How Many Calories?
In a singleton birth, doctors recommend pregnant women add about 300 calories a day to their diet. But in a pregnancy with twins, pregnant women need to add about 500 calories a day. However, she shouldn’t do this by adding more fatty or sugary foods to her diet–she needs to add the calories with healthy food sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Women pregnant with twins can expect to gain a little more in this pregnancy than they would with a singleton birth. In general, the average weight gain during pregnancy with twins about 35-45 pounds by the end of the pregnancy. However, if she’s over or underweight your doctor may suggest aiming to gain a little more or a little less.
Despite the additional calories, mothers expecting twins don’t need to change their diet much more than they would if they had a singleton birth. in general, experts want you to have the following every day:
- 3-4 protein servings from a meat or a meat substitute
- 4 to 5 dairy servings
- 4.5 to five (or more) cups of vegetables and fruits
- 8 ounces (about one slice of bread) of grain sources (preferably whole grains).
For more information about nutrition during pregnancy, see What are the Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy?
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
It’s very important that women expecting twins eat iron-rich foods since anemia (iron deficiency) is extremely common in twin pregnancies. Iron rich foods include:
- beans (lentils, chick-peas)
- lean red meat
- lean poultry
Vitamin C increases iron absorption, so try to have something high in Vitamin C as you’re eating your iron-rich food. In addition, caffeine and calcium can decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron. Make sure you’re eating your calcium rich foods at a different time than your iron-rich foods.
For more information see Iron-Rich Foods to Eat During Pregnancy to Prevent Anemia.
Take your Prenatal Vitamin
It’s very important for the health of you and your babies that you take your prenatal vitamin every day. If it’s upsetting your stomach, take it with food. If it doesn’t help to take your vitamin with food, talk to your care provider. They may be able to prescribe a different vitamin or may recommend children’s vitamins which are easier on the stomach.