Pregnancy Health

Cravings For Non-Food Items In Pregnancy : Causes, Risks & Treatment


Craving for non-food items with minimal to no nutritional value also known as pica is common in pregnancy. Most women may have cravings to eat non-food items during their pregnancy. What are these non-food items and how to overcome such a condition is detailed in the video guide below.

Related: Don’t Eat These Foods In Your Pregnancy
Also, read more on pregnancy health in Pregnancy Health section.

Here is the video guide.

What Are These Non-Food Items?
Women having a pica condition may have cravings for one or more of the below mentioned non-food items.

  • Soil
  • Clay
  • Ice
  • Stones
  • Ashes
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Sand
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Plaster
  • Paint Chips
  • Paper
  • Chalk

Why Do Pregnant Women Have Cravings For Non-Food Items?
Such cravings may occur due to:
Iron deficiency
Vitamins deficiency
Brain abnormalities
Physical illness or any other health issue.


What Are The Risks Of Eating Non Food Items In Pregnancy?
Eating non-food items in pregnancy may cause low or no absorption of healthy food.
The baby in womb may be left with lesser nutrition. The baby may grow at a much slower rate.
The toxins contained in these non-food items if consumed during pregnancy will harm both the mother ‘to be’ as well as the unborn baby.

How To Treat Pica or Cravings For Non-Food Items In Pregnancy?
Have regular iron and vitamin intake as required. Consult your doctor for better diagnosing if any other health issue is causing the problem. Do not have stress. Meditate if possible and divert your attention to more productive habits.

Related: How Mother’s Mood during Pregnancy Affect the Baby
Also read: How Stress Affects Your Pregnancy Health & How To Manage/Avoid It

American Pregnancy Association. Pica: Causes, Common Cravings and Risks During Pregnancy. Retrieved from
Corbett RW, Pica in pregnancy: does it affect pregnancy outcomes? – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
Epler, Katharine E. BS; Pierce, Arand MD; Rappaport, Valerie J. MD, Pica in Pregnancy: An Unusual Presentation, Obstetrics & Gynecology: December 2017 – Volume 130 – Issue 6 – p 1377–1379. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002365

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