Appetite Loss During Pregnancy: Causes and Symptoms
There might be times when women, going through pregnancy, might find their daily foods and meals unappealing, or even if they are hungry, they just cannot bring themselves to eat anything.
Appetite loss with nausea or morning sickness is one of the best-known effects of pregnancy. In pregnancy, some women might find themselves having cravings for their favorite foods, and others might not even feel the need to eat anything at all. Appetite loss is a real challenge during the stage of pregnancy as it can make a loss of healthy eating, which is important for both mother and the baby.
The cause behind Appetite Loss During Pregnancy
It is completely normal for any woman losing appetite during pregnancy. During the stage of pregnancy, a female body goes through many changes, and these changes can cause appetite loss, swings in mood, and many other things. A pregnant woman having appetite loss would not have an interest in any kind of food even if they are among their favorite food items. One thing to know is that there is a difference between food aversion to a few foods and appetite loss during pregnancy. Food aversion is also seen in different stages of pregnancy.
There are many factors behind losing appetite during pregnancy, such as –
- Medications – Several medications are given at the time of pregnancy. Many of these have the side effect of losing appetite during pregnancy. Prozac and Zoloft are some of the many medicines which are offered to pregnant women who are suffering from anxiety and depression. These medicines have the side effect of a decrease in appetite.
- Mental Health – The whole process of pregnancy is not an easy task. It takes a huge toll both physically and mentally as well on the body. Many pregnant women go through depression and anxiety during pregnancy, and these can end up causing a loss in appetite. Studies have indicated that women who are pregnant are at greater risk of developing mental health problems because of the biochemical and physical changes their body goes through during the time of pregnancy. Depression in general causes a person to lose their appetite, and the overall intake of nutrient-rich foods is also reduced. There are many mental health disorders that can cause appetite loss as well for pregnant women. It is very important for pregnant women to be open about their mental health during the time of pregnancy.
- Disorders – As the female body goes through many changes during the time of pregnancy, many women can develop eating disorders which include bulimia and anorexia. Eating disorders can lead to a significant reduction in daily eating, a phobia of weight gain develops, and the person completely stops consumption of foods. This is very harmful to both the mother and baby’s overall health. There are many treatments for pregnant women having eating disorders.
- Nausea – The most common conditions seen during pregnancy are nausea and vomiting. Few pregnant women go through these conditions throughout all stages of their pregnancy which can be troublesome. During pregnancy, even moderate and severe bouts of nausea and vomiting can have a substantial impact on food intake and appetite. If a pregnant woman’s appetite is being affected by nausea and vomiting, she should avoid fatty or spicy foods, drink fluids apart from meals, and eat small, frequent meals. The more serious cases of nausea and vomiting with pregnant women are to be treated with caution, and a doctor’s advice in these sorts of cases can prove to be helpful.
- Medical Conditions – Medical conditions of tumor, heartburn, and Addison’s disease are also responsible for appetite loss seen in pregnant women. In some cases, even carrying the baby can cause appetite loss for pregnant women.
How to Treat Get Enough Nutrients during Pregnancy
There are multiple ways through which pregnancy appetite loss’s nutritional deficit can be covered up. A healthy appetite is important for both mother and the baby. Few of the ways to do this are –
- Drinking of Liquids – Even if you do not feel hungry during pregnancy stages, consuming liquids is critical. If you are pregnant and feeling sick, warm water with lemon or ginger, ginger ale, or ginger tea will help you feel better. You should at least be consuming 2-3 glasses of water daily from all kinds of different sources such as fruits and vegetables.
- Light Eating – When hunger strikes during pregnancy, eat as much protein and complex carbs as you can to keep your blood sugar steady and you feeling filled for longer. Bananas, for example, maybe simpler to digest; serve with a teaspoon of yogurt for extra calcium and protein. Crackers, whether whole grain or plain, are usually always a good choice.
- Avoiding Smelly Foods – Smelly food includes hot and greasy foods, so while you’re pregnant, you might want to avoid fast food favorites like burgers, fries, and chicken nuggets. Instead, choose a salad with grilled chicken or salmon, which are both healthful and nutritious for both you and your kid.
- Not Overeating – Eat six little meals a day, which will satisfy your small appetite rather than forcing yourself to eat bigger volumes of food, which will just make you want to eat nothing. Your body will send off signals of hunger every two to three hours for your small six meals of the day.
If you are experiencing appetite loss during pregnancy, there is usually no need to worry as long as you are fulfilling your daily nutrient requirements. If you tend to skip your meals for more than a day and your nutritional requirements are not being fulfilled, it is time to consult a doctor.
During the time of pregnancy, it is normal to experience things such as appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting. The body has to go through many changes, and at times you may find your favorite foods unappealing as well. Appetite changes a lot during different stages of pregnancy, but if you seem to find yourself missing out a lot on your meals, it is important to consult a medical professional.