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Your Pregnancy After 35 : More Than One Baby (part 4) - Take Care of Yourself, Your Nutrition with a Multiple Pregnancy

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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 pregnancy.

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 nutritionist.

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