Weird Pregnancy Cravings (& What They Mean)

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I had intense pregnancy cravings for orange food like mangoes, peaches, and Cheetos during my first pregnancy. Yes, Cheetos! I’m going to give birth to an orange, I remember thinking. Turns out, I wasn’t going to give birth to an orange. I was just craving vitamin-C or beta carotene…or Cheetos (yeah, that one is a little tougher to explain nutritionally). But just in case you think my weird “all orange” pregnancy cravings are strange, think again. Pregnancy cravings are actually our body’s way of telling us that it needs something — or that something is up.

Here are some totally weird pregnancy cravings and what they mean.

1. Laundry starch, cigarette butts, ice, detergent, mud, sponges, dirt, and chalk

What it means: According to the Journal Of the American Dietetic Association, you’ve probably got a condition called Pica, which causes pregnant ladies to crave some totally random stuff. Some doctors link Pica to an iron deficiency. Others chalk it up to the mysteries of pregnancy. And, yes, the chalk pun was intended.

2. Salt

What it means: Your body is probably craving sodium. But before you go on an all-salt diet, check in with your doctor. She may have something to say about all that salt you are dreaming about.

3. Pickles

What it means: Experts say that pregnant ladies who crave pickles are actually craving the savory taste, which can be a sign that you need a bit more variety in your diet.

4. Rare meat

What it means: Going against your own better judgment (and your doctor’s orders) and eating your steak rare? You’re probably either protein or iron deficient (or both). It’s recommended that you eat red meat well-done to prevent foodborne illness. (Same goes for eggs and fish.)

5. Spicy food

What it means: Your body runs naturally hot when you’re pregnant and spicy food naturally cools you down, say experts. So every time you eat that spicy Thai dish, you’re actually eating a natural air conditioner.

6. Burnt matches

What it means: That’s right: Some pregnant ladies can’t stop thinking about burnt matches. No, not lighting them. Eating them. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the craving may be linked to the body’s desire to replace vitamins and minerals it’s missing. See, I told you it was weird.

What was your strangest pregnancy craving?

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Photo: Getty

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