7. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself when you are
expecting more than one baby is the best way to take care of your
developing babies. An important thing to remember with a multiple
pregnancy is to take things more slowly from the beginning of your
pregnancy until delivery.
A multiple pregnancy is more stressful
for your body than a singleton pregnancy, and your needs increase in
many areas. You may need bed rest in your second trimester, even
hospitalization, if you experience complications. With some multiple
pregnancies, planned hospitalization at 28 to 30 weeks may be
recommended. Bed rest at home or in the hospital can help prevent or
stop premature labor. It gives the babies the best chance to grow
because bed rest increases blood flow to the uterus.
Coping with Discomfort
When you’re expecting more than one
baby, your discomfort may be more pronounced; you may experience more
problems, or problems may last longer. When you’re carrying twins, you
get “big” earlier, and you are larger than with a singleton pregnancy.
This can cause you more discomfort, such as difficulty breathing, back
pain, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, pelvic pressure and pelvic pain.
Treatment is often the same for you as for a woman with a singleton
It may be harder to lose your
pregnancy weight after having twins, so stick to the weight-gain goal
your healthcare provider gives you during your pregnancy. Carrying two
or more babies causes greater hormonal and physiological changes in
your body, which may cause you to hold onto the weight you gain during
pregnancy for a longer period.
Exercising with a Multiple Pregnancy
As a general rule, women carrying more than one baby should not
exercise during pregnancy because of problems with premature delivery.
Walking and swimming may be permissible for you, but check with your
healthcare provider first.
If you do get the OK to exercise, don’t
do anything strenuous—stop immediately if you feel overexerted! As much
as you want to stay in shape, you may have to forgo all exercise until
after your babies are safely delivered.
8. Your Nutrition with a Multiple Pregnancy
If you’re expecting more than one baby,
your nutrition and weight gain are extremely important during
pregnancy. Food is your best source for nutrients, but keep taking your
prenatal vitamin every day. The vitamins and iron in prenatal vitamins
are necessary to your well-being and the well-being of your babies.
Iron supplementation may be essential. If
you’re anemic at the time of delivery, a low blood count could have a
negative effect on all of you. Your chance of needing a blood
transfusion could be higher.
If you don’t gain weight early in
pregnancy, you have a greater chance of developing pre-eclampsia. Your
babies may also be tiny. Don’t be alarmed when your healthcare provider
discusses the amount of weight he or she wants you to gain. Studies
show if you gain the targeted amount of weight with a multiple
pregnancy, your babies are often healthier. In addition, gaining half
of your weight by week 20 can be beneficial for your babies, especially
if they are born early.
How can you gain the amount of weight you
need to gain? Just adding extra calories won’t benefit you or your
growing babies, so avoid junk food because it’s full of empty calories.
Get your calories from specific
sources. Make your calories count—eat nutritious foods. In addition,
eat an extra serving of a dairy product and an extra serving of a
protein each day. These will provide you with the extra calcium,
protein and iron you require to meet the needs of your growing babies.
Discuss the situation with your doctor; he or she may suggest you see a