If you’re just starting your second trimester of pregnancy, you might be relieved that you’re now feeling less nausea and morning sickness. But, you might notice that you’re now hungry all the time!
Your additional hunger will often start around week 17, because your baby is growing and needs more nourishment. It’s good to listen to your body and your baby and satisfy your pregnancy appetite. Getting hungrier in your second trimester may be your body’s way of catching up, especially if you lost weight in your first trimester from lots of morning sickness!
But, be sensible with your eating. You're eating for two — but one of you is a lot tinier. Most healthcare experts suggest that you eat about 350 extra calories a day in your second trimester and about 500 more daily calories in your third trimester.
Here are some tips for dealing with your pregnancy hunger:
- Make sure to get enough water. Sometimes you’ll think you’re hungry when you’re actually dehydrated. When you’re pregnant, your body needs more water. Your goal is to hydrate yourself with at least eight cups of water per day (more if you’re sweating tons or if it's hot outside).
- Get enough nutritious food. When you’re pregnant, it’s important that your meals, snacks, and beverages have nutritional value, and aren’t just filling. For example, a whole-grain English muffin or a hardboiled egg will keep you satisfied longer than a piece of chocolate cake (and are much healthier!)
- Keep a supply of healthy food. A surefire way to make sure you’re getting enough nutritious food is to keep your fridge, freezer, and cupboards stocked with healthy foods. That way, when you’re famished, you can easily grab something healthy!
- Don’t buy junk food. If you’re easily tempted by sweets, for example, avoid buying them the next time you’re at the grocery store. If you stock your kitchen with junk foods, you may not be able to resist them if they're within reaching distance.
- Eat often. Eat five to six mini-meals per day. That way, you're not eating too much at any one time. If you eat too much at one time, you'll feel stuffed, especially as your pregnancy progresses and there’s not as much extra room in your belly. Overeating will cause more gas, heartburn, and bloating during pregnancy. Pack yourself healthy snacks, such as granola bar or a banana. That way, when you’re out and about, you won’t have to rely on un-healthy fast food.
- Treat yourself sometimes. Let yourself indulge in a favorite snack sometimes. Indulging will make it easier for you to have the willpower to avoid junk foods most of the time.
- Track your weight gain. If you're gaining too much weight, too quickly, you're eating too many calories. For most women, experts recommend that you gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Women who were overweight before pregnancy should gain less, and underweight women should gain more.