When a woman gets pregnant, it can cause significant changes to her body and mind. Many women compare being pregnant to having their bodies taken control of by their unborn child. Pregnant women suffer from morning sickness, weight gain, fatigue, cramping, insomnia, and many other uncomfortable issues. Most pregnant women don’t mind, however, because they know that it will all be worth it in the end.
One part of pregnancy is food cravings. Some women crave everyday things, such as french fries or spaghetti, and others crave stranger things like pickles and ice cream or bologna and brownies. There are plenty of old wives tales regarding pregnancy cravings. Some people even believe that if they don’t give in to their craving, then their baby will suffer. For the most part, giving in to a craving is harmless. As long as the mother-to-be isn’t consuming 7,000 calories a day to give in to their craving, there is no harm in splurging once in a while. In some cases, however, giving in to a food craving can be deadly. That was the case with a 35-year-old pregnant woman from St. Louis, Missouri. A woman’s pregnancy craving was so extreme that she ended up hospitalized.
When the woman and her husband found out that they were expecting, they were overjoyed. They had always wanted to start a family, but it took them a bit longer for them to get into a place in their lives where they were ready to have a baby. For the first few months, the woman’s pregnancy was completely normal. She went to her regular checkups, she had ultrasounds, and the necessary blood work to make sure that both mother and baby were healthy. The couple spent their free time shopping for the baby and getting everything ready for their baby boy.
The woman’s pregnancy took a turn for the worse when she was 37-weeks pregnant. She went to the hospital complaining of feeling dizzy and weak. The doctors ran some tests and determined that her potassium was very low. The doctors were very concerned about her low potassium levels that they were considering admitting her to the hospital. Potassium, as low as hers, could cause muscle, nerve, and brain impairment. When the woman’s heartbeat became irregular and was rapidly increasing, they decided that they had to admit her to find out what was going on.
As the day went on, the woman’s symptoms were worsening. She was feeling tired, she had very little strength, and she was experiencing cramping. While these issues were severe, it was her heart problems that really had the doctors worried. They knew that her heart problems were putting a strain on the woman as well as her baby. They ran tests, but couldn’t figure out what was causing her symptoms.
The doctors eventually diagnosed the woman with a condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy. It is a condition that causes a weakening in the heart muscle. Because the recommended medication for the disease would be harmful to the baby, the woman and her unborn child’s lives were in danger. The doctors kept a close eye on her. If her condition worsened, they would need to take drastic steps.
As the woman’s condition worsened, it became more and more dangerous for her and the baby. Finally, the doctors had to make a decision. They decided to induce labor and get the baby out. Because the woman was 37-weeks pregnant, the baby’s lungs were developed and were strong enough to leave his mother’s womb. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy. After the delivery, the doctors still wanted to know what caused the mother’s issues in the first place.
The doctors had the woman remain in the hospital for days after giving birth because they wanted to find the cause of her serious heart issues. While in the hospital, they asked her a lot of questions, and finally, they figured out what caused her heart problem. It all had to do with a pregnancy craving that she was having.
When the woman was growing up, her mother would give her a spoonful of baking soda to cure the hiccups. As an adult, she used the same remedy. After using it for hiccups once, she had a craving for it. She told her doctors that she consumed almost a whole box of baking soda before her symptoms began.
Baking soda is dangerous in large quantities because it contains sodium bicarbonate. This can cause severe electrolyte disturbances, muscle breakdown, cardiomyopathy, and even heart failure. When the doctors knew what was causing her problems, they gave her something to balance out her electrolytes, and they informed her of the dangers of eating baking soda. Fortunately, the woman recovered, and she and her baby went home.