How to Handle Appetite Loss During Pregnancy?

Are you dealing with appetite loss during pregnancy? It’s all normal, you don’t need to worry about it. However, it poses a question: what about the famous notion that says you must eat for two during pregnancy? But what do you do when you’ve lost all your appetite and can’t keep even your favourite meals down? 
We are here to help you. Let’s get through appetite loss during pregnancy and understand how to handle it. We will walk you through each trimester, giving you a head start on what to do. 

Appetite Loss During Pregnancy – Why Does it Happen?
Appetite loss is a normal thing during pregnancy that many moms-to-be can experience. It can happen due to different reasons, such as: 
Hormonal Changes
When a woman is pregnant, her body goes through many hormonal changes. These changes can mess with the signals that tell your brain you’re hungry. So, sometimes you might not feel as hungry as usual.
Morning Sickness
Lots of pregnant women experience morning sickness, which can make them feel queasy and not want to eat much. Morning sickness isn’t just in the morning. It can happen any time of day.
Sensitive Smell and Taste
Pregnancy can make your sense of smell super strong. Some smells that didn’t bother you before might make you feel sick now. And your favourite foods might taste different or even taste gross.
Physical Discomfort
As your belly grows, it can push on your stomach and make you feel full faster. Other pregnancy symptoms like heartburn or constipation can also affect your appetite.
Stress and Emotions
Being pregnant can be stressful, and stress can affect your appetite. Plus, feeling anxious or worried about the pregnancy or other things in life can make you not want to eat.
Nutrient Needs
Sometimes, your body might get what it needs from the food you’ve already eaten. So, you might not feel as hungry because you’re already getting the nutrients your body and baby need.
If you’re taking any medications during pregnancy, they might affect your appetite as a side effect.
Tips to Manage Appetite Loss During Pregnancy in the First Trimester
Here are some tips to get the pregnancy nutrients you and your baby need if you’re not very hungry in the early months:
Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough liquids is super important, even if you feel like you need to eat more. Aim for about eight to 10 glasses daily from various sources like water, vegetables, and fruits.
If plain water makes you feel queasy, try warm water with lemon or ginger, ginger ale, or ginger tea. But always check with your doctor before trying any herbal teas during pregnancy.
Eat Small, Frequent Meals
Instead of forcing yourself to eat big meals, try having six small meals a day. Your body might signal hunger every two hours, which helps satisfy your appetite without overwhelming yourself.
Choose Light, Nutrient-Rich Foods
When you like eating, focus on protein-rich foods and complex carbohydrates. These can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full for longer.
Opt for fruits like bananas, which are easier on the stomach, and pair them with yoghurt for added calcium and protein. Whole grain or plain crackers can also be your go-to snacks.
Suggested Read: How to Manage Pregnancy Cravings? 
Avoid Strong Smells
Strong-smelling foods, especially spicy and fatty dishes, might not sit well with you. 
Consider skipping fast food staples like burgers, fries, and chicken nuggets. Instead, go for milder options like a salad with grilled chicken or salmon.
Listen to Your Preferences
If certain foods make you queasy, don’t force yourself to eat them. Choose foods you can tolerate. 
If spinach isn’t your thing right now but kale is, go for the kale. You can always go back to spinach later.
Temperature Matters
Pay attention to the temperature of your food and drinks. Some pregnant women prefer chilled options, while others like it hot. Adjust your diet to what feels comfortable for you.
Take Your Prenatal Vitamin
Make taking your prenatal vitamins a daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Start taking it at least a month before or during conception to fill nutritional gaps.
Get Help for Nausea 
If nausea is a significant concern, talk to your doctor. They may recommend a unique prenatal vitamin with extra B6 or prescription medications to help decrease nausea and boost your appetite.
Tips to Manage Appetite Loss During Pregnancy in the Second Trimester
If you’re still experiencing appetite loss after three months, follow these tips to manage: 
Continue First-Trimester Habits
Keep up with the habits you developed in the first trimester. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Stick to eating small portions and have more frequent meals throughout the day. Try standing up while eating, as it might help with digestion.
Be Mindful of Food Choices
Avoid strong-smelling, fatty, and spicy foods, as these might still be hard on your tummy. Make smart nutritional swaps by choosing foods that are easier on your digestion.
Consistent Prenatal Vitamin Use
Take prenatal vitamins daily to ensure you and your baby get all the necessary nutrients.
Focus on Important Nutrients
As your appetite returns to normal, pay attention to getting critical nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
Aim for 1,200 mg of calcium daily, including what you get from your prenatal vitamin.
Get a daily intake of at least 75 grams of protein.
Aim for 400 to 600 micrograms of folate from various sources, such as legumes and green leafy vegetables. Include 200 to 300 milligrams of Omega-3 daily to support your baby’s brain development. Consider safe fish options at least twice a week as your stomach allows.
Tips to Manage Appetite Loss During Pregnancy in the Third Trimester
By this time, your nausea disappears, and your hunger gets better. However, you may feel appetite loss because your growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach, and you may feel full after a few bites. 
Dr. Sarochna Khemani suggests the best tips to manage your third trimester: 
Go for Small Meals
Like the first 12 weeks, focus on having small meals throughout the day. Your stomach is getting squished, so small and frequent meals can help you stay full and give you the essential nutrients.
Prioritize Nutrient-Packed Meals
Your meals should be nutritious rather than just empty calories now that nausea is less of a concern.
Think about the quality of what you eat to make each meal count for you and your baby’s health.
Boost Fiber Intake
Keep up with fibre-rich foods like leafy greens, whole grain bread, avocados, asparagus, and sunflower seeds. It helps ease constipation and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
Choose Healthy Fats
Opt for foods with healthy fats, like nuts and raisins, as they provide more calories in a smaller portion. It can be a better snack option compared to celery and hummus.
Stay Hydrated
Continue to drink lots of liquids, just like you did in the first trimester. Staying hydrated is crucial and particularly helpful if you’re experiencing constipation.
Consult a Gynecologist If Something’s Off!
If you feel something’s fishy with your appetite, consult a gynaecologist as soon as possible. You can book an appointment using Healthwire’s platform or call 042-32500989. 
Remember, getting in touch with the best gynaecologist near you is just one click away. 


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