Morning sickness: Overeating to stave off nausea?

I am nine weeks pregnant and can't stop eating. When hunger strikes, my mind knows that nausea will soon follow, so I eat and eat and eat. Even after I'm stuffed, I still feel hungry. I am dreading the scale at my next appointment. What can I do to help control my appetite?

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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

There is no simple answer to this problem, although you may find that your appetite will decrease over time. I recommend that you see a provider who does not intimidate you with lectures about weight gain. Ask your care provider to recommend foods or strategies for nausea control.

Some women gain quite a bit in the first trimester and slow toward the end. The greatest appetite suppressant, however, is exercise. Incorporate a 20 minute aerobic exercise period into your daily activities. Chemicals that give you a feeling of fullness are liberated by the brain during exercise.

Including some fat in your diet might help curb your appetite until the next meal as well. In addition, some women find that chewing gum helps; others eat dry popcorn or rice cakes to keep the nausea down without the excess calories.

If possible, a visit to a nutritionist may be helpful. Nutritionists can offer a wealth of information on diet during pregnancy.

Try not to be intimidated by the scale. It is not a very good tool to assess nutrition.

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