Pregnancy can be a very beautiful time for any expecting mother, but as you are probably already aware, it is most certainly not without its fair share of challenges. While normally pregnancy is associated with various food cravings, there are times when to-be-mothers do not feel like eating during pregnancy. This can pose many questions-what about weight gain? How will the baby develop optimally? Read on to understand what it implies and what to do when you don’t feel like eating during pregnancy.
Is Appetite Loss Normal during pregnancy?
A loss of appetite for certain foods, especially those with a strong odor, is a common side effect of pregnancy. Certain pregnant women develop strong aversions to certain foods, particularly meats. These are fairly common and usually don’t mean much to worry about.
As long as you’re getting enough nutrients each day, there’s usually no reason to worry if you occasionally lose your appetite or lose the desire for certain foods.
The occasional loss of appetite should not be a cause for concern if, for instance, you are maintaining a healthy weight gain for the sake of fetal development and you are eating meals that are rich in nutrients on a regular basis.
On the other hand, you should consult your healthcare provider for guidance if you tend to skip meals during pregnancy on a regular basis or if you experience a loss of appetite that lasts for more than a day. This is due to the fact that it is absolutely necessary to consume an adequate amount of nutrients in order to maintain both your own health and the health of your developing child.
Why Don’t I Feel Like Eating During The First Trimester?
In particular, during the early stages of pregnancy, you are more likely to experience a loss of appetite as compared to the later stages. This can be attributed to a number of factors. The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of great change, which is sure to have quite a substantial effect on your body.
During this time, you are more likely to be susceptible to nausea, morning sickness, and a great deal of vomiting. None of this is uncommon among pregnant women. However, these factors can affect different women in different ways, and can very likely leave some women with a considerably reduced appetite.
Related Reading: 9 Ways To Avoid Vomiting After Eating During Pregnancy
In addition to all that, women at this stage of pregnancy can also be a lot more sensitive, particularly to smell and taste. They would also be experiencing an increase in pregnancy hormones in their bodies. These, too, can greatly contribute to a loss of appetite during the first trimester.
What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating During The First Trimester?
Though a loss of appetite is not exactly unheard of in women at this stage of pregnancy, one can surely appreciate the necessity of addressing it as soon as possible in order to avoid unnecessary complications with the pregnancy. It is fortunate, then, that there are quite a few things pregnant women can do to address their loss of appetite and maintain a proper intake of nutrients.
1. Avoid strong-smelling foods
As mentioned above, women in this stage of pregnancy can be particularly sensitive to certain smells or even tastes, which can have a huge effect on their appetite. As such, avoiding foods with a particularly strong odor or taste can go a long way toward sustaining a healthy appetite.
Related Reading: 7 Nutritional Benefits Of Kale During Pregnancy And 6 Ways To Eat It
2. Modify the temperature of the food you consume
Temperature can be a major contributing factor to your appetite, particularly at this stage of your pregnancy. As such, you may find it easier to sustain a healthy appetite if you were to adjust the temperature of the food you consume, to be warmer or colder as required.
3. Have your meals in smaller portions
During this stage of great change(s) in your body, it is natural to experience nausea, sickness, and other such discomforts. As such, it is easy to see why large, heavy meals are out of the question. Switching to smaller, perhaps lighter portions of food is almost certain to be a more sustainable approach. It could be easier for women at this stage to consume several small meals a day rather than a few large, heavy meals.
4. Supplement your diet with Vitamins
Supplementing your diet with necessary nutrients, particularly vitamins, can go a long way in helping you remain healthy and consistent in these early stages of pregnancy. It is even highly advisable to continue to do so in the later stages as well. Prenatal vitamins are one of the major stepping stones to a healthy pregnancy.
Your doctor or dietician can assist you further in doing just that.
Related Reading: Early Pregnancy Anxiety – 5 Causes And 6 Tips To Cope
Why Don’t I Feel Like Eating During The Second Trimester?
Once you are past the first trimester of pregnancy, you will more than likely feel a great deal less nauseous, and things like morning sickness will no longer be quite as prevalent as they used to be. As such, it is very much possible that your appetite will soon come back to you. and you will soon revert to more healthy eating habits.
However, this need not always be the case, and different women are likely to have somewhat different experiences, as they may be affected by different factors. As such, it is still a possibility that you may experience a loss of appetite, though not quite as severely as you may have in the first trimester.
Related Reading: The Top 10 Precautions To Take In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating During The Second Trimester?
As you can imagine, there are still a number of different ways in which you can maintain a more or less healthy appetite. This only gets easier as time passes and your natural appetite slowly returns. It also becomes easier as you experience significantly less nausea and sickness.
In addition to all of the steps mentioned earlier, such as eating reduced portions and avoiding certain foods, a few more things you can do are:
1. Eat while standing up
Eating while standing up at this phase of pregnancy allows you to process and digest the food much more easily, allowing you to consume more food than usual in one sitting.
2. Drink plenty of water
Hydration is always important to maintain good health, and this is never truer than in the case of pregnancy. Consuming the appropriate quantity of water can go a long way in keeping both you and your baby healthy. You may also choose to have coconut water, which also offers immense benefits.
3. Increase your supplement intake
This includes vitamins, calcium, omega 3, and so on. Again, it is highly advised that you consult your doctor or dietician regarding this matter for a more informed opinion.
Related Reading: Is It Safe To Get A Back Massage During Pregnancy?
Why Don’t I Feel Like Eating During The Third Trimester?
During the later stages of pregnancy, you will most likely experience little to no nausea, and your appetite should have more or less returned in its entirety. Still, as stated earlier, there may be exceptions. Different women can have different experiences, and it is still a possibility that your appetite may not be ideal.
The third trimester is also a time during which women can be more susceptible to pregnancy-related acidity and heartburn. Food containing citrus, fried items, or even spicy items is not likely to do you any favors. Still, as stated earlier, this can be dealt with.
What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Eating During The Third Trimester?
Once again, there is not much to add to the steps mentioned previously that can help you ward off your loss of appetite during the third trimester. As mentioned earlier, it is important to maintain a healthy, appropriately portioned diet, stay hydrated, and supplement your diet with all the appropriate nutrients as recommended by your physician.
In addition to all that, it is also strongly advised that:
- You increase the amount of fiber in your diet to aid in digestion
- Increase the volume of fluids you consume
- Partake in exercises to keep yourself fit and healthy.
However, suffice to say, this must be done with the utmost care and appropriate guidance to avoid negative consequences for your health as well as the unborn baby.
Potential Complications Related To Poor Food Intake During Pregnancy
Needless to say, a loss of appetite during pregnancy is not without its complications. As you might expect, this is not something that is going to be particularly good for your health. The good news is since your baby will become the first priority of your body during pregnancy, the effect a loss of appetite can have on their growth is almost inconsequential. However, the same cannot be said for you.
As you can probably imagine, a loss of appetite can lead to a number of issues for you, including, improper digestion, loss of immunity, loss of energy, and other health issues like headaches, low blood pressure, and so on. In extreme cases, this could potentially translate very poorly for your child as well, so it is highly advised that you take steps to get back your appetite as early as you possibly can.
Summing Up- Tips To Ensure You Eat Properly During Pregnancy
As stated earlier, there can be negative consequences of not eating enough during the time of your pregnancy. Though these consequences need not be as severe as one might imagine, they ought to be addressed nonetheless. You can do this without too much effort simply by considering all the different methods listed above, in each trimester. In addition to that, it is recommended that you consider the following:
1. Have light foods
Try to consume lighter foods – foods that are easier to digest. Food that doesn’t make you feel too bloated or tired. Something healthy and refreshing can give you all the necessary energy for your day and beat fatigue during pregnancy.
2. Avoid strong additives
It is always a good idea to avoid strong additives like certain spices or flavorings that can cause you any kind of distress, which in turn may affect your appetite. It is often better to stick to simpler dishes with better ingredients.
Related Reading: 6 Spices To Eat And 6 Spices To Avoid During Pregnancy
3. Do not stop eating
As tempting as it may be, it is important to not avoid food entirely. Even if you feel a certain aversion to it, it is important that you eat something, if only in small quantities. Your body requires its share of nutrients, even if you don’t have an appetite for them.
4. Eat fresh food
Always make sure that your food is prepared using the freshest available ingredients. Using old produce can more than likely lead to all kinds of problems, which can further affect your appetite.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercising during pregnancy is the easiest you can do to keep yourself fit and to keep your blood pumping. This can go a long way in helping you get your appetite back. Just be sure to do it under appropriate guidance, with all the necessary precautions.
6. Ginger to the rescue
Foods and drinks made with ginger are proven to be extremely helpful in reviving your appetite. It is highly recommended to incorporate it into your diet. This can be done in many ways, like drinking ginger lemon tea.
A loss of appetite is one such challenge that is not at all uncommon in pregnant women. And though it can be quite severe at times, now you know there is quite a bit you can do about it.
In contrast to food aversions, which involve a strong aversion to one or more specific foods, a lack of appetite is not feeling like eating anything, which can be caused by a more generalized feeling of nausea, which is sometimes accompanied by vomiting.
When you’re feeling anxious, your body and mind both react emotionally and psychologically to prepare you to deal with the stress. Changes like these frequently have an effect on the stomach and the digestive tract, which can result in a loss of appetite.