Pregnancy causes many changes to your body, including in your appetite. This is because the growing baby inside you has caloric needs of her own. A growling stomach is uncomfortable and embarrassing, particularly if you are not used to appetite fluctuations. Fortunately, there are several ways to quell a growling stomach during pregnancy.
The stomach growls as the stomach and small intestine walls squeeze to push gas, fluid and food through the digestive system. This sensation increases when the stomach has been empty for a few hours. Pregnancy increases your appetite because the growing baby inside you demands more nutrition, nourishment and, according to the BabyCenter website, about 300 additional calories than you are used to daily, resulting in more frequent stomach growling episodes. Pregnancy also causes your hormones to fluctuate and boosts your metabolism, which often leaves you hungry and your stomach growling.
Eat about five snacks and small meals every day to ease hunger pains and keep your stomach full without overfilling it. Pick foods that are nutritious and fill you up. For example, whole-grain foods and low-fat dairy products will satisfy your growling stomach while providing your body and your growing baby with nutrition. Consume foods that take time to eat, such as an apple or large salad, so that you give your body a chance to recognize fullness cues.
Carry nutritious snacks with you at all times so you can satisfy your growling stomach with something healthy rather than a fattening fast-food treat or vending-machine snack. For example, place a small plastic bag of trail mix, almonds or a few granola bars in your purse. Allow yourself to have your favorite treat once in a while so it’s less tempting to snack on unhealthy foods at other times.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your increased appetite or growling stomach. Although it is a normal response to pregnancy, a doctor can help rule out any other health conditions and monitor your weight gain. Do not use your growling stomach as an excuse to eat whatever you want. Unhealthy and fatty foods do not leave you satisfied and lack the nutrition you and your growing baby need.