Woman's Extreme Pregnancy Craving Lands Her in the Hospital

baking sodaPregnancy cravings can get us into a little bit of trouble sometimes. Am I right, Kim Kardashian? Those midnight meatballs and Mallomars can really take their toll. But trouble is relative. Have your pregnancy cravings ever landed you in the hospital with a heart condition? One pregnant woman's craving for baking soda went horribly awry. You can probably guess what happened based on what I wrote two sentences ago. I'll give you a hint: heart condition.

Yes, it was pica. What else could lead a person to eat an entire one-pound box of baking soda every day through her pregnancy? No joke (I'm going to stop joking now), it was not just a quirky habit. It seriously damaged her health. Her symptoms at 37 weeks included dizziness, feelings of weakness, irregular heartbeat, and low levels of potassium.


Potassium is a mineral you need for your nerves and muscles to function well -- particularly your heart muscles. That's why this woman was feeling so weak. The doctors had to induce labor and she delivered a five-pound, four-ounce baby. They continued to treat the woman because her potassium levels remained low, and they just couldn't figure out what was wrong with her ... until two days later when she confessed she'd been downing a box of baking soda every day for the past two years (which, okay, doesn't exactly make it a pregnancy craving per se, but still troubling that she kept it up through pregnancy) to deal with her hiccups. She'd even been sneaking it at the hospital.

So this is a sad, scary story. We get the lesson, right? Don't let your unusual pregnancy cravings -- or any other odd cravings -- make you this sick. You know if you're doing something unusual -- even if you don't want to admit it to yourself. I'm sure this woman was aware that most people don't consume an entire box of baking soda in one day, ever. For whatever reason, she thought she was an exception and really needed it. But she didn't. Don't dismiss unusual cravings as just a quirk. Talk to your doctor about it -- just to be on the safe side.

Have you ever hidden your pregnancy cravings from your doctor?


Image via Inf-Lite Teacher/Flickr

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