We’ve all heard about crazy cravings pregnant women have, but this mum’s odd cravings could not be any weirder.
When 25-year-old Rebecca Adimora, from Oldham, Manchester fell pregnant with her second child, she experienced a certain craving anyone would find unthinkable — eating chalk!
Rebecca said she first felt the bizarre urge to try eating chalk after her morning sickness subsided at 16 weeks pregnant and seeing one of her seven-year-old daughter, Aaliyah’s coloured chalk crayons.
After loving the taste of it, she bought her own box of white Crayola chalk, and from then on, she would eat two sticks a day, until eventually eating up to 10 sticks a day!
“Eventually, at around six months pregnant, I was getting through 10 pieces a day, and there was nothing I could do to curb my craving.
“I just loved the sound of the crunch and the pasty feeling in my mouth.
“The sensation was dry and crumbly and the chalk would stick to the roof of my mouth – similar to the consistency of peanut butter. If I didn’t have a bite for a few hours I got groggy,” she said.
Worried this non-edible ‘snack’ would harm her baby, she decided to buy natural limestone chalk. “I did feel anxious about my baby’s health and the effects it might have, so sometimes I would chew the chalk and spit it back out. It was always more about the crunch than the consumption,” she said.
Rebecca said she would rather eat chalk than normal food, keeping at least 12 packets in the house.
At 32 weeks pregnant, Rebecca went for a blood test that showed her iron levels were low, so she was told to drink tablets to curb her cravings, but to no avail, and she still continued to munch on pieces of chalk.
Doctors believe Rebecca was suffering from pica syndrome, an obsessive-compulsive disorder, craving for non-food items, and is often associated with a lack of minerals in the body.
Rebecca’s addiction continued until she gave birth to her son, Reuben, who was thankfully born healthy and weighed 8lbs 7.5oz on November 2 at Royal Oldham Hospital.
After a month, Rebecca said she thought about eating chalk again, but this time, she didn’t like the taste. “After Reuben was born, the craving faded and when I tasted the chalk it was horrible. The taste was disgusting – I nearly vomited,” she said.
Rebecca revealed that it was not actually the first time she got odd cravings. When she was pregnant with her first child, she would eat toilet rolls!
Although Rebecca had uncomplicated pregnancies despite her bizarre cravings, she urges expectant mums to seek advice when experiencing the kind of cravings she had. “If other women have similar experiences, they should seek advice from their midwife or GP. There’s obviously an underlying reason as to why our bodies crave these things. I’m just relieved my baby son was born healthy,” she said.
Some people may find Rebecca’s cravings odd, but she has a message to all. “People might think I’m bonkers, but until people experience a craving that strong they really shouldn’t judge,” she said.