If you crave soil when pregnant, then take this message

Monday November 20 2017

Syriacus Buguzi

Syriacus Buguzi 

By Dr Syriacus Buguzi

During early pregnancy, women face tough moments, more so due to what is known as morning sickness.
It’s a time when they are likely to make certain decisions about their health—informed or uninformed.
In today’s main story, we get to hear this of women who crave for soil in Tanzania—a habit that researchers now say exposes them and their unborn babies to health risks.
If you are a woman and crave for soil, today should be the right moment to decide whether to continue or to stop habit.
Just to make sure you get a well-guided decision—straight from Horse’s mouth—I decided to involve Dr Latifa Kalinga, a general practitioner and a mother in this conversation about soil-eating during pregnancy. Being a medic and a mother with experience, Dr Kalinga, from Songwe Regional Hospital has come across pregnant women eating soil—a habit known as geophagy.
Through both experiences, she suggests that the challenges that pregnant women face would be resolved through being informed correctly and thinking rightly.
Dr Kalinga says, “Pregnancy comes with cravings. There are common obsessions like eating soil, ice in the freezer or uncooked rice, but this may not cure anything.”
“If it’s anaemia that they believe such edibles may treat, it’s not true. I know a number of women who decide to eat such things but their heamoglobin level is normal. They don’t usually have anaemia.”
“It’s important that we advise these women that there is a risk of causing other health problems through eating the soil. There is a risk of worm infestation. Worms are likely to cause anaemia to these women instead.”
The reasons cited by the women for eating soil, as narrated in today’s main story, have been that they do it to avoid nausea and vomiting.
However, the following health tips, as per webmd.com are touted by medics as the right ways of minimising nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
• Keep food in your stomach but not too much. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Eat several small meals every day instead of three large meals.
• For morning nausea, eat a small snack (like crackers) before you get out of bed. Allow a few minutes for the snack to digest, then get out of bed slowly.
• Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids. Try a sports hydration drink, as well as water, broth or juice.
• Eat more protein, and cut your fatty food intake.
• Avoid smells and foods that make you feel nauseated. Citrus juice, milk, coffee, and caffeinated tea commonly make nausea worse.
• If you are taking iron supplements, ask your doctor if they are necessary. Iron can make nausea worse.
Make informed health choices.
E-mail: six.buguzi@gmail.com