Written by Editorial Team
If the first three months (first trimester) were all about nausea and vomiting at even the sight of food, the next three months will be all about eating with a vengeance. Most pregnant women experience excessive hunger pangs during the second trimester of pregnancy, coupled with intense cravings for various foods. Read about hunger pangs during pregnancy.
In This Article
Yes, it is. Many women experience an increased appetite during pregnancy, and there are scientific reasons behind it. No matter how often or how much you eat for the day, you may still feel your stomach grumbling and growling for some food. Sometimes, your empty stomach may even give you nausea.
You need more food during your pregnancy as your body has higher requirements than before. As your body also becomes more efficient in sourcing energies from the calories you consume, you will feel empty often. When you have not consumed enough food or there are longer gaps between meals, then your stomach will also become empty quickly.
This results in the stomach walls rubbing against each other. This rubbing causes irritation, which is the hunger you feel. One of the reasons for the higher calorie requirement of the body is the growth of the baby.
Following are 10 tips to manage increased appetite during pregnancy:
Instead of following a breakfast–lunch–dinner food schedule, break your meals into six. This way you keep refilling your stomach and do not set hunger pangs. Also, as your stomach grows bigger and presses on your digestive system, eating a large meal in one sitting can cause digestive issues like heartburn and bloat. Eat smaller meals regularly.
Staying hydrated is extremely important during pregnancy. Often, when you feel hungry, you are actually feeling thirsty. Make sure you drink three to four liters of water every day and add other fluids to your daily diet.
If you go to the office or travel, make sure you have healthy snacks handy in your bag. It could be nuts or dried fruits or energy bars. Get some ideas on Indian snacks and continental snacks and make your choice.
There are many food items that can pose a danger to the pregnancy and have to be avoided. These food items include papaya, eggplant, pineapple, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds, and certain fish (with high mercury content). For more details on this, read, 8 Indian Foods That Can Be Dangerous During Pregnancy
As you move from the first month to the ninth month of pregnancy, your needs keep changing. For instance, in the first month of pregnancy, your baby’s neural tube develops – this means you need food high in folates. In the ninth month of pregnancy, your baby is gaining a lot of weight quickly.
Hence, you need protein-rich food. For a more detailed looked at the month-wise pregnancy chart, refer to our articles on foods to eat and avoid during the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth months of pregnancy,
It might be easiest to reach for a chocolate or a cake when you face a hunger pang. While an occasional treat is okay, you need to ensure that you do not get habituated to sugary snacks. If you are having sugar cravings, there are many things you can do about it, such as having fruits. For more tips, read How to Handle Sweet Food Cravings During Pregnancy?
Fatigue and pregnancy go hand in hand. You can opt for some of these energy foods to keep yourself energetic through the day: Whole grains, hummus, oats, bananas, etc. For more energy foods and how they help, read Best Energy Foods During Pregnancy
Your objective is not to avoid hunger, it is to eat nutritiously. So rather than eat a burger that you know will fill you up, eat something healthy that will improve your nutrition intake for the day, while also reducing your hunger. It is difficult to choose a healthy snack when you are hungry. So, be prepared and plan a good diet charter early on so that you eat healthily and you avoid hunger.
Give into your heart’s desire once in a while. But do this rarely. Too many cheat meals are not going to help.
Keep a track of your weight gain. While weight gain is normal during pregnancy, too much weight gain is not advisable. If you are snacking too much, you will see abnormal spikes in weight and this should give you warning signs.
Pregnancy hunger is expected to begin and peak in the second trimester. During the first trimester, nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) may prevent you from eating much at all.
The first and most important guideline of pregnancy is to pay attention to your body. If your stomach is rumbling, it’s time to eat. Focus on improving the quality of your diet rather than restricting your intake.
One of the most typical signs of pregnancy is a sudden increase in hunger. Your body is expending a lot of energy keeping your baby alive. So, yes. Extreme hunger during pregnancy is quite normal.
Eat often. Three small, balanced meals and three light snacks a day will meet your and your baby’s nutritional needs. Eat every two to three hours. Smaller meals reduce pregnancy-related heartburn.
Did you know that we have written extensively about food and diet during pregnancy? For a more interesting and informative read on this topic, read:
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