Weight loss at end of pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the wonders of the human body, allowing women to house another life within their wombs, creating room for a growing human child for 9 months. The entire process right from fertilization of the ovum until delivery of the baby, takes toll on the women’s body, the female hormones are all over the place, the bones, muscles, organs are all constantly changing to accommodate the foetus. The normal physiologic functions are altered, diet, excretion are all varied now.

One of the quite glaringly obvious changes in a pregnant woman is the weight gain. All pregnant women, irrespective of their pre-pregnancy BMI/body weight gain close to 15-20 pounds on an average. While the weight gain is common knowledge, what people don’t know is that women also lose weight towards the end of their pregnancy. You might as well experience some weight loss at the beginning of first trimester.

Why does this happen? In this article we shall see just that!

Weight loss during 1st Trimester

As we all know first trimester of pregnancy is often synonymous with nausea and vomiting. Morning sickness, nausea throughout the day, loss of appetite, unable to keep down your meals are all some of the most common findings in the first trimester of pregnancy. Most women develop an aversion towards to

certain smells and foods. All these lead to less food consumption. The continuous vomiting and loss of appetite will eventually cause a loss in weight as the food intake is so obviously less. Hence most women experience a decrease in weight during the first trimester.

It is normal to lose about 5-10% of body weight but if it is more than that and the vomiting is quite vigorous then one needs to consult their OB-GYN regarding the same.

Anywhere between 1-5 pounds might be gained during the first trimester.

WEIGHT LOSS DURING THIRD TRIMESTER

Third trimester is one of the most crucial times during pregnancy. For one must be on alert all the time with the sudden contractions and false alarms and what not. Some pregnant women might face weight loss during towards the end of the pregnancy. Now it is nothing to be worried about, it is fairly common for some weight loss towards the end of pregnancy to occur. Doctors suggest that it is body’s way of preparing itself for the finale : that is the delivery of the baby! Here are some explanations for weight loss towards the end of the pregnancy:

  • The amniotic fluid levels slowly decreases as the time for delivery nears. Mind that this is NOT “ water breaking” but rather a gradual decrease in amniotic fluid levels. Decrease in amniotic fluid means decrease in water weight hence the ‘loss of weight’.
  • As the baby is preparing to exit the womb ( which happens over a period of few weeks as the baby’s head slowly moves and points towards the vaginal canal), it presses against the urinary bladder of the mother, urging the mother too pee more often, flushing out all the fluids, hence there is some weight loss as a result of all the fluids lost.
  • Frequent urge to empty your bowels is seen as the baby moves around, preparing to exit, this is also one reason for the loss of weight towards the end of the pregnancy.
  • There is also the loss of appetite that adds on to the list of causes one might lose weight towards the end of pregnancy.
  • The high metabolic activity leading up to the delivery , burning up the calories also could be why there’s weight loss.
  • At times losing weight while pregnant at later stages could be related to poor baby growth, low amniotic fluid or pregnancy- induced hypertension or preeclampsia.

    Make sure to keep your OB-GYN informed about any drastic changes in weight or any discomfort towards the end of pregnancy.

    WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE LOSING WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY?

First thing to do is to inform your OB-GYN and seek their advice regarding the same. Here are some things you can do to manage weight loss during pregnancy as told by experts:

  • Eat nutritious meals , spaced out at regular intervals. Never skip meals and stick to a rigid diet plan.
  • Avoid food items that cause nausea or vomiting
  • Take your prenatal vitamins without fail
  • If you have hunger pangs in the middle of the night or between meals, take up healthy snacks, high-calorie nutritious foods would be the best choice
  • Drink plenty of fluids, stay hydrated!

Remember the little human inside of you requires you to stay healthy, for they are completely dependent on you for their nutrition , until they make it out of their tiny little womb-home! So it is the pregnant mother’s responsibility to take care of one’s weight and health.

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