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Causes of Weight Loss During Early Pregnancy

author image Sarah Harding
Sarah Harding has written stacks of research articles dating back to 2000. She has consulted in various settings and taught courses focused on psychology. Her work has been published by ParentDish, Atkins and other clients. Harding holds a Master of Science in psychology from Capella University and is completing several certificates through the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.
Causes of Weight Loss During Early Pregnancy
Losing weight in pregnancy is not typical. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

The rate of weight gain varies for every woman depending on the conditions of her pregnancy. Weight loss is not typical and should be discussed with a medical care provider. Some of the early symptoms of pregnancy may make a woman lose a little weight, but as the first trimester progresses she should have gained at least a few pounds.

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Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is the common term for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Whether a woman actually vomits or struggles with moderate nausea, she may lose weight. This symptom of pregnancy appears around the sixth week and ends around the 12th week, as indicated by the American Pregnancy Association. It is not uncommon for the morning sickness to spike before improving.


Nutrition is important in pregnancy. Some women make healthier choices as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. Eating healthier foods may result in shedding a few pounds. Dieting in pregnancy is not recommended, but women who are overweight or obese may be advised not to gain any weight during the pregnancy.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Some pregnancy symptoms may interfere with a woman's eating habits early in pregnancy. This includes aversion to certain smells, tastes or textures of foods. Fatigue sets in early in pregnancy, about the same time morning sickness appears. OB Focus points out that heartburn, indigestion and constipation can occur in the first trimester of pregnancy and continue. While these symptoms don't cause weight loss themselves, they can contribute to a woman eating too few calories on a daily basis.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis gravidarum results in severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss and electrolyte disturbance, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This condition can persist beyond the first trimester. A doctor should treat even mild cases. Some treatment options include dietary changes, rest and antacids. In severe cases, a woman may stay in a hospital to receive intravenous fluids and nutrients.


Miscarriages are most likely to occur by the 13th week of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Weight loss is one warning sign of a miscarriage. Other symptoms that may indicate a miscarriage include mild to severe back pain, white-pink mucus, contractions, brown or red bleeding, tissue loss from the vagina and a sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy. Women who have all or some of these symptoms should contact a medical professional for examination.

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