Second Time Around: Crazy Olfactory Cravings

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

I can't explain it, but instead of avoiding strong smells like I did in my previous pregnancy, I am LOVING odors. Especially toxic odors. Paint, gas, freshly lit cigarettes -- the list goes on. A visit to the hardware store makes me intoxicated as I take deep breaths, enjoying the waft of pressure treated lumber enveloping my nose buds. I can't get enough of the smell that captures my attention at that moment. I can't explain it. So I did what any girl these days would do: I Googled it.

My search lead me to Mihow.com, where this blog post made me see I was not alone. It also alerted me to something called "pica cravings". According to AmericanPregnancy.org, "Pica is the practice of craving substances with little or no nutritional value."

Though no one has a concrete reasoning for these cravings, "according to the Journal of American Dietetic Association there may be a connection to an iron deficiency. Some speculate that pica cravings are the body's attempt to obtain vitamins or minerals that are missing through normal food consumption. Sometimes pica cravings may be related to an underlying physical or mental illness."

OK, I will admit that pregnancy hormones make me cuh-razy. My anxiety and irritability are through the roof. So mental health could be playing a role. Reading this, it was the iron deficiency that raised a red flag for me. I have had a hard time keeping proteins down, and my prenatal vitamins make me super queasy, so I'll admit that I've been very spotty in taking them. This possible correlation concerns me a bit. But, to be clear, I don't want to eat these smells. I merely want to enjoy the pleasure of their scents.

What about you? Are you experiencing something similar? What smells can you not get enough of.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.