Mum-of-one Nicole Bonner has eaten about 1,000 sponges since developing a strange craving for soap during her pregnancy. Why? Well, Nicole, 22, suffers from pica.
Pica is a disorder that causes people to eat non-food objects. While Nicole munches on soap, other pica sufferers have been known to eat metal, coal, sand, chalk and even lightbulbs!
Nicole told ITV’s This Morning that she began to develop a craving for the smell of soap three months into her pregnancy. Soon after she started eating sponges with soapsuds on top.
Nicole, mum to 3-year-old John, told This Morning’s Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that she’d managed to cut down from one-and-a-half sponges a day to just half a sponge.
Nicole was joined on the This Morning sofa by Dr Carol Cooper who said that the habit could come from some sort of dietary deficiency - supposedly some pica sufferers who eat dirt lack iron, which is present in soil. Dr Carol warned that pica can lead to dangerous complications in the body’s metabolism.
Earlier this year, Kerry Trebilcock, 21, confessed to The Sun newspaper that she had eaten more than 100 bars of soap. The unusual choice of snack gave her stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
Kerry, a dental nurse from Cornwall, said, “I have been very particular about the type of sponges and soaps I’d eat and how I’d prepare them. If I went out for the day I’d carry a small plastic bag of cut-up pieces of sponge with some tomato and BBQ sauce in Tupperware.”
Did you develop any strange cravings during your pregnancy?