Loss of appetite in pregnancy

I'm 18 weeks pregnant and I've lost 2-3 pounds every month since becoming so. I'm getting concerned because I still have NO appetite and, in fact, must choke down what I can to ensure that my baby is getting the calories that he/she needs. I went to the doctor and they asked me if I was depressed - I'm not! I feel physically revolted by the idea of most foods. Have you ever heard of this before? Do you have any suggestions?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

I have heard of this but it is uncommon. It is a variation on the nausea and vomiting theme - due to the progesterone effects on the smooth muscle of the stomach.

It is true that most of the literature on this implicates psychological distress or depression. But thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, and liver problems have been associated with this as well. In most women, it eases by the 20th week which is good because the baby really cannot grow and develop as efficiently as he needs to if the mother's nutrient needs are not being met. You may see signs of intrauterine growth restriction by 24-26 weeks if you are not getting adequate calories. You may also want to test your urine for ketones which are by-products of fat metabolism and these can be toxic to baby's brain,

I would recommend that the calories that you do get be dense with nutrients. Eat Total or Product 19, sports shakes or Ensure. Vitamin C can stimulate appetite so consider drinking some juice upon arising in the morning and waiting an hour to eat breakfast.

I really believe this will ease up and your body will do what is best for your baby. Try not to be overly concerned or anxious and it will resolve on its own.

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