Pregnancy is a time when women need to be especially careful. Pregnant women are responsible for their health and their unborn child. A woman worries about whether the child has enough nutrients for development. Decrease or loss of appetite causes anxiety in expectant mothers.
Should I be worried if there is no appetite during pregnancy?
Periodic lack or loss of appetite for certain foods is not a cause for concern as long as sufficient nutrients are consumed. Temporary loss of appetite should not be a concern if the woman is constantly eating nutrient-dense foods and the weight gain is in line with the growth of the fetus.
Loss of appetite or changes in eating habits during pregnancy is normal. 6 out of 10 women experience food aversion during pregnancy. Lack of appetite can be observed at all stages of pregnancy. The condition most often normalizes closer to the second trimester. Interest in food returns and weight gain begins.
Loss of appetite in early pregnancy
Loss of appetite in the first trimester is a natural phenomenon. The woman’s body is changing at this time. Pregnant women may experience a general lack of interest in all foods.
Hormonal changes affect the foods that women find attractive before pregnancy. Gonadotropin produced during pregnancy causes feelings of nausea, changes in appetite, and aversion to food. Pregnancy also causes an increased sensitivity to smells and tastes, which leads to decreased appetite.
Lack of hunger is quite normal while a pregnant woman suffers from toxicosis. Consultation with a doctor is necessary if there are chronic diseases of the stomach or kidneys.
Lack of appetite in the second trimester
The second trimester is a welcome relief for many women who had food aversions during the first trimester. Morning sickness goes away and food cravings increase. In the second trimester, you need more calories to feed your ever-growing baby.
In some pregnant women, loss of appetite continues after the 13th week. The volume of blood and the need for iron increases during this period necessary for the construction of red blood cells. A slight iron deficiency does not manifest itself as alarming signals.
It is worth worrying about and consulting a doctor when there is abnormal weight loss. The expectant mother needs to pass a urine and blood test, undergo an ultrasound scan, and follow the doctor’s instructions.
Poor appetite in the third trimester
The main reason for the lack of appetite in the third trimester is the pressure of the growing fetus on the stomach. A growing uterus leaves little room for the rest of your organs including your stomach. A lot of food no longer fits and the body gives the brain a signal of satiety. A short decrease in appetite in the third trimester does not pose any danger.
Only 1 case out of 1000 pregnant women experiences uncontrollable vomiting. It is characterized by the fact that the stomach throws out what is eaten at a later date for a long time. The female body is susceptible to dehydration and impaired liver function. The fetus does not receive vital nutrients, which threatens his life. The mother-to-be is hospitalized and given intravenous glucose, water, and electrolytes to avoid this outcome.
Why loss of appetite during pregnancy is dangerous?
Insufficient food threatens the health of the expectant mother and her baby. Loss of appetite leads to a lack of essential trace elements and vitamins that enter the body exclusively from the outside. A decrease in the normal level of iron in the blood leads to weakness, apathy, brittle nails, hair, dryness, and peeling of the skin. Lack of treatment threatens premature birth or miscarriage.
Calcium deficiency is dangerous for the development of osteoporosis. It harms the development of the bone tissue of the unborn child and the condition of the mother’s teeth. Periodic fainting may occur due to a reduced amount of glucose in the blood. Lack of normal nutrition can also lead to disorders of the central nervous system and internal organs of the child.
Causes of loss of appetite during pregnancy
The causes of loss of appetite at this stage of motherhood can be very diverse. A woman goes through various physical, chemical, and emotional changes in nine months. All factors that cause loss of appetite are divided into physiological (natural) and pathological (associated with diseases).
Natural causes of poor appetite in pregnant women:
Heightened Sense of Smell – Many women experience a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy. It becomes difficult for pregnant women to eat food with an unpleasant odor, which naturally leads to a loss of appetite. An unpleasant smell provokes nausea, which is another reason for loss of appetite.
Morning sickness – Nausea in the morning is a common symptom seen in most pregnant women, especially during the first trimester. The malaise is associated with hormonal changes in the body. Pregnant women cannot eat a single bite for the whole day due to nausea and vomiting.
Physical changes – The location of the changes in the internal organs due to the increase in the size of the uterus. Increased intra-abdominal pressure that is transmitted to the wall of the stomach contributes to reflux and loss of appetite.
Pathological causes of loss of appetite:
Hyperemesis – Severe nausea and profuse vomiting during pregnancy cause dehydration and vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. Frequent vomiting requires hospitalization, otherwise, the pregnant woman cannot eat and begins to lose weight very quickly.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease – Chronic relapsing disease of the organs of the gastroesophageal zone is associated with an increase in progesterone levels. The hormone relaxes the muscles in the upper part of the stomach, causing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Any meal with this disease causes heartburn in pregnant women. Over 80% of pregnant women complain of loss of appetite due to heartburn.
Poor mental health – Psychological problems are responsible for loss of appetite in pregnant women. Women lose interest in food due to discomfort, stress, and anxiety during pregnancy. Some even experience depression. Prenatal depression is considered the main cause of loss of appetite.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – Gastrointestinal diseases include gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, pancreatitis, diseases of the liver and biliary tract, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Medications – Taking medications that relax the lower esophageal sphincter – heart medications, theophylline, anti-inflammatory drugs, progesterone, and antidepressants.
When to contact a doctor?
Lack of appetite is considered normal with toxicosis. A doctor’s consultation should be obtained with a simultaneous exacerbation of chronic diseases so as not to worsen the situation. Self-medication in this case is strictly prohibited.
Seek medical attention immediately with the first appearance of abnormal weight loss. This is especially important in the second trimester of pregnancy. It is necessary to pass urine and blood tests as soon as possible, perform an ultrasound examination, and follow the doctor’s recommendations.
Remember that the expectant mother has a great responsibility for two organisms at once during pregnancy. It is impossible to self-medicate during this period. It is necessary to fully trust the specialists who will help you bear a healthy and strong baby.
What to do if there is no appetite during pregnancy
Reduced hunger should not adversely affect the child. However, don’t eat for two. It is enough to diversify your diet so that all the necessary nutrients are present on the menu. You should tease the feeling of hunger with the help of small tricks if there is no appetite during pregnancy. All of the following methods will help if the lack of appetite is not caused by pathologies or diseases.
Balanced diet – Eat a normal diet with fractional meals small but often – up to 7 times a day at the same time. It is best to have a snack with biscuit cookies or fruit. The daily menu should be dominated by high-protein foods and green vegetables.
More liquids – You need to drink a lot, especially when vomiting. The temperature of the liquid matters. Cool drinks prevent nausea. Warm and hot – worsen the condition. Sucking on lemon and ginger will help with long-term nausea. It is necessary to drink more herbal infusions with a decrease or lack of appetite during pregnancy. The components of such infusions should be discussed with the doctor beforehand.
Fresh air – Ventilate the room more often, devote more time to sleep and daytime rest, and avoid emotional upheavals and stress. Work up your appetite. Try to spend time outdoors in the morning and evening hours.
Sports – Yoga classes and visits to the pool have a beneficial effect on appetite during pregnancy. Physical activity requires energy and there is a need to replenish the reserves of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and amino acids.
Positive emotions – Psychologists recommend changing the emotional background. Wear bright colors and light makeup to achieve this. Nutritionists advise setting the table beautifully and cooking food in warm colors to stimulate the desire to eat.
Aromas – They can strongly influence the receptors causing salivation and the desire to eat deliciously. Prepare foods with strong, appetizing flavors such as cumin, ginger, cinnamon, etc.