pica pregnancy craving coal

Pregnancy Cravings – The Good, The Bad & The Downright Strange

When I was pregnant with Lily my main pregnancy craving was for crispy seaweed from the Chinese takeaway! For the first 7 or so months I was obsessed with the stuff – and ended up on first name basis with the lovely lady in my local takeaway!

Lily actually loves the crispy seaweed now too – if we ever get Chinese that’s the one thing she will request!

It wasn’t exactly a healthy craving but it wasn’t the worst one to have either – after all my friend craved big macs all the way through hers (and she is a veggie!)

Towards the end of my pregnancy though my slightly odd craving was taken over by one that nobody could understand, least of all myself.

The craving of choice after 7 months? Sponge!

Nope not sponge cake – just actual bog standard bath sponge. As a kid I used to love sucking the water out of sponges – think it was a textural thing. However when pregnant the only thing that could satisfy my craving was to actually eat the sponge.

My midwife called this type of non-food craving ‘Pica’ and it can be a sign of an iron or zinc deficiency. Lots of women apparently get non-food cravings – for things such as coal, chalk or even sawdust.

And whilst they aren’t particularly good for you the cravings are a definite struggle to resist.

Pregnancy Cravings

Good or Bad Pregnancy Cravings?

I really struggled with the sickness and nausea for the first trimester of this pregnancy. To this day I am on anti-sickness medication which is the only way I can keep food and fluids down.

To start with when I first found out I was pregnant my cravings were for avocados and big healthy green salads.

Those were definitely good cravings to have – once I could actually keep food down successfully I was eating salads twice a day. Although my grocery bill got pretty high thanks to all of the avocadoes.

I was also constantly wanting sushi, prawn cocktails and smoked salmon – three things that are unfortunately not recommended during pregnancy 🙁

Lots of people I know have craved fast foods such as McDonalds during their pregnancy – often the salty fries!

And then the craving for sponge kicked in around the 6 month mark – it’s so bizarre!

I knew I wasn’t the only one out there with one of these strange pregnancy cravings and so I asked other bloggers what theirs were.

The responses definitely gave me a giggle and, in some cases, made me feel a lot better about the fact that I was chewing on a sponge whilst reading them!

Normal’ish’ Pregnancy Cravings

Becky from Mommy & Rory craved oranges – totally normal and healthy until you realise she means the WHOLE orange even the peel ha!

Pregnancy Cravings orange

Helen from Casa Costello craved black pudding. She actually cried when a woman in the queue at the butchers bought the last one! I can imagine myself being the same to be honest! A friend of mine had the same craving and it was apparently due to her iron deficiency.

Linda from Mother Distracted said ‘Cheese. Cheese biscuits, cheese crackers, cheese footballs but mostly cheese. Only thing that would stop the nausea. Since Caitlin is now 10 I should probably stop troughing it though!’

Natalie from Crummy Mummy shared that her cravings were for ‘Anything pickled – onions, eggs, vegetables – I uses to eat them straight out of the jar!’.

I can understand the pickled veg (honestly I love pickled cabbage) but eggs and onions *bleurgh*

Kate from Ever After with Kids craved Chocolate milkshake – gallons of it!

I do love a chocolate milkshake but not the thick ones – I prefer cheapy nesquick types ha!

Erin from Yorkshire Tots couldn’t get enough of dried mangoes – at least they are healthy!

Siobhan from The Baby Boat Diaries said ‘Diet coke but only from a can! I was like a woman possessed if I didnt get one when I wanted one!’

Jo from Mummy Needs Wine craved hoisin duck pancakes – I don’t need to be pregnant to crave those ha!

Lynn from Mrs Money Penny said ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken..so unhealthy and I wanted it every day. Poor Josh was born an 11 lb’er I am sure the chicken partly caused it

Laura from 5 Little Doves craved Vinegar and drank so much of it that she damaged the enamel on her teeth!

Strange Pregnancy Cravings

So my sponge craving is definitely weird but so are these ones!

Fiona from A Mum Track Mind said ‘Umm sellotape 🙈🙈🙈🙈 I just used to want to chew it so bad! (Disclaimer – I didn’t!!)’

Carla-Marie from MyBump2baby shared ‘I actually loved chewing coal. Cringey I know but I couldn’t help it. I spat it out after!’Ooh that one made my teeth ache ha!

pica pregnancy craving coal

Robyn from Catching Up With The Clarkes loved Strawberry flavoured shower gel – I really hope not to eat!

Geraldine from Geraldine Renton said ‘Ooh I loved a fried egg and a mars bar between two slices of toast ….managed to get my non pregnant friend to taste it ,and she has been enjoying them ever since

Please tell me I’m not the only one feeling ill now?!

Claire from Our Mummy Life said ‘Sand! Yes, eating sand. With my second kid. Apparently quite common when you have severe vomiting

Quite a lot of people responded with scents too.

Emma from Birds and Lilies said ‘That lovely plastic-y smell. I adored the smell of my exercise ball and used to sit and sniff it constantly and chew it a bit too! I still love it now!’

Caitylis said ‘CIF Bathroom Cleaner 😂 never drank it but I really bloody wanted to. I just sniffed it all day. I would open the bottles in the supermarket to get a whiff!’

Lynne from The Mad Maddens shared ‘Bleach (not consumed) just the smell of it I couldn’t get enough of! Also any lemon scented cleaning products’

Emma-Louise from Even Angels Fall said ‘Sniffing damp towels or flannels! Happened in all three pregnancies!!

But out of all of the ones shared Emma from Fit-Cake definitely gets the prize for weirdest craving. She craved DOG FOOD!!!!


Of course this post is just for a bit of fun – if you are having weird pregnancy cravings I would definitely suggest talking to your midwife (and NOT eating dog food or cleaning products!)

What were your pregnancy cravings?

*Off to eat some more sponge now*



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  • Reply Nazrin Miah April 9, 2018 at 11:59 am

    My mum had a really strange craving she wanted to eat clay when she was carrying all of us! I think this is because she lacked iron so started craving things that weren’t even edible!

  • Reply Siobhan | The Baby Boat Diaries April 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I’ve just sat here having a little giggle at some of the strange cravings 🙈 the dog food one made me.gag a little bit though! Thank you for including me (13 weeks postpartum and the diet coke cravings are still there!) x

  • Reply Claire April 9, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I never really had many cravings for my 4 children. I did crave coffee cake with my 2nd child for some reason 🙂

  • Reply Lisa April 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Oooh I wish I had a crazy craving. I’ve craved cheese and endless bags of crisps. I do like to sniff beer though but not drink it. Sponge! I think that’s the first I’ve heard of that!

    • Reply bettertogetherhome April 11, 2018 at 10:03 am

      I crave cheese and beer when not pregnant haha!

  • Reply John Milnes April 9, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    My wife has strange cravings all the time, she even jokes that she maybe pregnant. I would hate to think what she is like should we ever have our own child.

    Thanks for Sharing

    John M

  • Reply Laura Dove April 10, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    This really made me laugh! I always wanted a weird craving, like petrol or coal! I felt like it was a sign of pregnancy! That said vinegar is a bit weird!!!

  • Reply Jen April 10, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve heard about the sponge cravings before! It’s funny what we crave, I didn’t have anything too strange. Citrus fruit was my main one all three times.

  • Reply Mudpie Fridays April 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    This post has had me giggling. For my first I craved potatoes so much so that it became Monkey’s nick name. With the second it was orange juice but I drank far too much and I am sure thats why I ended up with gestational diabetes. I should have known better!! xx

    • Reply bettertogetherhome April 11, 2018 at 10:03 am

      We’ve been calling the baby Avocado all the way through this time ha!

  • Reply Wendy April 10, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    This post made me cringe and laugh out loud at the same time. Some of these cravings and just crazy, I really hope no one starts drinking bleach when they’re pregnant!! I never really had any cravings in either of my pregnancies, I was quite disappointed actually. Enjoy your sponge!xx

    • Reply bettertogetherhome April 11, 2018 at 10:02 am

      I hope nobody drinks bleach ever ha!

  • Reply fashionandstylepolice April 11, 2018 at 12:56 am

    I had all sorts of pregnancy cravings. But nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Reply Kara April 11, 2018 at 7:42 am

    My mum craved licorice but now I cannot stand it LOL

    • Reply bettertogetherhome April 11, 2018 at 10:01 am

      My mum craved that too (and I now hate it!) and ice lollies!

  • Reply Mel April 12, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Pregnancy cravings are so odd, aren’t they? Avocados and green salad sound pretty good for the start of a pregnancy, but sponge is definitely an odd one! Gosh I’m glad I never craved weird stuff like dog food or vinegar, yuck!

  • Reply Beth @ BethinaBox.com April 13, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I craved onions with my first… I couldn’t stand onions… I eat them all the time now though. Haha!

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