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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Pica During Pregnancy

Are you having really weird cravings? We're not talking about the pickles and ice cream kind -- but for non-food items? Check out what to do if you have pica.

What is pica?

Pica is a condition in which pregnant women get strange cravings for things that aren’t edible, like dirt and clay.

What are the signs of pica?

You guessed it: If you’re suddenly feeling the urge to eat the sand at the beach or the bark from a tree in your backyard, you may have pica.

Are there any tests for pica?

There aren’t any specific tests for pica, but since there may be a connection to vitamin deficiency, your doctor may test your blood for low levels of iron and zinc.

How common is pica?

Luckily, it’s not super-widespread during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, cases of pica occur more often in children (in approximately 25 to 30 percent of children).

How did I get pica?

We don't know for certain what causes pica, but according to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, it could be connected to iron deficiency and poor nutrition.

How will pica affect my baby?

What’s scary is that nonfood items may contain toxic ingredients that can potentially harm both you and baby. Eating nonfood items may actually get in the way of your consumption of healthy and nutritious foods. Plus, if you do have a vitamin deficiency, it could mean baby’s not getting something he needs.

-- Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, nutritionist

 

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