There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding weight loss during pregnancy. The most important things to think about are why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.
Reasons why you might lose your appetite.
1. Morning Sickness (aka Nausea and Vomiting).
Some moms swear they love being pregnant. It gives them the pregnancy glow and the morning sickness for some reason just doesn’t bother them at all!
Others, however, would wake up at 2 AM feeling that heartburn and nausea and just starts throwing up – every day. Sometimes it’s not even just in the morning. It can happen anytime – morning, noon or night. Don’t worry, nausea and vomiting are very common in 70 – 80% of pregnant women in their first trimester. Some may experience in until the beginning of the second trimester, and for multiple gestation, it can stay until the third – sorry ladies.
The constant heartburn, nausea, and vomiting can affect your appetite. After all those trips to the bathroom, that annoying acidic burn you feel on your chest and your sudden aversion to some type of taste and smell, how will you be able to eat properly?
While internal causes such as hormonal changes and your baby’s growth can cause stress, other outside factors can affect your state of mind.
Financial freedom is probably on top of the worries we have when starting a family. Having a baby will, of course, make you start thinking if you haven’t already of having a savings’ plan.
Being a single mom or working outside of your home or just the fact that you are growing another human being inside of you can be stressful. So many things come in your mind, and you start to worry.
Stress can either increase or decrease your appetite. It can also cause headaches or muscle pain that will affect you during pregnancy and may also lead to a loss of appetite.
Hormones bring lots of changes in your body. It can make you moody, happy and believe it or not, it can slow down your food digestion. It causes your intestinal muscles to relax which consequently slows down the digestive system. Food and waste get ‘clogged,’ and it will lead you eventually to difficulty in passing stool or having hard stool.
Think of your intestines as pipes and your stomach as the kitchen sink. Once those pipes get clogged, it can make you feel full and not want to eat. Also, being constipated takes a lot of energy out of you, especially when you’re pregnant. Sometimes, you’d rather just rest than eat.
Eat, think and sleep right.
Now that you know what are the few causes of losing weight during pregnancy, you can then start planning or changing what you may consider as ‘bad habits.’ Whether you’re planning to get pregnant or are already in your second or third trimester, it’s never too late to be healthy.
1. Spread it out.
Try eating small meals throughout the day instead of a one to three big ones. This way, you won’t feel too full, and it can lessen the incidence of nausea and vomiting.
You may also try drinking ginger tea or asking your doctor about ginger pills if you’re up for it. It’s known to reduce or even prevent morning sickness symptoms.
2. Stay on top of your food groups.
Talk to your Ob-Gyn or nutritionist or look through trusted sources on what food and supplements you should be taking and how much weight you have to be gaining throughout your pregnancy. It’s not accurate to go by the rule that you are eating for two. You do need to be more conscious of eating more and staying healthy since your baby or babies will take a lot of your nutrients.
During pregnancy, if you have an average calorie intake and weight, you only have to add about 300 calories during the second and third trimester. During the first trimester, about 100 is good enough. Of course, it’s more if you have multiple babies.
You may also add fats in your diet. Everything in moderation is the key. Fats are needed not only for your growing child but also for your milk production.
Lastly, you can add more fiber to your diet as this can help prevent constipation.
Drink more! While the trips to the bathroom all throughout the day is exasperating and tiring, drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent constipation.
Adding more fluids to your diet such as water and low sugar juices will also keep your sodium level balanced, preventing more complications such as high blood pressure and urinary tract infection. Fewer complications will lead to less stress, thus increasing your appetite and preventing weight loss.
Try pregnancy yoga, pilates or just a good nap. Practice deep breathing not only for labor but also for releasing negative, stressful thoughts. Exercising is permitted unless your doctor says otherwise. So, take a walk, or go for a run to help get those muscles moving and working. This can prevent constipation, decrease high blood pressure and prevent fatigue and stress.
When to contact your doctor.
When all is said and done and still keep losing weight, ask your doctor. Also, look into these two very serious complications:
This is something that gets overlooked by pregnant women because we think it’s common to be throwing up and feeling nauseous during pregnancy. However, persistent nausea and vomiting throughout the day or until later in your third trimester can be a cause of concern. While some women may experience this and be deemed normal, it is still always safe to let your doctor know what you are going through and if you and your baby are staying healthy.
Stress is a normal condition. However, once you start feeling more stressed, fatigued and down, as usual, take a step back and ask yourself – ‘Am I still OK?’
Depression during pregnancy is common, but, must not be left unnoticed. Some women may already be taking antidepressants before pregnancy, and some tend not to say anything during because there’s not much you can take while pregnant. Some many have had eating disorders or are developing eating disorders which obviously can cause weight loss. If you feel that it’s not just a simple case of appetite loss and gloominess, talk to your doctor.
Staying positive and motivated will help you and your baby stay healthy. Remember, whatever size or shape you are, you are beautiful. That bump is a big deal to be proud of!
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