One of the oldest and most enduring pregnancy-related myths is that mothers-to-be crave pickles and ice cream. You may experience some days in which you seem to crave certain food items. The specific reason for this is not known. It is thought to be related to all the pregnancy hormones circulating in your system. Often this will pass after the first three months of pregnancy.
As long as you make sure you are eating all the important nutrients needed for you and your baby, indulging in some of your cravings every now and then will likely be fine.
Occasionally, pregnant women will get strange cravings for things that are not food items at all during pregnancy. This condition is called Pica, and it is thought to be due to an iron deficiency. Some women with Pica report craving dirt, clay, laundry detergent, and ice chips. If you have cravings for any of these items, it is important to call your health care provider immediately -- you may have severe anemia, which would require you to take an iron supplement.
Review Date: 12/9/2012
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.