Multiple Pregnancy: Special Care
Special care is needed for a pregnant mother carrying more than one baby. If you've recently found out that you are pregnant with mulitples you may be having fears and concerns about how to best take care of yourself and your growing babies. Hopefully, we can help prepare you for some of what is in store for you during your pregnancy.
Nutrition for multiple pregnancy
Nutrition is an essential component for proper growth and development for your babies. You should gain about 40-50 lbs during your pregnancy and about 20 lbs should be gained in the first 20 weeks. In order to do this, a 4000 calorie diet is recommended. This will assure optimal growth and development for your babies. As with any pregnancy a prenatal vitamin with folic acid should be taken daily. It may be difficult to consume enough calories if you are experiencing increased morning sickness. Try eating several small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. Please to take care to make healthy food selections and not just choose empty calories. If you are having difficulty with meal planning or nausea is keeping you from eating properly please work with your health care provider.
Prenatal Visits and Testing
Prenatal visits will be scheduled more frequently for you than a singleton pregnancy. You should be alert for signs of preterm labor and any signs of danger in pregnancy. You will most likely have several ultrasounds throughout your pregnancy to assess growth and development of your babies. In your last trimester, you will likely have testing such as a non-stress test (NST) or biophysical profile (BPP). These tests may be done as often as every 3-7 days or more until birth.
Rest and Activity
Plan frequent rest periods throughout the day. Lying on your left side provides optimal blood flow to your babies. Sitting with your legs and feet elevated may help with any swelling you might be having. Some doctors recommend bedrest at some point during your pregnancy. Speak with your health care provider about any activity restrictions she may have.