Mums are really great at looking after everyone. Everyone but themselves that is. You tend to put everyone else first and leave yourself for last. But when you are pregnant with twins, looking after your babies actually means looking after yourself.
It is really important to maintain your health during pregnancy. Your body is already doing a lot by growing tiny humans, so you don’t want it to have to work harder than necessary. Take note of these tips to manage your health and twin pregnancy symptoms.
Managing Your Health
We have already discussed the fact that a twin pregnancy is considered higher risk than a single pregnancy, so it is doubly important to keep an eye on your health. The odds of having a healthy pregnancy increase when you make an effort to take care of yourself…
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of staying healthy during your pregnancy. So, ensure that you maintain a balanced diet even on those days that you aren’t feeling so great. Limit the amount of sugar you consume and eat a variety of foods that give you protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Foods like cheese, milk, meat, eggs, nuts and healthy oils will all fuel the growth of your babies. Then compliment those items with lots of fruit, veg and whole grains.
It is recommended that you slightly increase your calorie intake for a twin pregnancy, generally around 300 calories per baby. But just remember that not all calories are created equally. As we already mentioned, you should aim for healthy balanced diet. Try to eat 5 small meals a day, even if you are not overly hungry. It helps to keep your blood sugar balanced and your energy stream constant.
You can read more about Nutrition requirements during your Twin Pregnancy here.
Prenatal vitamins are important with any pregnancy as they help your body get the nutrients it needs. You do not need to take a special formulation because you are carrying more than one baby. Using a supplement is the best way to ensure your body gets the right amount of folic acid, iron and calcium. These are key nutrients your body requires during pregnancy.
Twin pregnancies are at a higher risk of iron deficiency and anemia, so ensure your LMC checks your iron levels. Calcium is important as it not only helps your baby grow strong bones, but it also helps grow a healthy heart, nerves, muscles and blood clotting abilities. Folic acid has been proven to lower the risk of certain birth defects. So ask your LMC about the best prenatal vitamin to cover all of these nutrients.
Dehydration is a real risk with a twin pregnancy as it can increase your risk of premature labour and early delivery. So you need to make sure you are drinking lots of water. Never go anywhere without your trusty water bottle and make sure you sip it all day long.
With an increased water intake, you will have increased trips to the bathroom. But this is a good way to check your fluid levels. If you are drinking enough then your urine will be clear or pale yellow. But if you are not drinking enough it will be a dark yellow colour and potentially have a strong odour. Adjust your fluid intake accordingly.
Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
You will likely experience some of these twin pregnancy symptoms before your babies arrive. Here is how you can manage them.
Morning sickness is common in any pregnancy and can really knock you about. Not only can you feel tired and fatigued, but it also quickly dehydrate you. If you are experiencing morning sickness, then keep your fluid intake up. Give yourself permission to rest of you need to as well.
Your body is trying to do a lot right now. You will probably have to make some allowances for it. Don’t push yourself too hard and allow plenty of time to rest. A low iron count can sometimes result in tiredness, so have your LMC check your levels. You may also find that you need to give up exercising for a while. High aerobic exercise can cause early labour, so stick to more gentle varieties like walking, swimming and yoga.
Aches and Pains
The excitement of twin pregnancy can also bring a few not so exciting aches and pains. The problem areas will be your lower back, feet, hips and pelvis. Try using a wheat bag on your back, take plenty of warm (not hot) baths, use a pregnancy support belt as your belly grows, practice simple yoga and massage. If the pain becomes constant and hard to put up with then seek advice from your LMC.
Remember that looking after you is looking after your babies during this time. Manage all those twin pregnancy symptoms by being kind to yourself and using the above tips to stay healthy.