Will my Appetite Change During Pregnancy?

It is not uncommon for a pregnant woman’s appetite to change during pregnancy.  While the stereotype is certainly the pregnant woman who has an appetite for strange food combinations, such as pickles and ice cream, the fact of the matter is that every pregnant woman is unique in how pregnancy affects her appetite.  In fact, one woman’s appetite may even change from one pregnancy to her next.

One of the most common and obvious changes to your appetite that can occur during pregnancy is an increase in appetite.  In addition to the fact that your body knows that it needs extra nutrition during pregnancy, your brain has been told, probably, for a long time, that you will need to be "eating for two" during pregnancy. 

The idea of "eating for two" is, actually, a myth.  Again, it is true that your baby does need specific nutrients to grow, and that you need more than usual.  But your baby’s needs only amount to about an extra 300 calories per day more than what you would normally eat.  So your increase in food intake should be only about 20%, assuming you were on a 1500-calorie diet before becoming pregnant.  While your appetite may change during pregnancy, it is still important to follow correct nutritional guidelines.

Experiencing a change of appetite during pregnancy in which you have a loss of appetite is less common.   There are some conditions, however, that can cause you to experience appetite loss during pregnancy.  If your appetite decreases during pregnancy, you should speak with your health care provider.  It may be that there is a physiological problem that she needs to help you address.



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