Pregnancy Guide
NHS Choices

Healthy Multiple Pregnancy

If you're pregnant with more than one baby, a healthy diet and lifestyle will help you cope with your pregnancy and give your babies the best start in life.

The advice for keeping healthy in pregnancy is similar whether you're expecting twins, triplets or just one baby. Eat well, take gentle exercise, drink lots of fluid and, if you feel stressed, get support from friends and family or talk to your midwife.

It's also important to attend all your antenatal appointments so your maternity team can keep a close eye on you and your baby.

Healthy eating with a twin pregnancy

Expecting two babies doesn't mean you have to eat significantly more than during a single pregnancy.  However, it's normal to put on more weight than a woman who is only carrying one baby.

Aim to eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.  These will help you avoid constipation as well as providing a range of vitamins and minerals.

You also need some protein foods, such as lean red meat, well-cooked eggs, and nuts and seeds.  Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are important for calcium.

If you feel peckish, it's best to fill up on healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, low-fat yoghurt or sandwiches filled with grated cheese, lean ham or mashed tuna.  Try to avoid foods with empty calories, such as sugary snacks, crisps and fizzy drinks.

You're more at risk from anaemia during a twin pregnancy.  You will be offered extra blood tests and may be offered iron supplements.  Good sources of iron include lean red meat, leafy green vegetables, beans and fortified breakfast cereals.

Read more about healthy eating in pregnancy and foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Staying active with a twin pregnancy

Gentle exercise will help you tone your muscles and ward off aches and pains.  Exercises that won't overstress your joints are recommended, such as swimming, walking, antenatal yoga, pilates and tai chi.

Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly with help your pelvic floor get back to normal after your babies are born.

Read more about how to keep active in pregnancy.

Common pregnancy health worries with twins

It's not necessarily true that you will suffer more morning sickness if you are expecting twins.  Although some women expecting twins or more report lots of morning sickness, others don't experience any.

If you do experience morning sickness, you may find it helps to eat little and often, and to avoid getting hungry.

You are more likely to experience piles and varicose veins during a multiple pregnancy because of the weight of your babies pressing on the blood vessels of the pelvic area.

Pressure from the womb (uterus) pushing your stomach may make you more prone to heartburn and indigestion as well.

You may also find you experience aches and pains, such as backache and pelvic pain, particularly later in your pregnancy.  Speak to your midwife, who may refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist.

 

 


Last Updated: 08/11/2017 13:22:00