3 doctors weighed in:

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and crave ice a lot. Is this a sign of anemia? If it goes untreated could it be harmful to me and baby?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hunter
Gynecology - Oncology

In brief: Pica

This is a condition not completely understood, called pica.
Most women will describe a craving for ice, but other foods, and even clay and dirt, are also common. Iron hunger in the face of anemia is certainly one theory, but remember, you're making a new person, and adding 50% more blood to your system. So your iron demands are going to be higher. Ask your doctor if he checked you for anemia.

In brief: Pica

This is a condition not completely understood, called pica.
Most women will describe a craving for ice, but other foods, and even clay and dirt, are also common. Iron hunger in the face of anemia is certainly one theory, but remember, you're making a new person, and adding 50% more blood to your system. So your iron demands are going to be higher. Ask your doctor if he checked you for anemia.
Dr. Mark Hunter
Dr. Mark Hunter
Thank
Dr. Martin Rubenstein
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology

In brief: Iron deficiency

Unusual craving for ice can be a sign of iron deficiency, something very common in pregnancy.
Your baby likely will not be deficient as "the system" favors the baby over you where iron is concerned. You get some iron in the prenatal vitamins, but an additional iron supplement may be needed to correct iron deficiency anemia. Check with your ob. They may want to check a blood test.

In brief: Iron deficiency

Unusual craving for ice can be a sign of iron deficiency, something very common in pregnancy.
Your baby likely will not be deficient as "the system" favors the baby over you where iron is concerned. You get some iron in the prenatal vitamins, but an additional iron supplement may be needed to correct iron deficiency anemia. Check with your ob. They may want to check a blood test.
Dr. Martin Rubenstein
Dr. Martin Rubenstein
Thank
Dr. Lori Mcneal
Obstetrics & Gynecology

In brief: Craving ice

craving ice or non- food items in pregnancy is called pica.
You probably are anemic. You will need to take iron supplementation so your hemoglobin is increased which in turn increases your oxygen to your baby.

In brief: Craving ice

craving ice or non- food items in pregnancy is called pica.
You probably are anemic. You will need to take iron supplementation so your hemoglobin is increased which in turn increases your oxygen to your baby.
Dr. Lori Mcneal
Dr. Lori Mcneal
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Jane Van Dis
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
15 years in practice
47M people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors