Weight Loss in First Trimester

Updated on June 18, 2009
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
16 answers

Hey moms!
I am about 8wks pregnant and have a question. When I got pregnant I was about 40lbs or so overweight. I quickly gained 8lbs which totally freaked me out. Then I started getting nausea and heartburn and just in general feeling yucky which I did not experience my first pregnancy. I decided to watch my caloric intake and am now trying to eat around 1800-2000 calories and I dropped refined sugar such as candy and cakes etc. Because I am feeling so yucky I have found it hard to eat all those calories and I have dropped three pounds this week. I feel much better and less bloated. I am not trying to actively lose weight but I don't feel like eating much. I just eat every two hours or so and as I said I am avoiding sugar. Should I be concerned about the weight loss? If I continue to lose is that a problem in the first trimester? Thanks for the advice!

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answers from Austin on

I was sick all through my pregnancy - especially the first trimester. I couldn't keep food down and didn't want to eat but forced myself to for the baby. I lost appox. 10 llbs. The doctor wasn't worried since the baby was growing just fine. She's now 16 months old and in perfect health =)

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answers from Houston on

I was overweight when I got pregnant. Even though I didn't have *too* much nausea and vomiting, I lost around 20 pounds in the first 4 or 5 months--I actually had more morning sickness later in my pregnancy. I lost all desire for sweets and was eating a high protein diet with a lot of vegetables and water--though there were a couple of weeks that I only ate peanut butter sandwiches and drank gallons of milk.

In the end, I gained 1/2 pound--the difference between my weight on the day I took the pregnancy test and the day before I went into labor. I gave birth to a 6lb 7 oz. healthy baby girl at 38 weeks. I did low-impact Jazzercise twice a week until 35.5 weeks. My midwife delivered the twins of a woman that started out a little juicy--she only gained 13 lbs and gave birth to 6lb and 7lb baby!

If you start out overweight, you should only be gaining 15-20 pounds max throughout your pregnancy. If the way you are eating makes you feel better...then keep on with it. Your body is going to tell you very quickly if it needs more calories--listen to it when it does. You should eat a healthy diet to your fill--your two hour plan is a good one.

Because you are a little heavier and over thirty, you should pay special attention to getting plenty of lean protein and drinking adequate water. This will help avoid any possible complications from preeclamspia, etc.

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answers from Odessa on

I think it's possible to lose weight and still eat how you need to when your pregnant. I would focus on eating for nutrition for your baby and stay away from the junk. As long as you're not "starving" the baby of nutrients, I think things should be okay. I had a friend who ended up with gestational diabetes. She had to go on a special diet and the weight melted off. She had a healthy baby and lost weight.

Eat for nutrition and the baby and I think everything will fall in place. Congrats on your pregnancy!

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answers from Portland on

In both of my pregnancies I had "morning sickness" my first pregnancy was worse in this way than the second as it lasted well into the second trimester...I wasn't even able to keep down the prenatal vitamins.

My second pregnancy, however, was more like you describe in the way you feel. My problem was I was getting full very fast and then I felt nauseus (sp?) afterwards. I quickly found that there were certain foods I had to stay away from...any sort of mexican or southwestern dish would bring about vomiting in me...However, I could not eat enough egg rolls and constantly craved chinese food!.

My problem??? I was carrying twins...the extra body inside of me made it impossible to eat as much at a time so I had to eat smaller amounts more often, and with "morning sickness" I felt like I would not gain appropriately.

My doctor put me on a high protein diet. This not only increased my energy, it helped with the morning sickness, and it increased the birthweight of my twins so that when they were born at 33 weeks they were a surprising 4lbs 4.5 oz and 4lbs 9oz!!!! He had a wall of 10lb babies and twins that were 8lbs a piece...

I firmly believe that following this high protein diet allowed my twins to be healthy enough at birth to only spend two weeks in the NICU with minor issues versus the major ones that could have been a problem being born at 7 weeks.

So...having gone off on a tangent...I guess what I am telling you is...even if you are not carrying multiples causing the problems with your eating habits, your little one could have attachd in a place in your uterus when he/she sits in you stomach making it smaller and thus you eat less and still feel ill.

I would suggest eating smaller amounts. Try using ginger to help with any nausea...You can use the ginger in any form that will work for you, raw, cookies, pop, pickled, etc...but ginger is a natural anti-nausea herb. at only 8 weeks you are probably just feeling the effects of "morning sickness" on a "squashed" stomach.

You should check with your OBGYN and make sure you are not suffering any health issues...just to be safe...You might also ask if there is a possibility of your carrying multiples...I know in my twin pregnancy I gained weight at a faster pace and showed much earlier than with my older daughter...

Good Luck and congratulations on your pregnancy!!! ;-)

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answers from Houston on

Hi J.,

Congrats on your pregnancy! I wouldn't worry about the weight loss(as long as you aren't dieting), the baby's caloric needs at this point are very small and our body provides nutrition to the baby first. That's why women can lose bone mass, teeth, hair, etc. during pregnancy. Cutting out junk food (refined sugar and processed snacks) during pregnancy is always a good idea b/c it keeps you hungry for healthy food choice. The extra calories don't go the baby anyway, they go to fat stores. If your having trouble keeping food down, tell your doctor and have them monitor your ketone levels (they increase as our body burns fat stores) and for dehydration. High ketone levels on their own aren't necessarily a problem but they can indicate an issue. They may be able to get you on something to help you keep your food down, but at some point though, all you can do is try to eat health and not stress too much if it doesn't stay down. Keep your doctor in the loop on anything your concerned about. Best of luck.

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answers from Austin on

Definitely ask your OB, but with my first child, I lost 15 pounds in during the first trimester and I still ended up having a 10 pound baby. Not that there is any connection between losing weight and big babies. Everything I have read said that while it's not ideal to actively try to lose weight during a pregnancy, it isn't the end of the world because the baby takes all it needs from your body.
Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

You should discuss this with your doctor but I can tell you I was overweight as well before each child but because I didn't want to "mess-up" my babies I was motivated to eat perfectly (I mean Perfectly) while pregnant. (Only time I have been able to stick to a diet. - no, I wasn't trying to lose weight I was trying to eat my veggies, no desserts but fruit etc) I gained a total of 20 lbs with the first 23lbs with the 2nd & 8lbs with the 3rd.(I had to be extremely careful because of gestational diabetes on this one) All 3 were healthy & the 3rd was the biggest.)
Just keep eating right & going to your check-ups!

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answers from Austin on

I was also a bit overweight with my pregnancy and had terrible morning sickness every day even while in labor! Even freaked out the nurse..

I found that I only wanted healthy foods so I lost weight but ate very healthy the entire time. Only gained 20 lbs the entire pregnancy. And lost all of that by 6 weeks. My baby was always flourishing, so they told me not to worry about it.. She was very healthy when born.. Do not worry.

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answers from Houston on

Talk to your doctor, but don't be overly worried. It is common to lose a little weight in the first trimester due to morning sickness and loss of appetite. And if you started out a little overweight (as I did!) then it really is no big deal. There will be concern if the weight loss continues into the second trimester. As long as you are seeing your doctor regularly and make him/her aware of the situation you shouldn't have any problems.

Congratulations and good luck!

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answers from Houston on

Of course I would talk with your dr. About it but with my preg. I actually lost weight and at nine months had only then gained 6 pounds by the time I delivered I had gained 16 pounds and then once I had her and fluid went away I lost all of it and then some! Each preg. Is so different. I know its not a bad thing to watch what you eat and get rid of or limit sugar. Best of luck to you! Hope you get to feeling better!



answers from San Antonio on

I always lost weight my 1st trimester, with all 3 pregnancies, up to 15 pounds or so. Worry about it when it happens in the second trimester. You should gain then. But, since you're already overweight, again, just make sure you're eating right and that the baby is growing. Don't focus so much on weight but more on the kinds of food, how much you're eating, how much you're drinking of water, and the doctor will check the baby's growth with each visit. Everyone is different.



answers from College Station on

Weight loss is not a problem. I lost 20# with each of my first two. I just wasn't hungry. They were born just fine (#9 and #6 @34 weeks, respectively). Just make sure what you are eating is the healthiest thing you can put in your mouth.

Good Luck!


answers from Atlanta on

The first trimester is the most important in regard to fetal development. That's when all the organs and brain are formed; in subsequent trimesters, the baby and its organs are growing bigger, however the actual formative development for the body functions and organs has already happened in the first 3 months.

My rudimentary understanding of weight loss is that, when you lose weight your body creates ketones, which is a biproduct of converting the energy stored in fat cells.

In general, high ketone levels in your urine could indicate pregnancy complications. Below are some links, or you can google 'ketone, pregnancy' yourself. I would suggest that you ask your OB if you should have your urine's ketone level tested/watched so you have a more complete picture of what your body's metabolism is doing.

Now, I think eating better is FANTASTIC during pregnancy. Get rid of the refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup! Throw out pre-made, processed foods. Embrace whole wheat and brown rice, boost your consumption of hard boiled eggs and clean proteins! However, I do not think you should be counting calories. You should eat when you are hungry. Metabolizing stored fat cells may provide energy, but it doesn't provide nutrition that the fetus needs for healthy development. Plus, the baby will need you to eat certain fats (butter, cheese, dairy fat, olive & fish oil, nuts) solely for its brain/nervous system and construction of cellular walls... Yep, you gotta have fat in the mama's diet order to build strong, squishy cells in the baby.

High Ketone Levels during Pregnancy

"Ketones may be dangerous when pregnant, although this is controversial and still being studied and disputed. There were several studies that showed that babies exposed to a lot of ketones had learning problems and reduced IQ later in life. These have since been disputed by other studies, but just in case, everyone plays it safe during pregnancy, which is very prudent."



answers from Houston on

I am so slow on answering... I've been out sick this week! I'm 11 weeks preggo, so not far ahead of you, and I've lost 10 lbs in the past 5 or 6 weeks. I have been so sick- one thing after another- that I haven't wanted to eat at all. Unfortunately, what I did eat tended to just come right back up. My doc prescribed some meds to help with the nausea & loss of appetite b/c I probably was only getting about 200 calories/day. That helped tremendously! She said to keep up with my multi & prenatal vitamins & I should be fine, even if I'm not eating. Like you, I was also a bit overweight before conception, so it's not like I don't have stores for the baby to survive off of.

Keeping track of what you're eating & how much, and eating every couple of hours are great ways to lose weight whether you're preggo or not. Eating multiple meals a day actually speeds up your metabolism, which causes you to lose weight. I spent 6 months before I got pregnant tracking my calories & watching what I ate very carefully while working with a personal trainer to try to get healthy again. Though I didn't lose any weight, I lost about 36 inches overall and went down 2-3 sizes!

Now it's a big joke that I didn't actually lose weight with my diet/exercise plan, but I get pregnant & the weight melts right off! LOL



answers from Austin on

Hi J., I was terribly sick with my last two pregnancies but not my first. I lost 10 lbs with one and 7 lbs with the other (in the first 12 weeks) and didn't have much weight to spare at the time. My doctor wasn't concerned about it; just suggested I eat as healthy as I can when I could keep food down and stay hydrated!!! That's the most important part...water. The baby will use your nutrient spares to grow. Discuss it with your doctor but it's pretty common; try not to stress about it until your next appt. Congratulations on the pregnancy!!



answers from San Antonio on

I wouldn't be concerned about it. My Dr's seem to look at the overall weight gain throughout the pregancy. I always lose weight first trimester, but put it back on later.

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