You’ve hated mashed potatoes for as long as you can remember. But now that you’re pregnant, you’re eating them for breakfast. With hot sauce. And sour cream. What the heck is causing these weird cravings? The jury’s still out, and experts aren’t exactly sure whether it’s hormones or a lacking nutrient that causes cravings. Either way, it’s totally OK to indulge once in a while…as long as your craving is actually, um, food.
Some pregnant women crave extra-weird, non-food items, like soil, clay or paper, and this is likely the sign of a nutritional deficiency. “Doctors use the term ‘pica’ to describe craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value,” says the Mayo Clinic. “Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the reason is unclear.” So, if you’re craving dirt for dinner, talk to your doc. But if you’re craving watermelon, by all means, indulge.
We polled 20 real women about their pregnancy cravings, from the fairly common (peanut butter) to the super weird (…cigarette butts?).