Consuming stones is not recommended and can be harmful to your health. Kenyan pregnant women have developed a habit of eating stones, which was previously more common in rural areas but is now also found on supermarket shelves.
It is not safe for pregnant women, or anyone else, to eat stones. Consuming stones can lead to serious health risks. Such as damage to teeth and digestive organs, as well as the potential for choking. Stones are not a source of nutrition and can pose significant harm if ingested.
What is this condition called?
If someone is craving non-food items, such as stones or dirt, it may be a condition known as pica. Pica is an eating disorder characterized by the consumption of non-nutritive, non-food substances. Cravings for non-food items can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or other underlying health issues.
Is it a habit that we should encourage?
No! I randomly asked a mother in my village who told me that she ate stones to protect herself and her baby from anaemia due to iron deficiency.
I did not blame her, given there are some cultural beliefs that we carry on without knowing.
Research has been done over time, and these stones that pregnant women eat truly contain some minerals, but it is a stone, and they may not be safe at all.
Our bodies have always had a way of communicating, and thus the relationship between cravings and deficiencies, pregnant women get folic acid supplements at the hospital, and I’m very much sure that those supplements will be so much better than eating stones.
Pregnant women should prioritize a well-balanced and nutritious diet to support their own health and the development of the baby. If there are unusual cravings or concerns about dietary choices during pregnancy, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for advice and guidance. They can provide appropriate recommendations and ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.