Cravings are highly common and inevitable during pregnancy. The food that you crave has no limits during this phase. From pickles to chocolates, chips to ice creams, everything seems so sensual and appealing. And it also the best phase as no one would object or judge you for your timeless cravings.

But, if these cravings take a turn around, making you want to choose non-foods, then it is a condition to alert on. This condition is usually termed as PICA.

Pica refers to a food condition where the person craves non-food items like dust, chalk, clay, and paper. This might sound witless, but the condition is serious and requires immediate attention if observed. It is essential to understand its symptoms, risk factors, and methods to manage these cravings to protect both mother and child. 

 

The prevalent pica cravings

Pica cravings change from women to women and have a different impact from pregnancy to pregnancy. However, there are a few familiar cravings observed commonly in many of the pica-pregnancy cravings. 

  • Clay, dust and red sand 
  • Burnt matched, charcoal and cornstarch 
  • Ice, baking soda 
  • Soap, mothballs or plaster 
  • Toothpaste, coffee grounds or coins 

 

Pregnancy risks with Pica cravings

Vitamin and nutritional levels play a crucial role during pregnancy. Sufficient amounts of iron, sodium, potassium, and calcium ensure proper growth and development of the baby and the mother’s health.

During the phase of pica cravings, the non-food items profoundly interfere with iron and other vital element supply. These non-food substances themselves can be toxic or produce toxicity when combined with several acids inside the intestine resulting in complications. 

 

Managing Pica during pregnancy 

Although pica is common and not completely abnormal, the condition requires appropriate care. Check these simple tips to manage pica conditions during pregnancy!

#1. Keep note of the cravings that you experience during the pregnancy.

#2. Discuss with your health care provider about your cravings and review your prenatal records along with them. 

#3. Have a timely check on the iron status along with other vitamin and mineral checks.

#4. Test and check the potential substitutes for your cravings. These vary from women to women. Thus, pick the one your baby wants. 

#5. Occupational therapy can also significantly help you to overcome this mental health condition.

Adults with pica cravings can sensually notice that it is unhealthy to have non-food items. However, it is still overwhelming to avoid the urge to eat these non-food items. The right treatment and right identification will help you to overcome this!

 

*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before making any decision.

 

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