Women are often afraid when they have a loss of appetite during pregnancy. Is the baby healthy? Is this normal? What am I doing wrong? Some of these questions are going to go through a pregnant woman’s brain, and the good news is that it’s rather normal.
During the first trimester, women gain 1 – 5 pounds of weight in most cases, and most of this weight gain is from water. Most women don’t realize that 70% of women will also experience nausea and vomiting along with morning sickness. This isn’t something that women normally talk about, but morning sickness usually leads to a loss of appetite.
Your body is prepared for this loss of appetite. Your baby is so small during your first trimester that he or she doesn’t demand as much energy to grow. So, you’ll be able to properly “feed” your body even when you’re not eating a massive amount of food. In most cases you don’t need to see a doctor unless it is a severe loss of appetite. Some loss of appetite is normal, but if you’re not eating at all, you’ll need to have the issue corrected. It’s best to talk to your physician because you can’t go and grab an over-the-counter medicine because it may not be recommended for a pregnant woman. Morning sickness is actually a natural defense to protect your baby from food. Your body is protecting your baby from harmful foods, and all of the hormones running wild in your body will also lead to the feeling of nausea.
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When to Worry About Loss of Appetite During Pregnancy
Nausea and not wanting to eat during the first 90 days of your pregnancy is normal. Of course, you need to eat to subsist, and there are times to worry about your small appetite.
The second trimester is a vital stage during pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, you’ll start to gain weight during the second trimester, and eating more calories is a necessity at this time. A healthy baby (just one, not twins or more) will require you to eat an extra 350 – 450 calories or more per day – so you need to eat.
Your baby needs nutrients at this time, and you’ll be fighting against a growing uterus at this point. The uterus will push against the stomach, causing loss of appetite, and pressure will be put against the lower abdomen.
But it’s still important to eat at this time. If you’re pregnant, and within your second trimester, you need to be eating enough to sustain your baby’s development. Women that are struggling to eat during the second trimester need to discuss the issue with their doctor (we’ll also be discussing a few tips that can help).
Your pregnancy is almost over, and the third trimester will require a massive amount of energy (food) from mom. The baby is growing intensely, and you’ll need to eat a lot at this point as well. While many women will be able to eat without any appetite loss at this point, there are a few factors working against you that may cause you to lose your appetite:
- Growing fetus (less room in your stomach).
- Indigestion or heartburn.
The good news is that you won’t be feeling nausea at this point – in most cases – and your pregnancy is almost over, which is good, too.
6 Ways to Combat Loss of Appetite During Pregnancy
1. Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Eating a big meal is hard for pregnant women. Your stomach has less room to expand, and you’ll find that a big meal makes you feel sick. What many people recommend is that you eat small meals more often. A small meal can be digested with much greater ease. You won’t feel any bloating, and you can eat up to 7 small meals a day. Try to eat every 3 hours or so, and you’ll find it’s much easier to eat without feeling sick.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water and liquids will fill up your stomach faster since you have less room in your stomach, but when you drink water at the right time, you can find water actually helps with appetite issues. Water can allow for ease of constipation, and water is also needed to keep hydrated and avoid urinary tract infections.
3. Ditch Fast Food
Fast food may be filled with flavor, but it’s also very heavy. People that eat fast food don’t always realize how much fat and calories are in a tiny hamburger, chicken sandwich, or whatever it is you’re eating. Avoid fast food if you don’t have an appetite to see if you start to feel better.
4. Eat Light Foods
Light foods are easier to digest. Fruits and vegetables, quinoa and foods that are typically easily digested are the ideal choice. If you have morning sickness and vomiting, try and eat light foods first thing in the morning, rather than your normal breakfast, to find relief.
5. Eat More Fiber
Women hate to admit it, but they’re often constipated during pregnancy. And one way to break through this constipation and start feeling hungry again is to eat foods with a lot of fiber. Fiber will allow you to go much easier while removing bloating and constipation.
6. Stay Active
Many moms-to-be will stay in bed and start neglecting any exercise routines they may have had. And this isn’t ideal. You want to stay active even if that means you only go for a walk around town to get the body moving. Being active will help you digest food faster and more efficiently, and it will also make you hungrier as a result. If you want to find a way to revive your appetite, engage in some form of exercise. Even swimming can be very beneficial and is highly recommended.
Loss of appetite is common, but if it stops you from being able to properly supply food for your baby’s growing needs, it’s time to take action. The six tips listed above along with the proper prenatal vitamins will allow your body and your baby to receive all of the nutrients needed for a happy and healthy pregnancy.