It is such a joy to be pregnant. You are holding a new life inside you and nothing could be more sacred than that. This feeling can get overwhelming especially if you got pregnant for the first time. What do I eat? What can I not eat? Can I continue exercising? We all have these questions.
When you are expecting twins, it is even rarer and more special. This also means double the questions (or multiple if you are expecting more than two!). So if you are pregnant with twins and are not sure what to expect, keep reading! We’ll guide you through it all…
What You Can Expect
Although you are now venturing into the unknown with 2 (or more) little ones, there are a few things you can be prepared for, mentally. Here are a few common things you can expect when you are expecting twins or multiples:
You will have to visit the OB-GYN a lot
The frequency of visits to the OB-GYN by moms expecting twins or multiples is a lot more than that of moms expecting singletons. This is only because moms of twins/multiples need to be monitored closely to ensure both babies (or all babies) are growing in a proper, healthy manner.
Your doctor may recommend increasing folic intake
Folic acid is very important during pregnancy. It helps prevent birth defects for the baby. When you are pregnant with twins or multiples, the need for this folic acid increases by a margin. According to WebMD, your doctor may recommend taking 1mg of folic acid per day when you are expecting twins as compared to the 0.4mg per day for moms expecting only one child.
Pregnancy symptoms may be worse
As with any pregnancy, moms expecting twins/multiples may experience the usual pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, bloating, cramping, spotting, etc. The only difference is that they may have it worse than if they were pregnant with singletons. If this is your second pregnancy and your first pregnancy with singletons was peaceful, you may not have such a bad time.
Baby kicks are NOT felt sooner
One may think that it is easier to feel baby movement when you are expecting twins/multiples. The truth is that the mother will feel it just as soon as a mother with singletons would. Of course, if it is her second pregnancy, she will be able to distinguish it sooner but it will not be any more noticeable.
Do’s and Don’ts
Now that you know what you can expect, you may want to know what you can or cannot do. So here are a couple of do's and don'ts to keep in mind for a healthy pregnancy:
You DON’T have to eat for 3 (or 4 or 5)
The amount of extra calories you need to eat per day depends on your BMI and your nutritional requirements. Even when you are expecting twins, you may just need to consume 200 extra calories. This is equivalent to adding a couple of fruits and an egg to your daily diet.
You DO have to be extra careful
Moms expecting twins/multiples need to be extra careful about what they eat or do. If there is any food that is marked as eat in limits during pregnancy, it is probably best to avoid it completely. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid food altogether. If you want, you can just visit your doctor and ask about all the foods you need to avoid and make a list out of it. IT would help to carry along a list of foods you like to have on a daily basis to see if they are safe or not.
DON’T exert yourself too much
Your body is already pushing itself to give your babies all the nourishment they need. This means that you need to spend your time eating properly, staying hydrated and getting quality sleep. If there is anything stopping you from doing so, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it. As for stress, do whatever you have to in order to feel less stressed out. For example, if you think you would feel more comfortable if your mother was here, invite her over or pay her a visit. Seek professional help if required.
You DO have to drink a lot of water
This point needs to be stressed upon - drink your water! While your body is working hard to nourish your babies, it also needs to be hydrated in order to function properly. If you are not the kind of person who drinks water regularly, it is time to change that. Keep a few pretty and colourful glasses around the house to increase your chances of drinking water.
DON’T eat too little or too much
There is an optimum amount of food you need to eat while you are pregnant. Your doctor will be able to guide you on how much extra you need to eat depending on your BMI and pregnancy stage. Eating less than the required amount would mean that your baby loses out on some much-needed nutrition. It will also cause you to become tired. Eating calorie-dense foods that lack nutrition is equally bad. So eat healthy foods in the right amounts.
DO sleep well
If your doctor has recommended the number of hours you need to sleep every night, she/he is doing so with enough reason. Your body needs to rest after all the work it is doing to keep your babies feeling happy and healthy. Without rest, it won’t be able to function well. So listen to your doctor’s words and get some shut-eye - don’t overexert yourself. Investing in a pregnancy-safe pillow (approved by your doctor) would help you fall asleep faster.