As with all pregnancies it is very important to look after yourself while pregnant. Here are some tips and advice on nutrition and lifestyle during your twin pregnancy:
One bonus to a twin pregnancy is that you get to eat a lot! During a twin pregnancy you should be eating roughly one and a half times more than a singleton, so enjoy! There is evidence which supports a correlation between higher maternal weight gain and better birth outcomes. I know I ate a lot with my twin pregnancy, and I got to full term.
During the 1st 3 months it is very important to eat food with a high nutritional value, as the babies are looking for nutrients rather than fat. If you suffer from lots of nausea and vomiting in the 1st 3 months, don’t panic, because if you are not eating, the babies will take the nutrients from your body’s supply. However, it is vital that you take folic acid supplements as recommended for all pregnancies.
If you would like to know the number of calories you should roughly be consuming, the advice varies depending on what you read, but somewhere around 2800 to 3400 calories a day could be used as a guide. However, I believe the most important thing you can do, rather than calorie count is be sensible and listen to your body, if you are feeling hungry, there may be a good reason.
- Do eat lots of fruit and veg – may help prevent pre-eclampsia
- Do eat a variety of food
- Do drink lots of fluid – 8 glasses a day
- Do take folic acid supplements – the recommended level of folic acid is 400mcg for the first 12 weeks, check with your doctor or midwife if you would like to take other multivitamin supplements.
- Do eat little and often (instead of 3 large meals)
- Carry with you lots of healthy snacks eg. bananas, fruit, cereal bars, veg sticks
- Do ensure you are eating enough iron in your diet eg, red meat, wholemeal bread, green vegetables
- Don’t eat food rich in vitamin A (eg liver or pate)
- Don’t eat raw eggs, raw meat, raw poultry or unpasteurised milk
- Don’t eat unpasteurised cheese or blue-veined cheese eg brie, Stilton
- Don’t drink too much caffeine
- Don’t eat unwashed fruit or veg
- Don’t eat peanuts (if you or your baby’s father has a history of asthma or allergies)
During your twin pregnancy it is not only important to think about your diet, creating a healthy lifestyle is also important. Here is some advice to help:
- Gentle exercise will help ease tension and help to maintain a good muscle tone which will assist you during labour eg swimming, walking, yoga, dancing. However it is very important to listen to your body and if you feel any pain, cramping or shortness of breath stop and speak to your midwife or doctor
- No smoking
- Get as much rest and sleep as you can
- Pelvic floor exercises are very important! It is recommended to tighten the muscles around your vagina and anus, count to 5, then relax and repeat this 5 times and then repeat this process 5 or more times a day.
- Talk to your partner, friends or family to help ease any anxieties, fears, stresses and emotions (as it is a huge emotional rollercoaster of a journey you are on!)