Hunger in pregnancy: How to cope with extra food cravings

“I have just finished my meal, but I’m still hungry”-it is a commonly found complaint in pregnant women. It is ok!!! A baby is growing in your tummy that requires extra nutrition! So, it is absolutely normal having cravings for anything and anytime. It is absolutely normal to see each and every pregnant woman. You can describe it as a healthy sign of pregnancy. It is for your own goodness. 

It is difficult for a pregnant woman’s body to supply all the needs required to grow the fetus suddenly. Approximately, there are changes and weaknesses in pregnant women. So, then your body needs to work hard to cope-up with the situation. It must require energy. And obviously, your body will collect the nutrition from the food you eat. Do you think it is a problem to have cravings? 

Generally, pregnant women have a particular fascination for some food like pickles, cheese, ice cream, peanut butter, and acidic food like lemon and oranges. But they can have cravings for all types of food.

During pregnancy, blood volume changes quantitatively. That is also related to food cravings, for sure.

Studies show that healthy weight gain is necessary for growing a fetus. A pregnant woman gains somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, which is almost 12 kgs(depends on situation and environment). To gain that huge amount of weight you should have extra food.

Always be mindful that you are eating for two, and your body has amazing functions. So, you should put on extra calories. Besides,  there are some hormonal changes. Especially, oestrogen and progesterone levels increase during pregnancy, which fastens metabolic processes and is also responsible for peak appetite. So, the cause of cravings in pregnancy is clear.

Is it an early sign of pregnancy? 

There are presumptive, probable, and positive signs of pregnancy. Among them, morning sickness (nausea and vomiting in the early morning, which pass off in a few hours. It starts in about 4 to 6 weeks and may continue till the 16th week) and food cravings are presumptive signs of pregnancy. If a woman has food cravings, you can not tell that she is pregnant. You should do the necessary biochemical and ultrasound test to be sure about the fact. But a pregnant woman must have cravings for food and morning sickness. That is why it is called the presumptive sign.

When does appetite kick Its peak, and how long does it last?

Hunger in pregnancy is a very common thing. You can see a pregnant woman taking out food from the fridge every now and then. It can happen all around pregnancy time. From the first to the third trimester, including morning sickness. 

Time of the peak ness can vary from woman to woman. But on average, the majority of cases occur in the second trimester up to 20 weeks. However, some pregnant women face it up to delivery. But in some cases, a decrease in hunger is seen. Because, at the time of pregnancy, an uterus can grow 20 times than its natural state, which adds extra space in the abdomen and puts pressure on the stomach that causes a decrease in appetite. 

Excessive hunger is also seen in the third trimester, especially if the food is spicy or acidic.

Plus, third-trimester heartburn may put a damper on your interest in food, especially spicy or acidic options.

Mainly in the second trimester, the pregnancy hunger starts and rises to Its peak level due to excessive vomiting. Because vomiting causes emptiness of the stomach, and the woman can have the feeling of overeating to have nothing at all. At the end of the 2nd trimester, the body is more functionally active to settle the conditions, and the woman is in relief. 

Tips to satisfy your pregnancy hunger:

You should have proper nutrients to satisfy your hunger. You have to choose foods loaded with nutrients. So, you should focus on vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. You should eat whole grain food like Barley, popcorn, wheat bread, oats, bulgur, brown rice, black wheat, etc.

Keep in mind that you should have beneficial foods with various purposes to fill up your energy requirements.  

To cut extra weight, you can have more veggies and fruits. It can even be your half meal. Besides, you can have low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cheeses. 

You can have seasonal fruits like mangoes with low-fat yogurt. Avoid deeply fried and junk food or raw fruit like papaya.

Is hunger in early pregnancy associated with time?

There are time divisions in pregnancy which are known as trimesters. There are 3 trimesters known as 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Pregnant women feel hunger all around the pregnancy.

But, pregnancy hunger starts and reaches its peak in the 2nd trimester mainly. 

Is it a good sign to have cravings for food?

Are you worried about midnight cravings during pregnancy? Nothing to worry about. It’s a healthy sign to have cravings or hunger. It depends on various physical and mental factors. In pregnancy, not only for physical need, extra food is necessary. There are issues like hormonal change, high stress, lack of sleep, and others. So, it means that your hunger is a sign that your body understands that it needs more nutrition supply.

Pregnant women develop a stronger sense of smell. It varies from person to person. Some feel a more pungent food smell, mostly odor from meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. Some women can not tolerate their own body odor. In pregnancy, lochial discharges, which is a fishy odor. Then, a woman can smell herself vaginally. This is a chief complaint of pregnant women. Nothing to worry about. It is just some biological changes happening due to pregnancy. This odor issue sometimes causes trouble with eating and hunger in the long term. It is an embarrassing but obvious fact. 

Nothing to worry about. Your sense of smell just improved. 

Is extreme hunger a sign of twins?

In pregnancy, having cravings for food is a common fact. There are rumors heard about twins that if the pregnant woman is carrying 2 embryos at a time, she will feel excessive hunger. Think logically. If the mother is going to give twins, she needs an extra nutritional supply for sure. It is obvious! She is eating for three!!! But depending on the basis of having extra cravings, you can not be assured that the woman is going to give twins. To be sure about the fact, you have to do an ultrasonogram. So, It’s a presumptive sign, not a positive sign. 

Sometimes, bloating stomachs or other gastrointestinal conditions are mistaken with twins.

Summary :

Hunger pregnancy is a common phenomenon among women. A pregnant woman is already experiencing it for the second time. But for a newly pregnant woman—nothing to worry about. You don’t need to be extra conscious. Just go with your regular diet and follow your physician’s advice. 

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