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Why Do I Have an Increased Appetite During Pregnancy?

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We’ve heard all the stories of an increased appetite during pregnancy. Moms to be who wake up in the middle of the night with intense and crazy cravings, like dipping pickles into ranch dressing.

Or moms who just eat and eat and eat, until they’ve blown up like a balloon, but can’t stop themselves and stay hungry!

But what causes it, and what is it going to do to you and your body?

So Why Does Appetite Increase During Pregnancy?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Your baby is growing, and needs more food and nutrients to fuel their increased development.

Woman eating pizza

How Much More Can I Expect to Eat?

It’s not as much as you might expect. In the second trimester, you’re probably going to need around 350 extra calories in the second trimester, which is absolutely tiny, and around 500 or 600 more in the third trimester, which is far less than you might think.

Of course, moms with twins need more, around 300 in the first trimester, 600 in the second, and 900 in the last.

When Does Your Appetite Increase During Pregnancy?

Normally around the start of the second trimester. At around week 17, your baby is developing quickly and like we just explained, needs increased amounts of food to grow up healthy.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to listen to your body, and not try and deny yourself anything. Make sure you eat, and as much as possible try to stick to a healthy, balanced diet full of proteins and healthy fats.

How to Manage Your Increased Appetite During Pregnancy

As always, follow standard healthy routines and guidelines. Just because you’re eating more and your body needs more calories doesn’t give you an excuse to crack out the pizza and donuts!

why does appetite increase during pregnancy

  • Choose healthy, nutritious options when possible. Fast food and chocolate is high calorie, but also burns out fast and has no real nutritional value. Choose calorically dense, high value foods like meats, cheeses, fresh fruits and greens.
  • Make sure you’re stocked up with what you need. If you’re hungry, you’ll eat it, so when you wake up in the middle of the night, if there’s nothing good in the house every single pack of chips will be gone by morning.
  • Stay away from the bad stuff. In the same vein, if there’s crappy food in the fridge, it’s all the more temptation for you to eat it. The best way to not eat bad food is to not have the option to eat it. So don’t buy any of it! (That’s a surprisingly good tip for life, as well.)
  • Take some snacks out with you. If you’re out and you don’t have any decent stuff with you when hunger strikes, you’re going to buy something awfully indulgent. We recommend nuts, druid fruit or a granola bar.
  • Let yourself go every so often. No one likes being restricted in their diet, and the best thing you can do is let off steam every now and then. So every couple of weeks give yourself a day where you can eat everything you want to. It’ll make you feel so much better!
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration is easily confused with hunger, and it’s also a contributor to premature birth. When you go to the bathroom, check your pee. If it’s too dark or cloudy, you know you need to drink more.

The best thing to do, though, is make sure that you’re trying to eat normally. Eat a balanced diet, stay healthy and listen to what your body is telling you.

As always, if you feel like you need specific advice, talk to your doctor, because like we always say, every pregnancy is different, and your needs are always going to be your own.

Whatever it is you need, your doctor can draw you up a specific plan and use your bloodwork to tell you exactly what you’re lacking, and what you should focus on eating.

At the end of the day, as long as you say healthy and try and stick to the right choices, you’re probably going to go through your pregnancy with no issues and end up with healthy, happy babies.

You’ve already done the right thing by coming here. We’ve got articles on everything you’re going to face, so stick around and check out some more of our articles!

What was your pregnancy like? Did you have any weird cravings, or did you just eat everything in sight? Did you enjoy your increased appetite during pregnancy?

Whatever it was that you faced, we’d love to hear about it, so let us know in our comments!

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