Being pregnant with more than one baby is called multiple pregnancy. A multiple pregnancy can be twins, triplets, or more. Today, twins are born once in about every 41 births. Having twins can bring great joy and rewards to a family. Sometimes, however, it can also pose a risk to the mother and her babies.
You will need special prenatal care with twins. You will need to see your doctor more often and you may have more medical tests. Plan to take childbirth classes during your 4th to 6th month. Ask about special classes for parents expecting twins. If there isn’t one convenient for you, talk to your doctor about getting one started.
When pregnant with twins, you will need to eat more than if you were carrying one baby. Eating well and gaining weight are important for your health and the health of your twins. Your body must nourish the babies and meet your energy needs as well. You will need to eat about 2,700 calories every day. Your doctor will prescribe extra vitamins and minerals to help your babies grow. Anemia is more common in women pregnant with twins, so it’s especially important to take your prenatal vitamins and iron as prescribed. Folic acid is also important for twins. It is hard to get all the folic acid you need just from your diet, so you should take folic acid along with the prenatal vitamin.
You should gain more weight when carrying twins than if you were having only one baby. Plan to gain 35-45 pounds. In the first half of pregnancy, you should gain about 1 pound a week. In the second half, aim for a little over 1 pound each week. If you are underweight, you may need to gain more.
Twins can make you more uncomfortable than usual during pregnancy because the uterus becomes much larger. Resting during the day will help give you energy. Avoid standing for long periods and lifting heavy objects. Talk with your doctor about your job or your work at home. Some women will be told to restrict activity because of pregnancy complications. You may even need to stay in bed for several weeks. Talk to your doctor about what kind of activity is right for you.
Having twins can be an exciting time. You can give your babies the best possible start by taking good care of yourself. Learn the warning signs of problems, and talk to your doctor or nurse about your questions and concerns. It is also helpful to talk with others who have twins. There are organizations and support groups that provide services for parents with twins. Ask your doctor or nurse to recommend one. Having twins is an exciting time, we are here to help! Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.