I’ve always said that being a mom is the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished. For the last two plus years since my two little angels arrived every day has been an adventure and a blessing. I love my two little guys, and like every mom feels they are my world.

Although I gave birth to the boys two years ago I still receive emails from other women who are looking for advice on how to stay healthy while pregnant, especially when they are going to give birth to twins. Nutrition for moms pregnant with twins is much more than just doubling the amount you would eat when pregnant with a single baby.

So to help all you mothers out there who are expecting a multiple birth I have compiled the most popular questions I’ve received over the past two years, and answered them as best as I can. These are the best tips on getting the proper nutrition for moms pregnant with twins.

Of course you will need more calories than a woman carrying just one baby. A good rule of thumb is to add 300 calories a day for each of your babies.

So if you are having twins, you should add roughly 600 calories to your normal load, which would probably take you to about 2,800 calories a day. If you are carrying triplets, you will need to aim for an extra 900 calories a day. This will push your daily total to about 3,100 calories.

So if you are having twins, you should add roughly 600 calories to your normal load, which would probably take you to about 2,800 calories a day. If you are carrying triplets, you will need to aim for an extra 900 calories a day. This will push your daily total to about 3,100 calories.

It doesn’t matter if you are carrying twins, triplets, or more, you should eat at least five times a day (three meals and two substantial snacks), even if you don’t feel hungry. Just remember not all calories are created equal. Make those calories count by going easy on sugar and eating a variety of foods packed with nutrients that you need, including protein, carbs, and, yes, fat. Pregnancy is no time for a lean diet.

Cheese, milk, meat, eggs, nuts, and oils will all help fuel your babies’ growth. Fill your diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and at least ten servings of grains.

How much weight should I gain?

When you’re pregnant, counting pounds can be even more important than counting calories. You need to gain plenty of weight to keep your growing babies healthy and nourished.

It’s especially important to put on pounds early in the pregnancy — when your babies are developing rapidly and you still have room to fill your stomach.

As a general guideline, a woman carrying twins should gain between 35 and 45 pounds. Women carrying triplets should put on 50 to 60 pounds. Your practitioner can help you set healthy weight goals throughout your pregnancy.

If you were underweight before pregnancy, you’ll have to put on extra weight quickly to catch up. If you were overweight before pregnancy, you can probably cut back on your weight goals by a few pounds.

Will I need to take a special kind of prenatal vitamin?

This is a question I am always asked.

No matter what may read on the internet you DON’T need a special “twins and triplets” prenatal vitamin. A standard prenatal supplement will do just fine.

A supplement is the best way to ensure you get vital nutrients like folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Your doctor can recommend the best brands and doses for your situation.

Women carrying more than one baby are at higher risk for iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy. Your doctor will monitor the level of iron in your blood to make sure you’re getting enough. If you’re not, they may recommend that you take an extra iron supplement.

High doses of iron can sometimes lead to constipation and nausea, so take to your doctor about ways to avoid these problems.

How much water do I need to drink?

Even if you’re like me and never leaves the house without a water bottle, you will need to start drinking more water now that you’re carrying multiple children in your womb. It’s particularly important to guard against dehydration in the second trimester of your pregnancy, as it can raise the risk of premature labor and early delivery.

Many experts recommend drinking up to a gallon of water, that’s 16 8-ounce glasses, each day. You can get some of your fluids from milk and juice, but your go to beverage should always be water.

Sure this will cause extra trips to the bathroom, but that gives you an excellent chance to see if you’re getting enough water. If your urine has a faint hint of color, you need to be drinking more.

How much should I exercise?

If you’re a healthy, active woman like me with twins on the way you can definitely continue to exercise during your pregnancy, just make sure to check with your doctor to get the go ahead.

I touched on exercising both while being pregnant and after you have delivered your babies in a past blog that you can read here. The key is to keep it slow, relaxed, and gentle. Your body, and your babies, may not be able to handle an intense workout.
Make sure you get plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workouts. No matter what exercise you are doing STOP IMMEDIATELY if you develop pain, dizziness, or heart palpitations. Remember that carrying more than one baby is a workout in itself. In fact there maybe times you have to give yourself extra rest.

Once you reach 24 weeks, you should begin to scale back your workouts and put all that energy into your babies. If you are carrying triplets you will want to take it easy throughout your pregnancy. A short walk now and then is probably okay, but don’t push yourself.

I hope these answers help those of you out there expecting multiple babies. Nutrition for moms pregnant with twins is essential, as is a moderate dose of exercise. I know that occasionally it may seem overwhelming during your pregnancy. I’ve been there. But by making smart choices for yourself and your babies you will have kick started healthy habits that will ensure you and your babies are born strong and happy.

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