Multiple Pregnancy Nutrition

November 4, 2008

You Choose Your Pregnancy Diet

There is one thing you have complete control over during your pregnancy. It is the most important, vital and proactive thing you can do to influence a good outcome for your pregnancy: ensure you are getting good nutrition. It has been stated in a well-known obstetrical medical journal that, "poor nutrition is an often unrecognized and underestimated factor in many high risk obstetrical complications." And, "Multiple gestation is a major nutritional stress." Good nutrition and optimal weight gain are essential to good pregnancy outcomes.

Dietary Needs of a Multiple Pregnancy

As with all pregnancies, there is a need for proper diet and vitamin/mineral intake. There are some very important elements that should be included in a diet for multiple pregnancies as they profoundly affect the health and development of the babies. A multiple pregnancy diet must have adequate amounts of protein, calories, calcium and iron. Each of these elements has a dynamic and vital role to play in your babies' health and by being mindful of them, you'll be sure to include them in your diet.

Protein - The Tissue Builder

Protein is probably the most important component to be included in your diet. Protein is necessary to build body tissue - everything from your hair and nails to your bones, muscles and blood - is primarily made up of protein. Protein also functions as enzymes which regulate chemical reactions that in turn keep the body growing and working properly. They have an important role to play in the manufacturing of blood volume helping to properly nourish your babies. Such good sources of protein as cheese, milk, eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts and whole grains, are valuable additions to your diet to ensure you are getting enough of this valuable nutrient. The recommended amount of protein for a twin pregnancy is 110grams and for triplets between 140-150grams per day.

Calories for Sustenance in Pregnancy

Blood volume increases by 70-80% of your pre-pregnancy rate with twins and more than that with triplets. That's why it is so necessary that you are well hydrated and that you are getting enough protein. It is equally necessary to be sure you're getting enough calories to sustain you. You'll need about 3,000 calories a day for twins. Without having enough calories, you will run out of steam very quickly in your day and you won't have enough energy for building the bodies of your babies. If your weight before pregnancy is high then appropriate adjustment should be made in caloric intake.

Calcium for the Bones in Pregnancy

In the last two trimesters particularly, calcium is vital. In the last trimester of your pregnancy half of your babies' calcium needs will be required for bones. If you're not getting enough calcium, then your body will take it from your bones to give to your babies. This can be problematic down the road during menopause. A twin or triplet pregnancy needs 1,600-2,000mg of calcium per day. There has been a strong connection between hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) and preeclampsia - a very serious complication in multiple births.

Iron Ensures They Have Oxygen

Hemoglobin requires iron to do its job well. Your babies are oxygenated by the red blood cells in your body. Since this is the only nutritional requirement which a good diet does not ensure, you should ask your doctor about a suitable supplement. Anemia is the result of low iron and the accompanying effects are fatigue, loss of appetite and less oxygen to your babies.

 

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