When you first learn that you’re pregnant, your mind may wander to the inevitable weight gain. Women are expected to gain weight while pregnant, but it doesn’t always happen at a half-pound per week. You may lose weight one week and gain more the next. Still, it’s important to know when you should be concerned about losing weight early in pregnancy and when it’s not a big deal.
Weight Loss from Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is a common problem during the first trimester. You may feel too nauseated to eat, or you may be vomiting the foods that you do eat. This can cause slight weight loss in any woman. However, some women experience an extreme version of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, which can prohibit eating and lead to significant weight loss. If you can’t keep any food down, your baby is not getting the nutrition she needs to grow. Talk to your doctor about your problem.
If you were overweight or obese before you became pregnant, some weight loss in early pregnancy may not be cause for concern. WebMD even reports that some doctors, like Raul Artal, MD, at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, believe that it’s more beneficial for obese women to maintain or lose weight during their pregnancies. If you are eating healthy foods and getting regular moderate exercise, don’t worry about losing a few pounds.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Though the excess energy burned from your baby’s growth can cause a small bit of weight loss, you need to be concerned if there is a sudden drop in your weight. Weight loss is one of the signs that you are having a miscarriage.
Preventing Weight Loss
Keep a food diary to track the foods that you are eating. You should eat about 200 calories more than your pre-pregnancy weight maintenance amount. If you’re not eating enough, you might lose weight and your baby is not getting enough nutrition. You can add healthy high-calorie items like olive oil and peanut butter if you’re struggling to eat enough.
Trying to Lose Weight
You should not try to lose weight when you are pregnant, even if you are overweight or obese. When you reduce calories, your baby doesn’t get the nutrition he needs to grow. While you shouldn’t literally “eat for two,” it’s important to make healthy choices. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your weight.