PICA- AYILO/SHILE DURING PREGNANCY

Lets talk about addiction.In a focused group discussion, one woman who had severe anaemia told the group, addiction to Ayilo within our community is worse than tramadol. She would eat more than 20pieces a day and still want more.

She confessed she was not the only one and that there are several women in her community with the same problem of addiction to ‘Ayilo’. She has been addicted for more than 5 years.

She decided stop when she realized it was having serious effect on her health.

During pregnancy, many women experience nausea and vomiting and also craving for substances that may not have any nutritional value for their babies as well as their health! One of such things is baked clay popularly called ‘Ayilo’  or ‘shile’ in Ghana.

It is taken to reduce the morning sickness as well as make them feel better. Medical professionals have warned expectant mums about the negative effects it can have on their health. It makes them to feel satisfied and therefore eat less resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Anaemia, low birth weight, worm infestation , underweight and poor birth outcomes are some of its effects.


It is important that pregnant women eat foods that are nutritious and cravings substituted with healthy foods that provide nutrients to the baby and mum.

If there is a severe nausea and vomiting see a medical professional or doctor for the best care. Also seek the help of a nutritionist to help improve your nutrition during pregnancy. Share with a Friend.

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