Friday, April 25, 2014

How to Know if You're Pregnant, 1684

Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger,
Portrait of a Woman in Red (1620), Tate
"The women are troubled with nauseating and loathing of their meat, and oftentimes covet and greedily long for things contrary to Nutriment, as Coals, Rubish, Chalk, Lime, Starch, Oat-meal, raw Flesh and Fish or the like, which desire proceeds from a former contraction of evil humours... some Women as it has been noted by divers Authors of Credit, have been so extravegant in their longings, that they have coveted Hob-Nails, Leather, Horse Flesh, Mans Flesh, and the Flesh of divers ravenous Beasts..." 
Aristoteles Master-piece (1684)
Forget the home pregnancy test. Have you been craving ravenous beast flesh? Or... oatmeal? Congratulations: you're expecting!


  1. When I was pregnant I just wanted to gnaw on the ridiculously appealing disposable scrubbing bubbles toilet wand refills.

  2. Zoinks! I had one crazy night - which still scares my husband - where I had to have that jar of herring in cream sauce with the onions. That was the first kid. Second kid, red delicious apples, which I ordinarily detest. Never man flesh or other ravening beasts. But that's just me.

  3. It sounds like the author is describing pica, which often occurs when you are super iron deficient (and which is often brought on by pregnancy if you are anemic to begin with). I actually did have pica and wanted to eat chalk, lotion, raw flour, laundry detergent, and basically anything that was white and powdery. I wasn't pregnant though--I just in grad school and decided that a year of quesadillas would be the cheapest way to eat. Lols. Don't try it; the medical bills undercut your savings on food. :(

  4. I also survived grad school induced anemia, I was thinking the same thing!

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