways, it helps to know more about your body during this time and to do that you’ll need to help of groups like the Pregnancy Centers of Middle Tennessee because having someone to talk to about the changes your body is going through will help make things easier and less confusing, this includes your pregnancy cravings. Next time someone’s getting on your case about putting syrup on your fish fingers, show them this list of seven weird pregnancy cravings:
Strange pregnancy craving 1: Cigarette ashes
Nice tasty serving of cigarette ashes anyone? The American Pregnancy Association carried out a survey which revealed that cigarette ashes are one of the most craved non-food items of all time. Some women who have this odd craving admit that they have not only sniffed, but also actually ingested cigarette ashes during their pregnancy (don’t try this yourselves) whether they were smokers before their pregnancy or not.
Weird pregnancy craving 2: Charcoal
Drinking it, eating it, sniffing it; it doesn’t matter how they desire it, some pregnant women just can’t stop thinking about gorging on charcoal. These cravings for non-food items are known as “pica” and they affect around 25 to 30 per cent of pregnant women. Charcoal is a perfect example of this; some pregnant women admit that they just can’t seem to curb their craving for it. Charcoal is used medically in emergency situations to absorb toxins in patients’ bodies to prevent poisoning from toxic substances such as paint thinner, boric acid and cleaning products. Although this can save lives in certain circumstances, it’s important not to give in to charcoal cravings because it will absorb all of the important nutrients that mother and baby need.
Strange pregnancy craving 3: Soil
Items to get in the grocery shop: bread, milk, eggs, soil… soil? Yep. Some pregnant women out there can’t seem to stop salivating over soil. Whatever it is that causes this craving, you’re not alone if you experience this too. Britney Spears revealed that during her pregnancy with her second son, she couldn’t stop thinking about a generous serving of soil alongside her fried chicken cravings. This strange desire turns out to be quite common; in a 2008 survey of pregnant women, mud made it into the list of top 10 pregnancy cravings. Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest why this craving can occur, scientists suggest that the desire for soil during pregnancy could be the subconscious need for pre-natal vitamins such as copper and iron, which soil is brimming with. Ingesting dirt is also believed to ease morning sickness, although with all those bugs and parasites we certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
Strange pregnancy craving 4: Raw onion
One minute you’re heaving at the mere thought of eating a raw onion and the next you can’t seem to get enough of them. Raw onions – as unappetising as they may sound – are a pretty common food item to crave when you’re pregnant. There is no evidence to suggest that raw onions are unsafe to eat when you’re expecting, as long as they are consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy balanced diet. There are raw foods out there that pregnant mothers should avoid though, such as raw fish. So as long as you can fit raw onions into a balanced diet and those around you can tolerate your onion breath, munch away!
Strange pregnancy craving 5: Paint
Forget slathering it on the walls, some pregnant women can think of nothing better than a good serving of paint. Some have even admitted to licking the walls and inhaling the smell of freshly painted rooms to satisfy their craving. It’s important that if you do experience this, you substitute it with something else; try chewing on some sugar free gum to refresh your mouth and help you to forget about your craving. Paint is abundant with toxic chemicals so you should avoid freshly decorated rooms as much as possible during your pregnancy.
Strange pregnancy craving 6: Fried eggs with mint sauce
Some women don’t crave non-food items, but they do have some rather elaborate ones all the same. A recent survey by a mother and baby social network site revealed that not only were eggs and mint sauce a common weird craving combination for mothers, but other more intricate concoctions such as tuna with banana, and sponge cake with tomato sauce were revealed too. Scientists suggest that pregnant mothers who are feeling emotionally stressed subconsciously revert back to foods and items that remind them of their childhood. Luckily, experts propose that sometimes all these women really need is some emotional support in the form of a big long hug.
Strange pregnancy craving 7: Ice
Some pregnant mothers have admitted to crunching their way through ice, despite its distinct lack of taste. Scientists suggest that it’s not all about taste but more about the actual texture. Although eating ice won’t harm you or your baby, carrot sticks provide a nutritious way of kicking the craving instead. Experts suggest that a healthy nutritious breakfast is the key to reducing these cravings by 50 per cent too. By filling your stomach up with healthy food from the start of the day, you’re less likely to reach for the soil, paint, fried eggs with mint sauce, or whatever else you fancy when you’re feeling peckish during pregnancy.
If you have cravings for non-food items, speak to your GP as soon as possible. They will be able to carry out the appropriate tests to ensure that you are getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients for a healthy baby and mother.