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I'm pregnant and I'm not hungry: why is that and what can I do?

Although during pregnancy it is common to feel more hungry than usual due to the energy expenditure that is taking place, some women may experience just the opposite, and see their appetite reduced considerably .

But it is just as important to prevent excesses as to eat correctly, since adequate nutrition is key to the correct development of the baby.

If you are pregnant and you barely have an appetite , we explain what the causes may be and we give you some tips that could help you.

Why am I barely hungry?

hormonal causes

Estrogens, progesterone and gonadotropin are three of the main hormones of pregnancy, responsible for the physical and emotional changes that women experience in this stage.

Although the function of these hormones is to maintain and help the correct development of pregnancy, their levels during pregnancy cause many of the usual symptoms; also the lack of appetite caused by digestive discomfort.

nausea and vomiting

One of the main discomforts of pregnancy is nausea and vomiting . They are usually accompanied by intolerance and aversion to certain foods, general lack of appetite and repulsion to some odors that increase the feeling of discomfort.

This unpleasant discomfort is usually experienced during the first trimester, but some women suffer from nausea until the end of pregnancy, making it very difficult to eat correctly.

When nausea and vomiting are so intense that the woman even loses weight, it is necessary to treat it medically , as an imbalance in fluids and electrolytes could occur, and nutritional deficiencies that affect the mother and the baby.


Half of pregnant women experience constipation at some point during their pregnancy. It is a disorder that can appear from the second trimester, causing discomfort, difficulty going to the bathroom, a feeling of heaviness and lack of appetite.

indigestion and gas

Indigestion is another of the discomforts of pregnancy that is usually accompanied by a reduction in appetite , a feeling of queasy stomach and gas. It can happen both at the beginning of pregnancy and at the end.

These digestive discomforts are due both to the action of the hormones involved in pregnancy, as well as to the relaxation of the intestinal muscles and the growth of the gut, which ends up compressing the digestive organs and causing that feeling of fullness and heaviness.

Heartburn and heartburn

Acidity or heartburn can appear at any time during pregnancy, although they tend to be more frequent or accentuated in the third trimester.

It is caused by the action of hormones that produce a relaxation of the muscular ring that is between the esophagus and the stomach, allowing stomach acids and part of the digested food to flow back into the esophagus, producing a burning sensation.

During the third trimester this discomfort becomes more acute due to the pressure exerted by the uterus on the stomach, also slowing down digestion.

Psychological factors

But pregnancy not only causes physical changes , but also a spiral of emotions that can also affect appetite and take away the desire to eat; from the nerves because everything is going well, to the uncertainty and doubts about the future motherhood and the well-being of the baby.

There are also women with risk factors who experience pregnancy with a mixture of stress and anguish that can end up causing a loss of appetite.

Other causes

In addition to all of the above, spring fatigue and high summer temperatures can also cause some discomfort and temporarily take away the desire to eat . In the same way, to combat the heat we also tend to drink more water, and although hydration during pregnancy is essential, if the pregnant woman drinks excessively during meals, she may experience the sensation of having a full stomach and not feel like eating , hence the importance of distributing fluid intake throughout the day.

Tips to help you with a lack of appetite

Maintaining a correct diet during pregnancy is not only important to prevent complications such as anemia or nutritional deficiencies in women, but also to ensure the correct development and growth of the baby. Likewise, it has been shown that a rich, varied and healthy diet during pregnancy will have a positive impact on the future health of the child.

In this sense, it is just as important not to “eat for two” as it is to eat properly. Therefore, if you have a lack of appetite, you should consult your doctor or midwife , in order to find out what may be the cause and choose a treatment that helps improve your symptoms.

At the same time, you can put these tips into practice:

Plan your menu every day to ensure that you eat foods from all groups. This will help you maintain a balanced and healthy diet. If in doubt, you can ask a nutritionist for help.

Distribute your meals throughout the day , so that you eat several times but in small quantities. This will also help you minimize certain digestive symptoms such as nausea, heaviness in the stomach or heartburn.

Fruits and vegetables are always essential , but especially during the summer, as they help keep you hydrated and cool while providing essential vitamins and nutrients.

– Include foods rich in fiber daily, as they become the perfect allies to relieve constipation and heaviness in the stomach.

If you suffer from loss of appetite due to nausea and vomiting , include foods in your menu that effectively help combat these symptoms, such as ginger, rice or some fruits, among others.

Avoid foods and meals that cause heaviness , heartburn and heavy digestion, as these discomforts directly affect the appetite. In general, you should avoid fried foods, fatty foods, batters, soft drinks, sugary foods and drinks…

– Remember the importance of staying active during pregnancy , practicing physical exercise on a regular basis and walking daily.

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