Some of the female symptoms associated with a lack of appetite during pregnancy include general feelings such as pain, feeling nauseous, and really wanting to vomit. Some pregnant women are extra sensitive to the smell of food, which makes them feel nauseous and vomiting, while others get a sour taste in their mouth that keeps them from eating at all.
Even some pregnant women do not feel like eating anything and can go on for hours without eating, even though it will put a risk to the health of the mother and the fetus. Other pregnant women often crave certain foods while hating other foods. Meanwhile, some other pregnant women mood also affects their lack of interest in food. Due to loss of appetite, pregnant women experience weight loss at the beginning pregnancy.
Research conducted, the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of pregnant women suffer from loss of appetite and nausea during the first three months of pregnancy. Usually, these symptoms start around the sixth week of pregnancy. But for many women, these symptoms begin to ease around the twelfth week. In addition, loss of appetite for most women occurs only during the early stages of pregnancy and can be controlled by changes in behavior during pregnancy
Causes of Loss of Appetite During Pregnancy
Nausea or morning sickness, vomiting, and loss of appetite during the first trimester are common symptoms that most pregnant women experience. These are normal symptoms of early pregnancy and there is no cause for concern. Sometimes symptoms extend beyond the first trimester, but they are usually temporary. However, if it is prolonged, it is better to consult a medical expert because it will cause dehydration and malnutrition in the mother and fetus.
The main reason you lose your appetite during your early pregnancy is nausea. Feelings of nausea reduce your desire to eat. Nausea and vomiting are often referred to as “morning sickness”, because they usually occur in the morning, although some pregnant women continue to have these feelings throughout the day and night. The obstetrician says that normal symptoms usually begin in the sixth week of pregnancy and end at the twelfth week, but for some pregnant women this can last as long as their pregnancy period. If vomiting is severe it can lead to dehydration, and if it is prolonged it can cause malnutrition that will not be good for both mother and baby.
2. Hormonal Change
During pregnancy the body adapts to the presence of the fetus in the uterus to support its growth and development. Progesterone, a female hormone that can increase the thickness of the uterine wall, requires adaptation to accommodate the baby. However, one of the side effects of increasing progesterone is slowing down of the digestive system, which can lead to decreased appetite.
Many women experience constipation during pregnancy. This is caused by increased levels of progesterone and by the intake of additional iron given by obstetricians for pregnant women. When you are constipated you may pass hard stools or have difficulty passing stools. This can lead to a loss of appetite. Constipation can also progress to the later parts of pregnancy when the baby in the enlarged uterus presses on the stomach, making bowel movements difficult. This can make you feel full, thereby inhibiting your appetite.
4. Growing Babies
Some women also experience a loss of appetite during the later stages of pregnancy. As your baby grows, your uterus presses on the belly, making you feel less hungry. You may also feel fuller, which can make you lose your appetite. The feeling of fullness that you often feel even though the nutritional needs for your baby and your health have not been fulfilled, so keep eating small portions of food is highly recommended.
Another cause of loss of appetite is due to stress at every stage of pregnancy besides the fatigue that is often experienced by pregnant women can trigger a loss of appetite at a young gestational age. This is what causes pregnant women to lose their appetite because of the tension experienced during pregnancy.
How to Cope with Loss of Appetite During Pregnancy
Most of these symptoms are normal and temporary. To overcome the loss of your appetite and maintain adequate nutrition during pregnancy. Here are ways you can try when pregnant women experience a loss of appetite:
- Don’t force yourself to eat large meals (rice or other types of carbohydrates) in the morning.
- Eat small portions.
- Eat small amounts but eat more frequently throughout the day.
- Avoid fatty foods and foods that are difficult to digest.
- Eat fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation and maintain good health.
- Try eating foods like bananas, wheat and toast.
- Avoid foods with strong odors or tastes such as spicy foods, fish or eggs in the morning as these can trigger nausea.
- Avoid stress and fatigue.
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
- The scent of lemon or sucking on sour candy can help relieve nausea.
- Some women are encouraged to drink ginger or ginger tea to reduce loss of appetite.
- If symptoms persist or if you are concerned that symptoms are abnormal, it is best to consult a doctor to determine if you need further treatment.
So as to keep up maternal and fetal health then it can be done by staying hydrated. The body of pregnant women is very prone to dehydration because the fetus needs fluids. You can supplement with at least eight glasses per day or more if it is hot outside or you are sweating a lot.
We recommend that you eat smaller portions more often. Eat too much at one time and you will end up feeling full and losing your appetite at the next meal, mainly because the fetus is getting bigger so that the space in the stomach becomes narrower. You can bring nutritious foods such as nuts or raisins so that you will have something healthy when you go on a hunger strike.
Treat yourself to your favorite food every now and then. This will make it easier for you to say no at other times. However, pay attention to your pregnancy weight. A good diet is food that contains various nutrients that are beneficial for fetal growth and development and the health of pregnant women.