Everybody knows that pregnant women often crave certain delicacies while pregnant, with some cravings stretching towards the more bizarre. However, despite cravings being a substantial part of a woman's pregnancy, nobody really knows how they happen or where they come from. However, there are some links with regards to hormones and other chemical messengers, with some experts stating that a woman's sex hormones move during pregnancy, which then lowers the dopamine levels and causes the cravings.
Whatever the cause may be, it still doesn't explain some of the strangest requests on record. Here are 10 of the strangest pregnancy cravings.
Believe it or not, charcoal is actually a very common craving for pregnant women and what is referred to as Pica. According to Emma's Diary, pica is a craving for food that a person wouldn't normally eat, and something that is prominent during the first few months of pregnancy. The majority of these cravings are usually associated with iron, therefore craving coal seems somewhat logical.
For instance, pregnant women also crave things such as metal coins, clay, and soil as well as any other objects or materials that contain the metallic substance. Don't worry because these cravings can usually be stopped and treated by iron supplements or any vitamin deficiency tablets that you might need.
9. ICE CREAM ON TOAST
Ice cream is a very popular craving for pregnant women who often crave the creamy texture and dairy quality, as Good To Know says. In fact, over 50% of women claim that ice cream is their number one craving. Nevertheless, although craving ice cream is a sign of a lack of calcium, it's also necessary to not overindulge. Too much dairy can be bad for both you and the baby.
To make things even stranger, some women sometimes take it that little bit further by mixing the ice cream with random things such as bread, spaghetti, and even toast. Yes, it is a very common occurrence for pregnant women to spread soft ice cream on toast, then going on to enjoy the strange combination of the hot bread against the cold ice cream.
8. PICKLES AND ICE CREAM
Eating pickles is probably one of the most famous pregnancy cravings of all time, so much so, it has the power to give away your pregnancy if you are caught eating one. According to Good To Know, craving pickles is extremely normal for pregnant women and is a sign of low salt levels in the blood.
However, pickles and ice cream is not as common, but it is easy to see why pregnant women crave the two things together. Yes, ice cream is also one of the most popular cravings for women who are expecting, therefore, it seems only right to put it with another popular and common craving.
7. DISH SOAP
Good To Knowsays that craving dish soap is another example of the pregnancy-related disorder, Pica, which encourages pregnant women to crave non-edible and sometimes dangerous objects and materials. Lusting after things such as dish soap, laundry detergent or baking soda suggests that your body is attempting to fight off pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness.
For instance, your brain can trick you into believing that such things can somewhat "clean" your digestive system as well as your ongoing discomfort. However, it is important to remember that dish soap, as well as any other chemically enhanced liquid, is harmful to both you and your baby.
6. SOGGY BREAD
Soggy bread is one of the more bizarre when it comes to pregnancy cravings. However, it is easy to understand why so many pregnant women lust after it once you release where it comes from.
According to Reader's Digest, one of the main reasons for craving "wet things" is a sign of dehydration. That's right, craving things soaked in water is your body telling you that you need more fluids. In order to combat the craving, try drinking more than usual, as this is not only good for you but also good for your unborn baby. Furthermore, make sure that it isn't a sign of something worse, such as diabetes.
5. THE SMELL OF BLOOD
Don't worry, craving blood doesn't mean that you are a vampire, it just means that you have a severe lack of iron in your own body. Yes, craving blood is a sign of anemia, an illness in which your body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry the right amount of oxygen to your body's tissues.
Thankfully, anemia is not cured by drinking blood but can usually be rectified by taking iron pills. It's likely to come back if you stop taking supplements. So, the next time you start craving blood, book yourself an appointment with your local doctor.
Thankfully, Pica (the pregnancy-related disorder that encourages pregnant women to crave non-edible objects and materials) is mostly harmless and usually subsides in a matter of weeks. However, sometimes it can be incredibly dangerous, especially if the cravings are sticking around.
One such craving that is particularly harmful, is the craving for sand. In fact, sand is one of the most popular non-edible cravings, with it usually sprinkled on something edible such as ice cream or toast. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that sand can be harmful to eat, mostly due to the number of germs and insects that might be living inside it.
Over the years, it has become clear that emotions and food are closely related. Think about it? When we are sad, we often comfort eat in order to make us feel better. When we are happy, we also eat in order to celebrate or treat ourselves. As Good To Knowexplains, it comes as no surprise to see that pregnant women may crave special foods or objects that remind them of their youth, especially if they have some sort of emotional connection.
For instance, a common pregnancy craving along these lines is toothpaste, which demonstrates a longing for household items and stability, something that may have come from past experiences.
In 2015, it was revealed that a mother of two, Lyndsey Woodward, had taken up the strange habit of eating sponges, something that occurred during both of her pregnancies, according to Mirror.co.uk.
However, the habit stuck, and for the next seven years, Lyndsey started eating sponges every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So where did this bizarre craving come from? Throughout both her pregnancies, Lyndsey suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a disorder that encourages extreme morning sickness. As a result, Lyndsey was unable to eat or drink, so she lived off sponges instead. Don't try this at home, kids.
It is said that over a quarter of all pregnant women experience Pica at some point during their pregnancy, with many mothers indulging in their craving in secret. One particular craving is the lust for chalk, which suggests a lack of calcium in the body.
However, eating non-edible objects and materials can be extremely harmful to both you and your body, therefore it is advised to seek help before giving in to the cravings. Furthermore, objects such as chalk or coal can mess with your nutrient absorption of healthy food which ironically then causes a deficiency.