Besides food cravings and aversions experienced during this time, you may want to eat non-food items, which have no nutritional value This condition is called Pica.
The reason for this sort of liking can’t be ascertained. However, as per the Journal of American Dietic Association, this could be due to deficiency in iron (anemia) or a way for the body to get those vitamins and minerals, which are absent in the normal diet.
If you are experiencing pica, you have a strong craving to eat things like soap, coffee grounds, sand, toothpaste, dirt, cigarette ash, stones, and mothballs during pregnancy. Strange right? But it does happen to a lot of women!
These non-food substances are harmful for the mom-to-be as well as the baby as they are toxic in nature. It can cause parasitic infections, choking, and intestinal blockages too.
Experiencing pica is normal during this time and definitely temporary. However, you need to deal with the situation by talking to your doctor. She will monitor the nutrient value of iron along with other vitamins and minerals. If it is due to iron deficiency or imbalances in the nutrients, the doctor will recommend the nutrient in the form of supplements like iron supplements. She can also suggest safe substitutes for such non-food cravings. For instance, chewing sugarless gum. The substitute for chalk can be dried berries, abundant in calcium. If it is dirt, then black channa. If it is paint, then saunf, dry fruits are good options.
A blood test, consulting the doctor, taking the deficient nutrient in the form of supplements and safe food substitutes, will help you deal with this condition.
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