Hormonal changes with pregnancy mean you might also be experiencing nausea, food cravings, a heightened sense of smell and differing tastes.
It’s not unusual to change your mind about food from time to time, but you might find your palate changing a lot during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes – you can experience a whole range of cravings during pregnancy. It should settle down once you’ve given birth.
A lot of women will experience a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy, and since aroma can shape taste, you might find this affects what you feel like eating.
A surge of pregnancy hormones arrives in your first trimester. Unfortunately, this can trigger a feeling of nausea, commonly called morning sickness. It generally peaks around week 10, and it should settle down by weeks 14-16. Although there are also some mums-to-be who experience morning sickness right through till the very end of their pregnancy.
While it’s named ‘morning sickness’ it can actually hit you at any time of the day. You might find yours is more like ‘after lunch’ or ‘early evening sickness’. Try to remember, usually morning sickness will pass.
Everybody is different and what you can eat and drink will largely depend on what you feel like, what you can hold down and the health and medical needs that are particular to your situation.
In the meantime, here are a few tips on ways to try and help reduce the nausea:
A few foods and drinks that might help relieve your morning sickness:
Even if you can’t eat much, it's important you stay hydrated. Your baby will take the nutrients they need from you even if you don't manage to eat much solid food. Keep sipping on drinks throughout the day and taking in small amounts of food.
If you’re being sick several times a day, and you can’t keep any decent amount of food or drink down, it’s time to see your doctor or midwife for advice.
Constipation can be common in pregnancy. There are several reasons why, including higher levels of the hormone progesterone which relaxes your digestive tract making food pass through it more slowly. Another factor is the pressure from your growing uterus, and also constipation may be a side effect if you’re taking iron supplements.
Make sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of food high in dietary fibre. Drinking plenty of water (nine glasses a day) can help. It’s a good idea to keep active on a daily basis and go for a walk, a swim or even try some yoga – gentle regular exercise can help get your bowels moving.
Tips for including more fibre in your meals:
If you find you’re still having problems, it’s a good idea to chat to your doctor or midwife.
Heartburn and indigestion are very common in pregnancy, more so in the later stages. For many women it feels like an uncomfortable burning sensation due to acid passing up the stomach into the esophagus (food tube). This is mainly due to hormonal changes which relax the valve to your stomach so acid can pass back into your esophagus.
Your growing uterus pressing against your stomach can also increase the symptoms of heartburn, especially in your third trimester. It’s more likely to strike you after a meal, but don’t be surprised if it sneaks up on you at other times too.
Heartburn isn’t dangerous to you or your baby, but that doesn’t make it comfortable! It can be painful and it can make it difficult for you to relax and get a decent night’s sleep. There are a few tips to try to ease it, but if it’s a problem ask your doctor or midwife for advice.
In the meantime, try these tips to be more comfortable:
The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.
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