Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nutrition and Weight Gain while Carrying Multiples

I am learning so much everyday about twins, carrying multiples, and how to take care of them once you get them safely delivered into the world. One of my major concerns was with gaining weight during pregnancy with the twins. I am overweight going into this pregnancy and if it was a singleton pregnancy, I wasn't planning to gain much because it is okay not to with one baby if you are overweight.

I found a great book called "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy." It's all about nutrition and weight gain while carrying multiples. It goes through how much weight you need to gain in total with twins, triplets, or quads if you are underweight, regular weight, or overweight when you start your pregnancy. It then gives you the high and low necessary weight gain for each category. It also breaks it down into how much you should gain by each couple of weeks.

I learned so many interesting things. First, it doesn't matter what your starting weight is, you MUST gain a good amount of weight when carrying twins. For my weight level, I HAVE TO gain between 30 and 35 pounds. I also learned that when carrying twins you MUST gain the weight fast (before 28 weeks) as they don't have as long of a gestational age. Most twins are born by 37 weeks if not even earlier. If you don't gain weight, your babies will suffer much more than a single baby.

Well, this was partly exciting and partly overwhelming because so far I have lost 2 pounds (even though my stomach already looks about 2-3 months pregnant). I should have gained about 5-7 pounds by now. So, I am on a mission to gain some weight. I never thought I would have a hard time with needing to gain weight, but I started thinking it was one and that I wouldn't need to gain more than 15 to 20 pounds.

I have to eat around 3,500 calories, aim to get a lot of really good stuff into my diet each day:
4 servings of dairy
Lots of protein
Lots of fiber/whole grains
Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
Lots of water
Limit soda (it breaks down the babies' ability to absorb calcium and iron)

This is going to be a challenge as I already feel full after just eating a little bit. I am going to be working on eating every couple of hours so that I can still get in the amount of calories I need.

My number one priority right now is these babies. I want to gain whatever necessary to help them achieve an optimal birth weight. I want to be able to carry them as long as possible to help them be as healthy as possible. I also want to stay very peaceful, calm, and rested so that I don't get my blood pressure up so that we don't have any problems. These babies are soooooo important to me already. I want both healthfully and happily brought into the world.

Please pray for me as I carry these babies, healthfully gain weight, and nourish the twins.


  1. I wouldn't 'force' yourself to eat when you are not hungry. You will gain the weight, regardless. I'm 5'2" and I gained over 50 lbs without even trying. Most of my weight did not come at the beginning either.

    I would make sure that the 'calories' you consume are healthy calories, but I would not be regimented about it. Eat when you are hungry.

    Women have had healthy twins for thousands of years without the ability to count calories.

    Statistically there is a correlation between weight gain and premature twins. Too much weight gain is bad and too little weight gain is bad. Resting enough each day is critical.

  2. Thanks Sarah. I am so glad that I have a great friend that has been through this. I have been feeling guilty for not feeling like eating much and actually losing weight. I just want to make sure I do what is best for the babies. I am getting a lot of rest - 8-9 hours sleep at night, a nap if I need it, and putting my feet up during the day whenever I can. I will definitely heed your advice. Thanks!