It’s Not You; It’s the Baby: A Pregnancy Condition That Makes You Crave Dirt

Pregnant Woman

You could expect a lot of unexpected body changes when you’re expecting. Pregnancy brings in many surprises, a lot of times, weird surprises. Case in point: wanting dish soap on a cheeseburger.

If you’ve experienced some weird, intense craving for inedible stuff, you’re not alone. Every pregnant woman in Utah can attest to strange things happening to their body when there’s a bun in the oven.

The Weird Cravings

What you’re experiencing is pica. It describes a condition when a person has intense cravings for non-food items, such as soil, chalk, ashes, paint chips, stones, charcoal, toothpaste, and so on.

This happens more commonly during pregnancy. The term came from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that practically eats anything.

The exact causes of pica are not known yet. There are studies, however, that say that pica is linked with iron deficiency. But still, this study is inconclusive, since most of the items craved by pregnant women don’t contain a significant amount of iron.

Dangerous Cravings?

Yes, eating non-food items is unsafe for you and the baby, since this can affect the absorption of nutrients from healthy food. This would lead to deficiency. Since some of the items contain hazardous chemicals as well, eating such won’t be good for you and the baby.

If you’re having intense cravings for non-food items, it’s important to talk to your obstetrician and gynecologist.

South Jordan clinics and hospitals have a lot of experts who can run some tests on you to also see if there are underlying problems that could cause issues in the development of the baby. They might also recommend iron pills if indeed you’re low on iron.

Instead of poring over non-food items, consider other ways to keep you busy, such as chewing or sucking on raw vegetables or sugarless gum. Keep these items in one container so you can reach for them easily when craving.

It’s also good to have someone who can keep an eye on you and keep you from indulging cravings. Talk to your partner or a friend about your condition.

Having intense cravings during pregnancy is normal. But if it goes way too intense — making you reach for non-food stuff — it’s time to call your doctor.