Why Do Some People Crave Non-Food Items When Pregnant?

According to Healthline, if you crave non-food items during pregnancy, you may be suffering from an eating disorder called pica. Anyone can suffer from this, but it is a lot more common when you become pregnant. People with pica may have sudden odd cravings for things like ice, paper, dirt, clay, glue, uncooked grains, pebbles, or baby powder. This isn’t to say that this is all they eat — your diet will likely remain normal, with the addition of these weird cravings.

While pica is rarely talked about in mainstream media, it is actually quite common. According to Baby Center, 27 to 68% of people may experience pica during their pregnancy. So what causes those expecting to have such weird cravings? Many believe it occurs when the body is missing vital nutrients, specifically vitamins and minerals. It has also been linked to an iron-deficiency. In both cases, the body is searching for ways to get these nutrients, even through non-food items. But while pica is common, is it something you should be concerned about during pregnancy?