23/09/2015 12:03 BST | Updated 23/09/2015 12:59 BST

Pregnant Mum Desperate To Curb 'Insatiable' Craving For Washing Powder

A woman has developed an "insatiable craving" for washing powder during her second pregnancy and is desperate to curb the habit.

Michaela Martin from New Zealand appealed to other mums on a closed Facebook group for mums, explaining her habit stemmed from an enjoyment of smelling the laundry powder while doing her washing.

Martin, 23, told The New Zealand Herald: "As the weeks went on, before I knew it I had my nose inside a laundry powder box every time I walked past the laundry room."

Martin said she eventually began wetting her finger, dipping it into the laundry powder box and putting it in her mouth.

She added: "I chewed the grains between my teeth to kind of get the texture of the powder as well as the taste, and then would spit it out and rinse my mouth out straight away.

"I ate the yellow Surf washing powder first and it was not how my pregnant mind had imagined it tasting in my head, although even after trying it and knowing how disappointing the taste was when consuming it, I continued to crave it insatiably."

It is possible Martin is suffering from a condition called Pica, which is characterised by cravings for non-food items. Pica is not limited to pregnant women.

Martin said she didn't experience a craving for washing powder during her first pregnancy.

She added that her partner has begun keeping her away from the washing powder aisles in the supermarkets, because she wanted to stand there smelling the powders.


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Washing powder isn't the only cleaning product that Martin has experienced a new fondness for. She also said she loves smelling floor cleaning liquid and dishwasher tablets, but has not been tempted to eat them.

She added: "It's honestly so weird. I can't wait to give birth so I can go back to having a normal palate."

When Martin turned to the Facebook group to ask for advice, she was surprised when other mums admitted to having similar habits.

She said one of the craziest admissions she read was a mother who craved and ate fly spray.

Martin has not yet found a way to kick her washing powder craving, but there is one positive that has come out of the situation: "My washing pile is down to zero" she added.

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