Carrying a baby bump can be physically exhausting, which may lead you to consume more food or drinks. However, sometimes, it’s not all as it seems since your taste for food and appetite seems to change. If you’re ever wondering whether appetite changes are a real thing, read on this article to find out.
Cravings, as well as aversions, are some of the most common cases that happen to pregnant women. After all, you do need to supply your baby with enough nutrients to keep them growing and developing nicely, so it’s okay if you keep eating and gaining weight. Although, sometimes, aversions, or loss of appetite, can sound a little bit scary, since you feel like your baby isn’t getting the nutrients they need.
Is appetite loss normal during pregnancy?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it occurs usually in your first trimester since your body is adjusting to the change that’s happening, which may cause you to have vomiting and dizziness, which then leads to loss of appetite.
Another common reason for the loss of appetite is morning sickness, which happens to many pregnant women if not all. This is where you can clearly identify your food aversions from your food cravings.
Hormonal changes could also be at work, causing you to feel gross after eating something or just basically not wanting to eat it all. These hormonal changes could alter your sense of smell and your taste, and the food that you previously craved when you weren’t carrying your baby bump could even turn into a food aversion! You never know!
Appetite loss can sometimes lead to a decreased weight, which may not be so good for your baby’s development. Gaining 1 lb. per week is the common recommendation of most doctors for pregnant women.
Note: you can also have a loss of appetite during your second and third trimester, which can depend on the way of your pregnancy. This is because of the stretching of your uterus and hormonal changes.
How do I manage appetite loss during pregnancy?
If appetite loss seems to be bothering you a lot on your first trimester, here are things that you can do to ensure your baby still gets the nutrition that they need:
1. Stay hydrated. Consider drinking at least 8 glasses a day, all of which are 8 ounces in amount. Other liquids, such as those from soups, fruits, veggies, and the like, can also count. You can even try lemon or tea if you feel sick while tasting regular water, although tea should be best consulted with your physician so it doesn’t get in the way of your baby’s development.
Staying hydrated is easier than watching your calories because drinking helps us feel good and keeps us feeling full. It also helps your body circulate better, much like how a well-oiled machine or vehicle works better after an oil change or a fuel refill.
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2. Don’t binge-eat, as much as possible. Binge eating will only make you feel stressed. The effect can even be felt by your whole body if you contain your hunger and eat in strict schedules. This is why pregnant women are allowed to have small snacks almost every hour so that they don’t get into the risk of bloating or vomiting.
Pregnancy is a condition where your taste buds and appetite aren’t working well, much like when you have a fever or flu. This is why eating small portions can be much better than binge eating large meals. It can also help your digestive system to work better and smoothly during this time.
3. Try to avoid foods with strong smells. Instead of processed meat and those with a lot of fats, consider healthy choices and those that have a little more bland taste, such as salad. You can also try chicken or fish instead of regular meat.
Strong smells can sometimes become the main cause of vomiting, bloating, or some other form of appetite loss. Don’t force yourself to eat something that you can’t stomach as a whole and take your time in eating anything.
4. Consider prenatal vitamins. These vitamins can help with your nourishment as you develop your baby inside that bump. It can help alleviate most food aversions so that you don’t always feel sick when trying to eat something.
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Among the nutrients in supplement form that you can take include the following:
a. Calcium – this can be important in developing bones and joints
b. Omega 3 fatty acids – this helps with your baby’s brain development and usually comes from fish or fish oil
c. Folate – they can come from veggies, legumes, and other fiber sources, which can help with digestive problems that you may have during pregnancy
d. Protein – this can help with your everyday tasks since protein adds power and energy
5. Try a different preparation. If you used to like your food hot but you can’t stomach it now because of appetite loss, try changing its temperature. It really depends upon your preference for hot or cold on this one.
6. Take vitamins to help with nausea. Your doctor may recommend vitamin B or similar ones to help with your dizziness, which may be the root cause of your loss of appetite. However, they should be thoroughly consulted so that they will not interfere with your baby’s development, as with any medicine you take during pregnancy.
Aside from these vitamins, it can also help if you don’t engage in activities that could trigger nausea or dizziness. This can help you to reduce appetite loss.
In the long run, appetite loss is quite a normal thing when you are pregnant – it is about as normal as food cravings that you may get. The only thing you need to worry about is how to counter such appetite loss in order to give your baby the best nutrition without feeling bloated or sick. Remember to use your judgment and don’t eat any aversion food for the meantime if your taste buds aren’t cooperating!