You ate WHAT?! Meet the women whose babies made them eat chalk, talcum powder and paper towels…
I spoke to three women who confessed they had the strangest cravings while pregnant - they ate talcum powder, chalk and paper towels! Read their stories in today's Sun Fabulous #pica #cravings #pregnancy
‘I kept my talcum powder diet secret from my partner’
Before I had my children, I had a friend with an iron deficiency who used to eat Johnson’s Baby Powder. I thought she was nuts and couldn’t quite believe it when she managed to convince me to try some. I thought it was disgusting!
But years later, when I fell pregnant with my eldest daughter, Dae’Jha-Leigh, the memory of the powder popped into my head and suddenly it was all I wanted.
I bought a bottle of it and as soon as the white stuff hit my tongue, it was so refreshing. I can’t explain why I loved it so much but from that moment on, I was hooked.
After I gave birth to my daughter I thought my strange craving was over and it was – until I fell pregnant with my youngest daughter Naila-Monaé seven years later.
My impulse to eat the powder was even stronger than before and I started getting through three bottles a week. It tasted incredible.
I decided not to tell my partner Alexander Belo, 27, a credit controller, because I was scared of his reaction, but one day he caught me in the act and went mad.
He was a bit worried for the baby, which I understood, so I swore I’d stop. But it didn’t last long. I think I went two days without fuelling my addiction before I started sprinkling talcum powder in my mouth again.
When Alexander caught me for a second time, he took a snap of me on his phone and sent it to my mum, so she could grill me about it too.
Now Dae’Jha-Leigh is nearly seven and I’m on maternity leave from working as a customer service advisor at a call centre caring for Naila-Monaé, who is seven weeks old. Luckily both of them turned out fine! Looking back, it seems utterly crazy that I was eating talcum powder but at the time is was an essential to get me through my pregnancies!
Kadejah Clarke, 24, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
‘My kids laughed at me scoffing toilet paper’
I stood in the shower and reached for the shampoo but as I poured some into my hand, my stomach turned. Just the smell of it made me feel sick. I washed my hair quickly and then sat on the edge of the bath tub, waiting for the nausea to pass. I was just a few weeks pregnant with my fourth child and I continued to suffer with bad morning sickness.
Soon I started waking up in the middle of the night grinding my teeth, desperate for the feeling of something to bite into. I tried everything from crisps to biscuits, crackers to nuts, but nothing satisfied me. I started getting very grumpy and frustrated and would cry for hours, all because I couldn’t stop grinding my teeth.
One afternoon, I was sitting with my daughter Amreen while she was doing her homework, then she started using some chalk. I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly took a bite from one of the pieces of chalk - it was bliss. It felt so soothing on my teeth and helped ease my nausea. My husband, Shahid Khan, 41, a professional cricket coach, looked at me like I had lost my mind.
But chalk wasn’t enough. I needed something better.
Soon I turned to cooking flour, but then I realised my favourite craving of all – paper towels. As I tore off a sheet of kitchen roll and tore it with my teeth, it was a feeling like no other. The rough paper felt like heaven in my mouth and I chewed up the whole sheet until it turned soggy.
My three kids couldn't stop laughing as they watched me desperately fulfilling my craving.
In my job as a beautician and hairdresser, I had to sneak off in between clients so I could chew on paper towels in secret.
When I ran out of kitchen roll I went into the back garden and scratched the cement between the bricks on the wall and sucked my fingers like a hungry monster.
I kept on chewing up paper towels until I finally went into labour. Even then, in between contractions, I munched on the hospital’s scratchy paper towels until I finally gave birth to my son Azaan, now five.
Eating paper towels definitely kept me sane during those nine months and I often think back and wonder how I would have coped if I hadn’t given in my bizarre cravings. It was one hell of a pregnancy, but it was worth it in the end!
Nazma Iqbal, 38, Derby, Derbyshire