I’ll have a side of charcoal please: Strange pregnancy cravings and why they might not actually be that strange

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Unsurprisingly, here at the JoJo Maman Bébé office, we always have babies on the brain. With not one, but two JoJo babies born last month, and the imminent arrival of the royal baby, the baby-o-meter has gone into overdrive.

Talking of the royal baby, The Duchess of Cambridge has apparently been experiencing some unusual cravings – namely, lavender shortbread from Fortnum & Mason. Very princess-like! Anyway, it appears that lavender’s healing properties help alleviate morning sickness – which begs the question – are cravings just our body’s naturally clever way of telling us what it needs?

Although scientific research into the subject is limited, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that there may be more to cravings than we might think.

If you’ve ever experienced a hankering for ketchup, you’d be in good company, with both Beyoncé and Natalie Portman claiming to have developed a penchant for the sauce during their pregnancies. In fact, this isn’t such a strange craving. Ketchup’s saltiness can be effective for satisfying a sodium deficiency.

ketchup pregnancy craving


Having asked around the office for the strangest pregnancy cravings the JoJo team have come across, Haleh, one of our merchandisers, told of her interesting experience. She started to eat more oranges even before she found out she was pregnant, and later found out the fruit is rich in folic acid – which as most of us know – is vital for healthy baby development.

The most hilarious offering was that of cold meat pies, but only the ones from service stations. This led the poor lady in question to carry around a cold meat pie in her handbag in case of emergencies.

Alongside cravings – and perhaps more common – are strong aversions to certain things. My mother told me that although she didn’t have any particular cravings when she was pregnant with me, there were things that made her nauseous – red meat and oddly, the sound of my father’s voice, but only on the phone. That one remains unexplained.

JoJo founder Laura couldn’t stomach anything during her pregnancy apart from bananas, ice cream and milk, which sounds like a delicious problem to have but I’m guessing the novelty wore off pretty quickly!

Although there might be some logic to sugar cravings and responding by gorging on copious amounts of Haribo Tangfastics, some cravings are just downright bizarre. So count yourself lucky – it could be a lot worse, like this unfortunate woman.

Have any of you had any unusual cravings during your pregnancies? Or maybe you suddenly loved the smell of petrol? And eating charcoal – is it more than just an old wives’ tale? We’d love to hear your weird and wonderful stories!


Photo credits: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/809184/early-signs-of-pregnancy http://www.allparenting.com/my-pregnancy/articles/966449/what-women-crave-during-pregnancy

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6 comments for “I’ll have a side of charcoal please: Strange pregnancy cravings and why they might not actually be that strange

  1. Emma Battams-Harris
    14/02/2013 at 3:50 pm

    When I was pregnant I had cravings for prawn cocktail crisps and cockles in vinagar. I never ate these things usually, one day at about 4 months pregnant I need these things.
    Three weeks later my craving had changed and I needed bacon sandwich with red sause and kfc chicken burgers, I also never ate these thing as I am allergic to meat but, I was craving these thing so I ate them and was fine, my baby was clearly in need of this and I continued to eat it untill I had my baby. After having my little girl I thought maybe my body has changed with hormones so maybe I might not be allergic any more to meat but it turned out im still allergic, I am clearly missing out on the tasty meat burgers everyone else gets to eat but it was nice for a while to be able to eat them.

  2. Ros
    14/02/2013 at 8:15 pm

    Cottage pie. It just had to be cottage pie, at least twice a week. When asked what I wanted to eat for my special birthday dinner it was cottage pie and broccoli. I was really really iron deficient, and I think the red meat and broccoli were helping. I barely touch red meat usually!

    • Rob
      19/02/2013 at 10:55 am

      The JoJo team were quite envious of your cottage pie cravings! Delicious and nutritious!

  3. lucy sayer
    17/02/2013 at 1:20 pm

    Everytime my sister has been pregnant (mother of three boys) she has craved the feeling of sponge in her mouth?! not the victoria kind…teh wash yourself with soap kind! Also my best friend craved the taste and smell of washing powder leading to her doing ridiculous amounts of washing everyday!

    • Rob
      19/02/2013 at 10:53 am

      One of the JoJo team was talking about this strange sponge chewing too – bizarre! I can understand the washing powder craving – that is one of life’s most amazing smells!

  4. Debbie Axson
    07/03/2013 at 5:01 pm

    During three past pregnancies I just had to have raw cauliflower and raw spaghetti….and lots of it! It wasn’t unknown for me to go walkies late evening to the local shop to purloin supplies either! Plus, I had a nauseous aversion to washing up liquid, the smell would turn my stomach….a very useful one that!

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