Soon after we found out we were expecting twins I immediately reached out to one of my friends and co-workers, Ellen, who has 18 month old twin boys, as well as a 4 year old sibling. I figured she would know better than anyone exactly what I was about to experience and what I could expect!
The first thing Ellen recommended was that I read the book, When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads by Dr. Barbara Luke & Tamara Eberlein. I immediately dove in and have learned A TON already. This book focuses on a nutritionally based prenatal program for women pregnant with multiples. It even includes diet and exercise recommendations for the postpartum mother as well as recipes and step by step guidance for each trimester of your multiple pregnancy. I recently went and visited a nutritionist as well and even though she rolled her eyes at the mention of this book both the nutritionist and the book gave the same advice as to how to successfully nourish your body and your babies to a full term pregnancy.
If you are expecting twins, triplets or quads I HIGHLY recommend this book. But to get you started here is a list of some of my top learnings:
General Facts about Twin Pregnancy:
- Women age 30 or older are significantly more likely to carry their twins for at least 35 weeks compared to younger women.
- Adequate maternal weight gain is associated with significantly better fetal growth, longer length of gestation, and higher birth weights, as well as better childhood growths.
- One third of all twin pairs are identical (that’s our girls!). Identical twins share 100 percent of their genes and always are the same sex and have same basic physical features.
Nutrition Goals for Twin Pregnancy:
- Weight gain goal (if normal weight pre-pregnancy): 40-45 lb
- 24 of those pounds by 24 weeks
- 7-9 lb per week
- If you lose weight during first trimester due to morning sickness then those pounds you lost and re-gained don’t count. It’s a total of 40-45 lb from your original starting weight
- Goal is to consume 3,500 calories per day for twin pregnancy
- Eat often! Daily Meal Pattern should include 7 “meals” per day!
- Breakfast | Snack | Lunch | Snack | Snack | Dinner | Snack
- Focus on small, frequent meals as opposed to fewer large meals
- Always eat protein first, then veggies and fruits and then starches
- Always eat protein and carbohydrates together in every snack and every meal
- Goal: 100 grams of protein/day
- I accomplish that with the help of UNJURY – a medical grade protein powder mixed with milk – 30 grams of protein in one 8 oz glass!
- Each meal or snack should contain protein
- Eat a bedtime snack that includes dairy
- As with any pregnancy avoid: alcohol, deli meats, sushi, more than 6 oz of tuna per week, and unpasteurized cheeses