Eating For 2, 3, Or More! The Real Deal When It Comes To Calories & Weight Gain During Singleton & Multiple Pregnancies.
Eating For 2, 3, Or More! The Real Deal When It Comes To Calories& Weight Gain During Singleton & Multiple Pregnancies.
We have all heard the term, ‘Eating for two’, but when you are pregnant with twins or higher order multiples, does it really mean you are eating for 3, 4, or more. In some ways YES!
You do need a higher calorie diet with each additional baby to prevent low birth weight babies and help ward off premature labor, which can be very dangerous. But does it mean take in twice, or three, or four times as many calories as you normally would in a day? In a word…NO!
How much you ‘should’ gain during even a single pregnancy, depends on your starting weight. Are you underweight, over weight, or average? Of course you may want to put on a few extra pounds, if you are starting out underweight, and a few less if you are over-weight, as the body does have fat stores for the baby to feed off of already.
Yes, you will have cravings, so you will feel the urge to indulge in any pregnancy, and it’s ok..IN MODERATION! There has to be more positive foods going into your body then junk foods by far. This will help promote healthy brain function in your babies, keep your weight gain from sky rocketing too fast, and will be keeping you…the ‘pod’ as my husband called me multiple times, as healthy as possible, which also leads to a faster postpartum recovery…body wise.
You got to think about the health of your babies, and yours as well. One depends on the other. It is FICTION that you need to eat for two or more, meaning double or triple the food intake. You need to take in approximately 300 extra calories per day in a normal singleton pregnancy, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
In a twin pregnancy, if you truly eat x’s3, you will gain far too much weight, and that can lead to health problems, larger then normal babies, and trouble losing the baby weight afterwards. So with twins, an extra 600 calories per day tends to be the norm. With triplets and higher order multiples you will expect that number to rise, but not the average 2,500 calories x’s 3, 4 or, 5! That is not healthy.
In a typical triplet pregnancy doctors recommend an extra 900 calories, while pregnant with triplets. With Quads it would be an extra 1,200 calories, as it seems that 300 extra calories per baby is considered normal and healthy.
Of course, you may have extra nausea and find it hard to eat a lot in the beginning. With multiples the body tends to put on the extra pounds if they are needed right from the start, regardless. I didn’t really eat more then usual at first, and gained about 12 or 13 lbs during the first trimester, if not by week 9 or 10! I was a bit underweight and the body knows what it needs.
Also, it is recommended that pregnant women eat more frequent, smaller meals, per day. This helps with the discomforts of pregnancy. Like getting full too quickly, and feeling ill (nausea). It helps with indigestion and constipation issues. It can also help lessen the discomforts of heartburn, which can be such a pain in any pregnancy, but worse in a multiple one.
Below are the current weight gain recommendations for pregnant women.
(The new information says a pound per week for twins is a good rule of thumb. Like 24 lbs. by 24 weeks, but isn’t always possible, as some women gain early, some women gain evenly throughout pregnancy, while others gain more towards the end, so that is kind of hard to go by.)
It’s recommended that the weight gain for singletons is roughly 25-35 lbs. On the higher end if underweight for your height, and the lower end if overweight. Some women tend to gain less and some more, but as long as your baby is healthy and a good size on ultrasound, I wouldn’t worry. This is just a guideline.
The average woman should gain between 35-45 lbs, though that can be hard for even some mother’s of singletons, so don’t feel badly if you gain a little bit more. I gained more then the high end of that number, with my 1st two singletons. If you are underweight this number may be higher with twins in tow, if you are overweight, there is less of a need to reach this goal. Again, as long as the babies are growing properly, don’t worry so much about what the scale is saying.
The recommended weight gain for triplets is a gain of 50-60 lbs, but I’m sure with bed rest and all, it’s easy to go over that. No worries, chasing after twins helps you lose weight, much less triplets! You will lose it afterwards. Again, healthy babies are key. This isn’t a time for dieting. That can happen AFTER the babies are born.
Quadruplet & Quintuplet pregnancies
There really isn’t enough data at this time to be able to make a proper weight recommendation, but of course it would be higher, naturally. 4 or 5 babies to grow is quite a lot of work, and would take a lot of good, healthy eating, and many more calories then the average singleton mom to be.
Your goal should be healthy babies that are born into this world thriving. You can get your figure back AFTER the pregnancy, but those babies rely on you to help them grow while nestling in your womb, and so pregnancy is NOT the time for counting calories, skipping meals, or worrying about your weight.
After baby(ies) you will lose weight quite quickly, especially if you stay within the recommendation guidelines, and even if you don’t, and if you still have a few extra pounds to wrestle off, feel free to read my blog posts, and watch my You Tube videos on healthy dieting, healthy snacking, losing weight in a healthy way, and browse my exercise videos. (When you are all healed and ready, of course.)
Have a great pregnancy!!