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.