Eating Well When You’re Carrying Multiples
Being pregnant with multiples is a marvelous miracle. When pregnant with twins, triplets, or more, getting the proper nutrition does not have to be difficult or complicated. Follow the normal nutritional guidelines for single pregnancies with a few easy modifications. For as healthy of a pregnancy as possible, consider the following areas of nutrition that need special consideration:
Women who are pregnant with twins or more also have increased weight requirements. While doctors recommend pregnant women normally gain 25 to 35 pounds, women pregnant with twins should gain about 35 to 45 pounds, and women carrying triplets should gain about 45 to 55 pounds. Therefore, in order to reach the number or calories for good nutrition, you will need to increase your calories by 300 to 500 calories per day per fetus. Instead of bigger portions and more snacks, Murkoff and Mazel in their book Eating Well When You're Expecting, suggest eating five or six small meals plus snacks.
If you are pregnant with multiples, you will need to drink at least 2 quarts of fluids per day. Try to reach this goal by drinking water in between meals. Dehydration may cause contractions and induce preterm labor. Multiple Birth Resources, LLC suggests if you begin uterine contractions, you should drink two 10-12 ounce glass of water or juice and lay on your side. This will increase blood flow to the uterus and should provide hydration to the uterus in about 30 minutes.
Extra Vitamins and Minerals
Along with your prenatal vitamins each day, increase your intake of vitamins and minerals naturally through your well-balanced diet. Unless your health care practitioner recommends it, you do not need to take extra dosages of your prenatal supplement just because you are carrying multiples. You will, however, need to make sure you are getting 800 micrograms of folic acid daily and a tad more calcium than normal (about 1,600-2,000 milligrams per day). This may prevent preeclampsia. You may need an iron supplement as well because of the amount of blood you must produce to nourish the multiples. Getting enough iron will also help prevent anemia, which is common while carrying multiple fetuses. In addition, a fiber supplement to relieve constipation may be helpful.
Protein is vital during pregnancy because it is important in forming such tissues as blood, bones, and muscles. In addition, protein is important in developing the blood volume necessary to nourishing your growing babies. For twin pregnancy, you will need at least 110 grams daily, and for triplets, your protein requirement increases to 140-150 grams daily. Great sources of protein are milk, cottage cheese, lean meats, eggs, seafood, poultry, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Your babies depend upon you and you alone for nourishment. Be proactive and commit to eating a well-balanced, nutrient rich, quality diet in order to promote the healthy development of your growing fetuses.