weird pregnancy cravings
Baby on Board (Expecting Mothers), Pregnancy

22 Weird pregnancy cravings : why and when do they start

Pregnancy causes major changes in a woman’s body, including hormonal changes that might cause unexpected food cravings. Pregnancy cravings are weird intense desires for specific foods or non-food items some pregnant women experience.

These cravings can be sudden and strong and may persist for extended periods. Pregnancy cravings can range from common foods like chocolate or pickles to more unusual items like chalk, dirt, or ice.

What causes weird pregnancy cravings like non food items?

The exact cause of pregnancy cravings is  unknown, but hormonal changes during pregnancy play a significant role in this.

The surge in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can affect how the brain processes certain foods and cause pregnant women to develop a sudden, intense desire for particular foods or beverages.

Another possible explanation for pregnancy cravings is the body’s need for specific nutrients. For example, pregnant women may crave foods high in iron or protein, which their bodies require more during pregnancy. Stress and emotional factors may also contribute to pregnancy cravings. Some women may use food to cope with stress or anxiety during pregnancy.

Psychological factors such as stress or emotional eating may also contribute to pregnancy cravings

When do pregnancy cravings start?

Pregnancy cravings can start at any point during pregnancy but mostly experienced during the first and second trimesters. Cravings may sometimes even begin before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

The onset of cravings can vary from woman to woman, and some may not experience them. Cravings can also change throughout pregnancy, with some women experiencing different cravings each trimester.

23 Weird pregnancy cravings that women might experience.

1.   Soil

Craving soil or dirt during pregnancy is a rare and unusual craving known as pica. Pica is characterized by an intense desire to eat non-food substances like soil, chalk, clay, ice, or paper. 

It is more common among pregnant women, young children, and individuals with mental health conditions. The exact cause of pica is unknown, but it may be linked to a mineral deficiency, such as iron, calcium, zinc, or anemia. 

2. Ice

Craving ice during pregnancy is a common and relatively harmless craving. This craving, known as pagophagia, is a type of pica.  It may be related to anemia, a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues. 

Anemia is common during pregnancy, leading to fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. Eating ice relieves these symptoms by temporarily boosting energy and alertness.

3. Laundry detergent (not to eat, just to smell)

Craving non-food items like laundry detergent and pica is uncommon during pregnancy. While it may seem harmless to smell or even taste laundry detergent, avoiding ingesting or inhaling any chemicals or toxins that may harm you or your baby is essential. Laundry detergent contains chemicals that can be harmful if ingested, such as surfactants and enzymes, which can irritate the mouth, throat, and digestive tract.

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4. Maple syrup

Craving sweet foods, including maple syrup, is common during pregnancy. While maple syrup can be a healthier alternative to other sweeteners, such as refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, it’s important to consume it in moderation and balance it with a healthy and well-rounded diet.
Maple syrup is a good source of antioxidants, zinc, and manganese, supporting a healthy immune system and bone health.

5. Baking soda

Baking soda is sometimes reported as a pregnancy craving. Some pregnant women may crave the taste of baking soda, while others may feel a strong urge to smell it or mix it with other substances to create a paste.

6. Toothpaste

Toothpaste is also reported as a pregnancy craving. Some pregnant women may crave the taste or smell of toothpaste and may even consume it in small amounts.

7. Cigarette ash

Craving cigarette ash during pregnancy is a very rare and potentially harmful craving. Craving cigarette ash during pregnancy can be particularly dangerous because cigarette ash may contain toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead, and arsenic.

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8. Sliced tomatoes

While some pregnancy cravings can be quite elaborate or unusual, others can be very simple, such as craving just sliced tomatoes on a plate. One possibility is that tomatoes’ acidity can help alleviate nausea, a common symptom of pregnancy.

Additionally, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which is important for developing the baby’s immune system, and lycopene. This antioxidant may help protect against certain types of cancer. Pregnancy can be stressful and overwhelming; simple and familiar food sometimes provides comfort and stability.

9. Beet Juice

Beet juice is known for its deep red color and earthy flavor, and it has a number of potential health benefits. Some nutrients in beet juice include vitamin C, folate, potassium, and betaine. One reason pregnant women may crave beet juice is that it is a good source of folate, which is important for developing the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Adequate folate intake during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

Additionally, some women may crave beet juice due to its potential blood pressure-lowering effects. Beet juice is rich in nitrates, which can help relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

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10. Mustard

Mustard is a tangy condiment made from mustard seeds, vinegar, and other spices known for its sharp flavor and distinctive yellow color.

One potential reason for craving mustard during pregnancy is that it can be a good source of nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are important for the baby’s healthy development, and pregnant women may crave them to ensure that they are getting enough of them in their diet.

11. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a nutritious food that contains protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, and it can be a satisfying and easy-to-digest snack for pregnant women. Craving peanut butter during pregnancy may be a sign of a desire for protein or a craving for the taste or texture of peanut butter.  

Pregnant women should be aware that some brands of peanut butter may contain added sugars, salt, or preservatives that can be harmful in excess. Choosing natural and unsweetened peanut butter is always good, and consuming it in moderation as part of a balanced and nutritious diet during pregnancy.

12. Paper

Consuming paper may not directly harm the baby, it can cause health problems for the mother, such as gastrointestinal issues or anemia, if it interferes with proper nutrient absorption.

13. Cheese quesadilla with syrup

A cheese quesadilla is typically made by melting cheese between two tortillas and can be a good source of calcium and protein. Pregnant women may crave a quesadilla’s cheese and savory flavor to add variety to their meals and snacks.

Syrup, on the other hand, is a sweet and sticky liquid often made from sugar and water. A cheese quesadilla with syrup creates a unique combination of savory and sweet flavors that can satisfy various pregnancy cravings. Additionally, the nutrients provided by the cheese can help support the baby’s healthy development.

14. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage that has been shredded and mixed with salt, vinegar, and other spices. It is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and pro-biotics, which can help to support digestive health and boost the immune system. 

Pregnant women may crave sauerkraut as a way to add flavor and texture to their meals or as a way to satisfy their hunger.It is important to note that some pregnant women may experience digestive discomfort or bloating after consuming sauerkraut, as it can be high in fiber and can produce gas.

15. Talcum Powder

Talcum powder is a mineral-based product often used for personal hygiene and cosmetic purposes, but it is not intended for ingestion.
Eating talcum powder can harm the mother and the developing baby. It may contain harmful substances such as asbestos, a known carcinogen, or other contaminants that can cause respiratory, digestive, or other health complications.

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16. Coffee Beans

This craving is not considered harmful in moderation, but excessive caffeine consumption can negatively affect the mother and the developing baby. Coffee beans contain caffeine, a stimulant that can increase alertness, energy, and focus.

17. Paint chips

This craving is common but weird during pregnancy, although it can also occur in children and adults who have nutritional deficiencies or psychological disorders.
Paint chips contain harmful chemicals such as lead, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women as it can pass through the placenta and harm the developing fetus.

18. Gasoline and Coil

Gasoline and coil contain toxic chemicals such as benzene and lead, which can harm both the mother and the developing baby.  Exposure to these substances can lead to serious health problems, including anemia, nerve damage, respiratory problems, and developmental delays.

19. Cotton balls

Eating cotton balls can be dangerous as they are made of fibers that are not digestible and can cause blockages in the digestive system. 

This can lead to serious health complications, including bowel obstruction, which can require surgery.

20. Fresh Lemon juice + salt

This can provide a refreshing and sour taste that can satisfy a variety of pregnancy cravings. Lemons are a source of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system and helps the body absorb iron.
They also contain antioxidants that can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Salt is an essential mineral for the body’s fluid balance and nerve function.

21. Grass

It is not entirely clear why some women may crave grass during pregnancy, but it is important to note that consuming grass is not a safe or healthy practice.

The grass may be contaminated with pesticides, chemicals, or other toxins that can harm the pregnant woman and the developing fetus.

22. Chalk

Some women may experience this craving due to a deficiency in certain nutrients like iron, calcium, or zinc. Others may crave chalk due to cultural or psychological reasons.

Chalk is a soft, powdery substance made of calcium carbonate that is often used in classrooms or as a dietary supplement.

While consuming small amounts of chalk is generally considered safe, excessive consumption can lead to serious health risks, such as gastrointestinal problems, anemia, and infections.


Pregnancy cravings can be strange and unexpected. Cultural or psychological factors may drive some, while others may be due to nutrient deficiencies or changes in hormones. While most pregnancy cravings are harmless, some can be dangerous and may require medical attention.
Pregnant women need to communicate any unusual cravings they experience to their healthcare provider, who can perform tests to identify nutrient deficiencies and provide appropriate dietary recommendations or supplements.

FAQs about some common and weird pregnancy cravings

Are pregnancy cravings normal?

Yes, pregnancy cravings are normal and experienced by many pregnant women. Hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies, and cultural or psychological factors can trigger them.

Are all pregnancy cravings safe?

While most pregnancy cravings are harmless, some can be dangerous and pose health risks to both the mother and the developing fetus. It is necessary to seek medical attention if you experience any adverse health effects related to your cravings.

Can pregnancy cravings be satisfied with healthy foods?

Yes, pregnancy cravings can often be satisfied with healthy food options. For example, if you crave sweets, you can eat fruits instead of candy or baked goods.

Can these weird pregnancy cravings be controlled?

While it can be difficult to control pregnancy cravings, certain strategies such as distraction, mindful eating, and moderation can be helpful. It is also essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy.

How can I deal with craving non-food items like chalk or dirt?

Craving non-food items like chalk or dirt during pregnancy, also known as pica, can be dangerous and may require medical attention. Speaking to your healthcare provider if you experience this craving is important.

Can weird pregnancy cravings be a sign of something else?

Pregnancy cravings can sometimes indicate nutrient deficiencies or underlying health issues. Communicating any unusual cravings to your healthcare provider, who can perform tests to identify any underlying issues, is important.

When do pregnancy cravings usually start?

Pregnancy cravings can start anytime, but they are most common during the first trimester and may continue throughout the pregnancy.

Common pregnancy cravings

During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience specific food cravings, which can vary from person to person. Some of the most common pregnancy cravings include:


Pregnant women often crave sugary treats such as chocolates and candies. This is because the body may need a quick energy boost, and sugar provides this energy quickly.

Savory high-calorie carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy, and high-calorie options like pizza and chips can satisfy cravings while providing comfort.

Animal protein

Protein is essential for developing the fetus and the pregnant woman’s body. Animal protein, such as steak and chicken, is a good source of protein and can help meet the body’s needs during pregnancy.


Fruits are a massive source of vitamins and minerals, and pregnant women may crave them to ensure they are getting enough nutrients for themselves and their growing babies.

Savory high-calorie dairy

Dairy products are a vast source of calcium and protein; high-calorie options like cheese and sour cream can satisfy cravings while providing essential nutrients.


Carbohydrates provide energy, and simple carbohydrates like pretzels and cereal can be a quick and easy snack for pregnant women on the go.

Cold foods

Pregnant women may crave cold foods, especially during the summer when temperatures are high. Cold treats like ice pops and slushies can also help alleviate nausea and heartburn.

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