Mums, the only other time you eat more than the normal amount is when you’re on your period. But, since you won’t be getting your period in the next 9 months (or more), those extra servings of rice and extra slices of bread are brought on by nothing more than the growing human inside of you.
So, if you’re always asking yourself, “Why am I always hungry while pregnant?” there is no one else to point fingers at than the living human inside of you.
Pregnant and Always Hungry
And it’s not just the amount of food you are consuming that’s peculiar – it’s also the type of foods you eat. All of a sudden, it’s 1:00 AM, and you’re craving some chicken feet. We don’t need Hollywood movies to tell us just how weird pregnant mum cravings can be. Tie that with the mood swings you get while pregnant, and your husband or caretaker will surely be out of breath.
Good thing they know not to take it personally because excessive hunger and weird cravings are all part of the pregnancy journey.
But, of course, while it is normal, you also have to stay within the safe range of weight gain because too much weight gain can lead to many things that might just open a can of worms. It can affect your baby’s health, it can affect yours, it can affect how you deliver your baby, and so on.
So, the big question now is: how do we manage a healthy balance? How do we ensure you satisfy your cravings but do not gain or lose enough weight to affect your pregnancy?
Image source: iStock
Why It’s Normal to Eat More During Pregnancy
The first key to managing the extreme portions of your food consumption is understanding first why it happens.
First, you are trying to produce double your blood volume for your baby. And believe us, that requires a lot of energy. So, what happens is the more energy you need, the hungrier you get.
You also need extra energy to grow your already expanding uterus – all to make room for a grape that turns into a watermelon by the end of 9 months. If you need to exert extra effort to do your morning stretches, imagine having to do that for 9 whole months.
You can also blame your fluctuating hormones for the sudden excessive hunger.
And, finally, the ultimate cause of your calorie intake is your baby. The more toll growing a human being is becoming, the hungrier you get.
When Do Hunger Pangs Start in Pregnancy?
So, when does this increase in appetite start? Some ladies start loading up on food as soon as their first trimester, which is why some people consider it a symptom of pregnancy.
While that is the case for some ladies, many pregnant women experience morning sickness in the first trimester. So, they’re eating less during this term. That said, the carb and fat loading usually come the term after – the second trimester. No more morning sickness – just a demanding baby and all your cravings.
Can you still expect hunger pangs by the third trimester? Yes, you can, as your baby is still growing inside of you. And the bigger they get, the hungrier they become, hence the hungrier YOU get.
But, because pregnant women are prone to heartburn and indigestion during this term of the pregnancy, their desire to eat more is held back by the need to avoid triggering heartburn.
How to Manage Hunger Pangs During Pregnancy
So, we now know why it happens and when it happens. Now, we want to know what to do. As much as we hate to say that the calorie count does not matter, but in this case, another human being’s life is at stake, so we have to say it. The calorie count does matter.
What’s the good news? There is no increased calorie need in the first trimester. Just make sure to eat nutritious food.
In your second and third terms, however, you have to be wary of how many calories you are consuming:
At best, when you reach your second trimester, you should be adding 300 calories per day.
Come to your third term, you should be consuming 400 calories more per day.
If you have a condition such as gestational diabetes, it’s best to consult with a dietician to help make sure you’re consuming an adequate amount of calories while keeping your blood glucose levels under control.
How to address immoderate hunger
Apart from watching your calorie count, you can also follow these tips:
- Always make sure you have some protein, some fibre, and healthy fats in your meal. The key here is to eat foods that you enjoy eating but are also enough to fill you up and not make you feel full.
- Go lean when it comes to protein – so, more chicken, fish, eggs, and soy foods.
- For fibre, load up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
- And when making your choices for foods rich in fat, grab the healthier choices – nuts, olive oil, avocado.
- Snacking is fine as long as you are eating nutritious snacks. Instead of a big bag of potato chips, try some tortilla chips or a trail mix. Forget ice cream; eat yoghurt. Are you missing your iced coffee? Try smoothies instead.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – when in doubt, drink your H20. Drinking enough water also ensures you prevent pregnancy and constipation.
Here’s Why We Get Food Cravings While Pregnant
Eating Right During Your Pregnancy
Eating Vegetarian and Vegan During Pregnanc
Pregnancy Weight Tracker Apps to Try
If these tips are too many to keep track of, we recommend you try these amazing apps that will help you maintain your weight and manage hunger pangs during pregnancy. We’re in the digital age, so it’s about time you maximise its use during your pregnancy.
This app is for Apple users. You can set your target weight and monitor it every week. Your weekly reports are detailed to the tee. It also features a visual timeline of your progress, making it much easier for you to picture how you can adjust your diet. You can also get feedback about the ideal weight range for your target weight.
Ovia Pregnancy Tracker
Another app we love is the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker for both Android and Apple users. Get personalized feedback on your weight gain/loss journey based on your age, BMI, and history. Plus, you can sync the app to your fitness tracker. If that does not make you download the app right this second, we don’t know what will.
There are lots of reasons why this is on the list, but for now, let us point out that aside from the pregnancy tracker and kicks counter, it also has a food and nutrition app which tells you which foods are safe to eat while pregnant. This is great if you want to adopt healthy eating during pregnancy.
Don’t take our word for it? Just ask millions of parents around the world who have downloaded our app.
Image source: iStock
So, if you feel like stuffing your face in some decadent chocolate cake, craving some spicy ramen, or even just taking mouthfuls of sushi and California rolls, don’t fret. It’s all because of that little thing inside you who is just as hungry and craving some deliciousness.
Just remember to monitor your calories and try to incorporate as much nutrition into your diet to ensure you and your little one are getting the right amount of lovin’ in your tummies
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.