Daily Health Tips: Appetite Loss In Pregnancy


Q: Hello Doc, l am 1 month pregnant now but I have been experiencing loss of appetite. So please may I know what food do pregnant women eat? Thank you.

A: Early pregnancy can be a trying time for a number of women as they go through tiredness, breast tenderness, loss of appetite, nausea etc

Loss of appetite may be due to the nausea of early of early pregnancy where it appears the tummy cannot seem to keep anything down. If you feel nauseous, the following tips may help:

The standard teaching is to try eating some bland foods like Crackers biscuits or dry toast. That personally didn’t work for me. I preferred tart things…which some may want to avoid. I loved lemons during my pregnancies. They were the one thing guaranteed to ‘wake up’ my mouth and chase nausea far away. I also had a particular brand of very tart bubble gum, I indulged in grin emoticon These were key for me because, though I didn’t have the real bad case of morning sickness that sent you to the hospital, brushing my teeth in the morning always sent me into a bout of retching/vomiting. So, I always had a ready supply of the gum or lemon/lime to pop into my mouth once I was done brushing/retching! Not a very pleasant memory ;D

So, if lemons work for you to prevent nausea, go for it. Remember that moderation is key. A few drops (one or two) in a glass of water are enough to provide that tart kick that sends nausea far away. There is a catch here though…remember the heart burn associated with pregnancy. The acid content of lemon might make the heart burn and any pre-existing gastro-esophageal (stomach and esophagus/gullet) problems worse. So, this is all the more reason to be very moderate or stop if it exacerbates an already bad case of heart burn. Wherever and whenever in doubt, please be sure to see your doctor.
Other tips:
• Eat little amounts of food frequently as an empty tummy increases the likelihood of throwing up. Remember this is not an excuse to binge and over eat 😀
• Avoid fatty and greasy foods.
• Avoid smells that trigger nausea
• Cold foods may be preferable to hot as the former does not give off smells that may cause you to feel queasy.
• Get loads of fresh air and rest
• And drink sufficient fluids daily
Talking more generally, here are 5 general nutrition tips for a pregnant woman:
• Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods from different food groups.
• Be sure to include a lot of high fibre foods like vegetables, whole grain cereals etc to deal with the constipation associated with pregnancy.
• Ensure you take your antenatal medications (prenatal vitamins) in addition to eating well.
• Be sure to also take foods rich in iron eg and foods rich in folic acid eg green leafy veggies and beans. Folate prevents deformities of the spine.
• Drink at least 4 servings of milk, other dairy products or calcium rich foods. If you don’t eat enough, your baby will start drawing on your own stock from your bones. So, drink up your milk!
Have a good night y’all 😀

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