The Importance of Eating Well During a Twin Pregnancy

Are you pregnant with twins? If so, you'll be interested in knowing more about the importance of eating well during a twin pregnancy. Here are the key points.
The Importance of Eating Well During a Twin Pregnancy

Last update: 07 September, 2021

During a twin pregnancy, it’s important to eat well to meet everyone’s nutritional needs. Keep in mind that in this case, the energy demands are greater than in a singleton pregnancy. The same is true for certain micronutrients.

For this reason, we’ll give you a series of guidelines so that you can adjust your diet if you are expecting twins. By ensuring the presence of fresh foods in your diet and a slight caloric surplus, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Do you have to eat more?

A pregnant woman grabbing fruit from the fridge.

One of the main food myths during pregnancy has to do with energy intake.

You don’t need to increase your calorie intake a lot. What’s really important is that you follow your appetite’s instinct. It’s true that during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, your body will demand a greater amount of food, but there’s no need to force your body to eat more than it wants.

Except in situations of low maternal weight during pregnancy, where the doctor will have already made a series of recommendations to adjust the energy balance, it won’t be necessary to eat without desire.

It’s important to establish an optimal meal plan throughout the day. Five intakes are usually enough, so it’s better to avoid restrictive protocols.

What if you’re not very hungry?

Normally, the appetite’s in line with the energy demands of the body. When this isn’t the case, something is wrong.

During the first trimester, nausea and vomiting may be experienced, so having certain intakes can be a problem for the mother. Fortunately, there are natural remedies to alleviate this symptomatology.

According to a study published in Foods magazine, ginger can be consumed to prevent or alleviate nausea. One option is to take it as a powder dissolved in water. Another is to add it as a seasoning to meals.

Eating well during a twin pregnancy: What you need to know

Let’s take a look at the most important points of the diet during a twin pregnancy, especially in terms of macro and micronutrients. This way, you’ll know how to optimally adjust your diet.

Supplements and vitamins

As during a single pregnancy, folic acid supplementation of the diet is necessary. This is evidenced by research published in the journal Annales d’Endocrinologie.

Ensuring an optimal intake of this nutrient prevents problems related to the closure of the neural tube of the fetus.

However, this supplement is routinely prescribed by specialists, most likely with another iodine and iron supplement. Besides this, there’s no need to include any multivitamin in a woman’s diet during a twin pregnancy.

The calories you need

During the first trimester of pregnancy, energy needs usually remain unchanged. From the second trimester onwards, the requirements may increase by around 400 calories per day, but no more than this.

However, it’ll be your appetite that will determine the volume of your intakes, unless the specialist says otherwise.

Tips for eating well

A pregnant woman cuting up frest fruit.

In addition to the above, you need to have a series of key points clear in order to eat well during a twin pregnancy.

The first thing to emphasize is the need to ensure the presence of fresh foods in the diet. Vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products should be in abundance. However, it’s important to restrict ultra-processed foods as much as possible.

At the same time, and in the same way you should during a single pregnancy, it’s essential that you avoid alcohol and toxic substances such as tobacco and drugs. Caffeine and some herbs and infusions that can be abortive should also be avoided.

Eating well during a twin pregnancy is essential

As you’ve seen, optimizing your diet during a twin pregnancy ensures the proper development of the fetuses. Energy and nutrient demands must be met.

However, you shouldn’t do anything special compared to a normal healthy diet. Just introduce folic acid, iodine, and iron supplements and increase calories a little from the second trimester onward.

However, you must take extreme measures of food hygiene and moderate the consumption of large fish, due to their concentration of heavy metals. Likewise, it’s of vital importance that you restrict toxic substances.

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  • Stanisiere J, Mousset PY, Lafay S. How Safe Is Ginger Rhizome for Decreasing Nausea and Vomiting in Women during Early Pregnancy? Foods. 2018 Apr 1;7(4):50. doi: 10.3390/foods7040050. PMID: 29614764; PMCID: PMC5920415.
  • Valentin M, Coste Mazeau P, Zerah M, Ceccaldi PF, Benachi A, Luton D. Acid folic and pregnancy: A mandatory supplementation. Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2018 Apr;79(2):91-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ando.2017.10.001. Epub 2018 Feb 9. PMID: 29433770.