In Part 1 of “You’re Having Multiples!”, we discussed the different types of multiples pregnancies, what makes a woman more likely to have multiples, and the risks associated with having multiples. Today’s article will discuss what type of extra care is required for women having multiples and how a woman should take care of herself during a multiples pregnancy.
How muchprenatal care do I need when having multiples?
If you are expecting multiples, you will need to have more prenatal care and doctor visits than if you were pregnant with just one baby. Just how many office visits should you have? Healthcare experts recommend two visits per month in the second trimester and weekly visits in the third trimester. It’s also important to find a doctor who has experience with multiple births. Multiple birth pregnancies are considered high-risk pregnancies, so it’s important to have specialized healthcare during this time. Ask your OB-GYN for a clinic that specializes in multiple births.
Frequent office visits are important to monitor your health and the health of your babies. Because there is an increased risk for health problems for both you and your babies when having multiples, it’s critical to closely monitor your health. Preterm birth is a risk factor for multiples. Around week 20 of your pregnancy, your doctor will begin to check for signs of preterm labor. A decrease in activities and more rest may be encouraged during weeks 20-24 of your pregnancy to help avoid preterm labor.
How should I take care of myself while pregnant with multiples?
Proper nutrition and health are critical to all pregnant women and their babies.
- Folic acid or folate is an extremely important vitamin that helps prevent spina bifida. Ensure you are getting enough folic acid during your pregnancy.
- Increased iron intake may be recommended during your pregnancy. Anemia during pregnancy can cause extreme fatigue and can increase the chance of a preterm birth. Discuss with your doctor how much iron you should be eating per day.
- A prenatal supplement helps ensure you’re getting enough of other important vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and vitamin C. Discuss with your doctor if you should be taking a prenatal vitamin.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Discuss an exercise plan with your doctor to ensure you’re getting enough activity. You may need to cut down on activity during the third trimester.
How much weight should I gain?
While you are pregnant with multiples, you should expect to gain more weight than if you were pregnant with just one baby. The March of Dimes advises that women who are at a normal weight and become pregnant with twins should expect to gain 37-54 pounds during pregnancy.
How many more calories should I eat?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises that when pregnant with multiples, women should eat 500 more calories than normal per day. Every individual is different, however, so discuss both weight gain and calorie intake with your doctor.
Interested in seeing Dr. Morice for your pregnancy? Dr. Morice is a highly experienced and excellent OB-GYN in Morgan City, Louisiana. Contact his staff of wonderful nurses at firstname.lastname@example.org or (985) 702-BABY(2229).