What Diet Do I Need for a Multiple Pregnancy?

· February 7, 2019
Do you know what type of diet multiple pregnancies require? The answer lies in the nutrients that must be supplied for the fetuses to develop properly. In this article, we'll tell you more about this. 

During pregnancy, a woman needs a superior supply of vitamins and minerals to provide for her baby, without suffering a deficiency herself. When expecting twins, triplets or even more bundles of joy, these needs increase. Discover the diet a multiple pregnancy requires.

Have you ever heard that pregnant women should eat for two? Although this represents a totally false idea in terms of portions, it does make sense to some extent.

Diet during a multiple pregnancy

The diet that a multiple pregnancy requires doesn’t differ much from a single pregnancy. The mother should increase her caloric intake by an estimated 400 calories per day, but in a healthy way.

This means the increase should involve proteins, vegetables and fruits with plenty of nutrients. In other words, don’t increase your intake of processed foods.

The medical community says that women with multiple pregnancies increase their energy expenditure by 10%. These calories need to be replaced.

In addition, women have a greater chance of suffering nausea or vomiting with more intensity because of increased hormonal changes. All of these aspects combine to the point where a personalized diet recommended by a specialist is a necessity.

What Diet Do I Need for a Multiple Pregnancy?

Nutrients needed in multiple pregnancies

It has always been recommended that expectant mothers eat healthy, so they should increase their consumption of vegetables and fruits, as we’ve previously mentioned.

In the case of multiple pregnancies, this recommendation continues to hold true. However, women may experience a deficiency in important nutrients when two or more babies are growing in the womb:

Calcium

Calcium needs increase with multiple pregnancies. Much of it is excreted through urine. Therefore, expectant mothers should consume about 1200 mg from healthy sources, such as milk, cheese and low-fat yogurt.

Orange juice, broccoli, sardines, eggs, nuts and other foods also provide a healthy supply of calcium.

Folic acid

Folic acid represents another indispensable element in all pregnancies, especially in multiple pregnancies. This supplement significantly reduces the likelihood of children suffering from neural defects.

You can take a supplement and also increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables, including spinach, asparagus, lettuce or broccoli, among others.

Iron

Iron is another element required in the diet of mothers with multiple pregnancies. It favors the transport of oxygen to all cells. This represents an urgent need when dealing with two or more fetuses, because an iron deficiency translates into anemia

In addition to consuming the supplements recommended by your doctor, you should eat red meat, eggs and fish on a daily basis. The vitamin C content in orange juice also helps you to better absorb iron, so drink this daily as well.

Proteins

Proteins function as tissue-building materials, which help the fetuses grow correctly. 

Protein helps the placenta to form, so a deficit can lead to serious consequences. For this reason, protein consumption must increase slightly.

The protein should also be of good quality to supply the essential amino acids. Eat fish, chicken, beans, rice and oats, among others.

Vitamins

In multiple pregnancies, it’s also necessary to monitor the consumption of vitamins such as B6, D and C, as well as zinc and copper.

The supplemental dose is usually the same as for a single pregnancy, but eat foods rich in these nutrients to complement your supplements. Nuts, chickpeas, liver, fruits and others contain these vitamins.

What Diet Do I Need for a Multiple Pregnancy?

Gaining weight in a multiple pregnancy

The amount of weight you gain is directly related to the weight you had before pregnancy, in addition to the body composition of the mother.

A woman pregnant with twins may gain between 33 to 40 pounds. A mother of triplets can gain nearly 50 pounds.

Avoid a diet high in carbohydrates and meet your dietary needs with plenty of vegetables and proteins. They provide you with necessary nutrients while helping you maintain the correct weight.

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  • Nazer H, J. (2004). Prevención primaria de los defectos congénitos. Revista Medica de Chile. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872004000400014
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2015). Los embarazos múltiples. Women’s Health Care Physicians. https://doi.org/1074-8601