Eating for three…!?!? While you might be imagining all those midnight feasts stationed in front of the fridge, unfortunately it’s not license to go on an eating frenzy for nine months (sorry).
The recommended guidelines for weight gain during a twin pregnancy is between 15 – 20kgs. However, managing when and how you add this weight when you are carrying twins is more than just steadily adding half a kilo each week, according to a study carried out in 2014.
The study was carried out in the U.S. on a group of 489 twin pregnancies. The researchers were interested to discover the correlation between maternal weight gain and gestational weight gain and preterm birth rates.
What the research team discovered, is that there is a magic window between weeks 20 and 28 of a twin pregnancy where if not enough weight is gained during this period, there is an increased risk of preterm birth. Interesting hey?
So what does this mean and how do you make sure you are on the right track with your weight gain throughout your pregnancy?
First Trimester (Weeks 0 – 12)
Your primary weight-gain challenge during the first 3 months of your pregnancy is battling that double dose of hormones that can cause nausea like you’ve never known before.
You have nearly double the hormones that make singleton expectant moms queasy, so it’s quite possible that you’ll have more intense morning/afternoon/evening sickness.
Eating small amounts of food can help, so little and often as you can manage it.
You want to aim to gain around half a kilo a week if you can, however don’t stress if you can’t manage that as you can definitely catch up later.
Just be vigilant with the prenatal vitamins and water intake to avoid dehydration and make sure you have a conversation with your GP or midwife about your nausea.
Second trimester (Weeks 13 – 27)
Hopefully by around 12-16 weeks your nausea will have settled down to a point where you feel like eating again.
Now is your chance to really boost your nutritional intake so you are giving those babies of yours all the goodness they need to grow.
If your weight gain in the first trimester was low or went backwards then you will need to try to catch up over these next three months to ensure your babies are well nourished.
Have a chat with your obstetrician to ensure you are on course, especially if your babies are starting to track underweight. This is the time you want to gain the most throughout your pregnancy so add extra nutritious snacks in to boost your calorie intake.
Third trimester (Weeks 28 – 40)
From around your 28th week of pregnancy you should still be aiming to add around half to one kilo of weight per week.
Just remember this doesn’t mean stocking up on chocolate, pies and hot chippies unfortunately.
You should be aiming to fill your body with as much goodness as you can in the form of high quality proteins, calcium and a wide range of vegetables as you are growing two little bodies that need all the nutrients they can get.
By around 32 weeks, your gorgeous duo will be weighing close to 2kgs each and although they will be looking a bit scrawny as they are yet to lay down all that beautiful fat to fill out those delicious cheeks, they are practically full sized in terms of length.
There won’t be much room left for your babies to move around and they will start to make their presence felt by causing heartburn and indigestion so yet again it becomes harder to stomach food. Just try to maximise the nutrition in every mouthful you can take.
In terms of weight gain, from around 32 weeks you should aim to gain around a half kilo per week until your babies are born.
Below is a handy guide to show you the ideal weight gain you should try to aim for at the various stages of your pregnancy.
Don’t stress about it if you can’t manage it exactly as outlined but use it as a guide and discuss any large discrepancies with your midwife or obstetrician.
|1st Trimester Weight Gain||2nd Trimester Weight Gain||3rd Trimester Weight Gain||Total Weight Gain|
|If you were underweight pre-pregnancy then aim for:||3.3 – 6 lbs
(1.5 – 2.75kgs)
|18.5 – 23 lbs
(8.5 – 10.5 kgs)
|17.5 – 21.5 lbs
(8 – 9.75 kgs)
|39.5 – 50.5 lbs
(18 – 23 kgs)
|If you were average to overweight pre-pregnancy then aim for:||3.3 – 4 lbs
(1.5 – 1.75 kgs)
|18.5 – 21 lbs
(8.5 – 9.5 kgs)
|13 – 19.5 lbs
(6 – 8.75 kgs)
|35 – 44 lbs
(16 – 20 kgs)