Appetite changes differ among moms-to-be, but it’s common to lose your appetite around the 6th week of your pregnancy when you might experience morning sickness. Your appetite may return in the second trimester, but towards the end of your pregnancy you may lose it once again. This is due to your growing baby pushing on your stomach, which makes you feel fuller.

Another common symptom of pregnancy is a food craving. You may find your food preferences have changed, or you crave food you never thought you liked!

 

Why does your appetite change?

The hormonal changes that your body is going through during pregnancy can make your sense of smell and taste highly sensitive. This can lead you to react strongly to certain foods, especially strong-smelling ones such as coffee or durian.

The cause of pregnancy cravings are not fully understood, but it may be that cravings are your body’s way of telling you what nutrients it needs. While that’s still a theory, it’s important for pregnant mothers to eat healthy and make sure that they (and their babies) consume enough essential nutrients.

 

How can you manage these food cravings?

The key is to eat healthy alternatives that offer a similar taste or texture to satisfy your cravings.

Eat:

  • Sweet food like yoghurt, or fresh fruit like strawberries, oranges or grapes

  • Savory food, such as sweet potato fries or baked potato chips

  • Drink water to stave off hunger and stay hydrated.

  • Ginger tea may restore your appetite and prevent nausea.

Do:

  • Eat breakfast daily. Skipping breakfast can lead to stronger cravings later in the day.

  • Take small and frequent meals. Eating smaller portions can make the idea of eating more palatable.

  • Don’t feel guilty about the occasional unhealthy craving. Just exercise portion control and make sure you stick to an overall healthy eating plan.