Losing Weight While Pregnant – Why Does It Happen?

It can be concerning when you start losing weight while pregnant. Most women know that pregnancy is a time when they’re going to gain a little bit of weight.

However, some women experience weight loss at the beginning of their pregnancy. Other women lose weight throughout their entire pregnancy.

Why Am I Losing Weight While Pregnant?

Two types of weight loss occur during pregnancy, accidental and intentional weight loss.

Each type of weight loss can be caused by a variety of issues. Any weight loss during pregnancy should be discussed with your obstetrician. Let’s look at the two types of weight loss and what they can mean during your pregnancy.

Intentional Weight Loss

Standards set by the World Health Organization show us that healthy weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 40 pounds. This rule is applied to women who are at a healthy weight at the beginning of their pregnancy.

Some women who enter pregnancy are overweight or obese. Often these women have been losing (or trying to lose) weight until they became pregnant. Most obstetricians are not going to recommend any weight loss during pregnancy.

Even women who are extremely obese should not try to lose weight while pregnant. What they will recommend is that these women do not gain weight while pregnant.

Why Can’t I Gain Weight While Pregnant?

Typically, when eating at a calorie deficit, you’re not getting the right amount of vitamins. Women who are pregnant are prescribed prenatal vitamins because of all the nutrients required to build a baby.

If you are cutting calories while you’re pregnant, you could be causing devastating nutrient deficiencies.

The nutrient deficiencies can hurt both you and your child.

Things like folic acid are essential when a baby is developing in the womb. When these necessary vitamins and minerals are not present, a baby is at risk of being born underweight or with complicated birth defects.

This is why intentional weight loss during pregnancy can be dangerous.

Accidental Weight Loss

Losing weight while pregnant can be concerning if it’s not on purpose. There are several reasons why women lose weight during their pregnancy, and they can be quite normal.

In the first trimester, nearly 50% of women lose weight due to morning sickness.

When Does Morning Sickness StartWeight loss during the first trimester is not something to be concerned about.

I lost 10 pounds during my first trimester because of morning sickness. It is after the first trimester that weight loss begins to become a concern.

Women should gain weight over the course of their pregnancy. When weight gains don’t happen obstetricians start to become concerned.

Undiagnosed Illness

One of the reasons that many women lose weight after their first trimester is an undiagnosed illness. Things like an ear infection, UTI, and other common diseases, can cause weight loss while pregnant.

If you are in between checkups and you notice that you are losing weight, it is important to consult a doctor. Undiagnosed illness can cause severe complications while pregnant.

These complications are in addition to the weight loss.


Stress can cause all types of reactions in the body. Many people have their appetite affected when under stress.

If you’re pregnant and experiencing significant amounts of stress, you can have weight loss during your pregnancy.

Stress affects the appetite as well as the metabolism.

Monitoring your stress during your pregnancy will help make sure that you do not have complications, like weight loss, during pregnancy.

Baby’s Health

Healthy baby during pregnancyThere are so many things that can contribute to your baby’s health. Maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant is one of the key factors in your child’s development.

All women tend to be concerned about their weight, and the thought of gaining 40 pounds is never comforting. The best way to stay comfortable with your new body weight while pregnant is to remember that you are growing a happy and healthy baby.

Just remember, losing weight while pregnant is not healthy for your baby.


How about you? How much weight did you gain when you were pregnant? Did you lose weight during your first trimester?


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