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Losing weight in the first trimester of pregnancy

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Theertha Shetty [Obstetrician and Gynaecologist]

The only time during pregnancy when it is considered normal to lose weight is during the first trimester. A minimal amount of weight loss is generally normal and happens when you have morning sickness or food aversions during your first trimester.

The most common reasons to lose weight during the first trimester are -

  • Nausea and vomiting. Due to nausea and vomiting, you may not be able to eat that well, and you tend to lose a little weight.

  • Food aversions. The changing hormones can alter your taste buds, and you may not like the foods that were your favorites, and you may not feel to eat many of the cooked foods. This can lead to losing some weight in the first trimester.

  • Morning sickness. It includes fatigue, loss of appetite, sensitivity to smell, and vomiting during the first trimester. Many women find it difficult to keep food down, which adds up to the reason for losing weight.

Losing some weight is normal during the first trimester. But what is normal is decided by your healthcare provider. During every visit, your vitals are checked, including your weight. This gives an idea as to how much weight you are losing and if any steps need to be taken.

What you should remember is, that this small amount of weight loss is expected only in the first trimester, and gradually your weight should start increasing as the baby is growing inside.

If your weight is reducing in the second or third trimester, then you have to let your healthcare provider know about the same.

Is it safe to lose weight in the first trimester of pregnancy?

In early pregnancy, the baby is quite tiny and only has minimal calorie requirements and nutritional needs. So, a bit of weight loss during the first trimester because of morning sickness or food aversions won't negatively impact your baby's development, as long as it is not substantial or prolonged.

Will it affect my baby if I lose weight during my pregnancy?

The weight loss is expected in the first trimester of pregnancy and is most likely due to morning sickness or food aversions. In the first trimester, your baby is too tiny to draw out a large number of nutrients. Your fat reserves are enough for her/him to grow.

If you continue to lose weight as your pregnancy progresses, then you have to let your doctor know about it. As the baby grows, the nutrient requirement increases and the body needs the nutrients to supply as per the demand of the growing baby.

What if I am overweight and want to reduce my weight during my pregnancy?

Losing some weight during pregnancy if you are overweight might be beneficial (it is not advisable). you may lose weight before becoming pregnant which would be beneficial for you and for the pregnancy and not during pregnancy, rather focus on keeping the weight gain during pregnancy lower after consulting your doctor.

It has to be achieved through the right diet and exercise by consulting your doctor and a dietician. Weight loss by starvation or dieting will strip your body of its nutrients and increase your risk of having a premature baby.

Can I lose weight without morning sickness?

Some women may lose weight during the first trimester due to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Many expectant mothers consciously make healthier choices when it comes to diet and exercise when they discover they are pregnant. Therefore, their overall calorie intake is often lower than the calories they are burning during exercise and growing their baby.

While it is healthy for mother and baby to make these healthier lifestyle choices, when it comes to exercise and nutrition, it is important to remember that your body is growing a new life and you may need to add some extra healthy snacks into your daily intake as the pregnancy progresses.

Tips to ease yourself in the first trimester of pregnancy

  • The first thing you have to remember is, that pregnancy comes with some side effects due to the crazy hormonal changes happening inside your body! Do not compare yourself with another pregnant mother.

  • Eat smaller meals, and have home-cooked meals.

  • Avoid fried, packed food items. It is not going to help you in a healthy weight gain or in morning sickness.

  • Exercise regularly. Helps you in your metabolism.

  • Take your prenatal vitamins regularly.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight is important but if you stress yourself into this, then it is not going to help you. Seek help from an expert and ask for their guidance.

  • Seek help at home. No one is going to award you for doing everything! Support your body changes and ask for help.

  • Along with your physical health, mental health is equally important.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water to thirst. Include fruits in your diet.

  • Relax. Stressing your body will make things worse and will add to more problems.

Let us know if you need any suggestions for an exercise routine.


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