Editor, momstown Guelph
If you are carrying multiples, you may need extra folic acid.
Manju Monga, MD, and the division director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, says that folic acid helps to prevent birth defects. Monga, who has twims, recommends 1 mg of folic acid per day for twin pregnancies and 0.4 mg for singletome pregnancies.
It is important not to eat too little, but nor to eat too much.
If you're having multiples, you are literally eating for three or more, and your caloric intake needs to reflect that. That is the equivalent of 300 extra calories per baby! However, just as you have to have more of a caloric intake when you are expecting multiples, it is a good idea not to eat too much either. This means that although more caloric intake is good, that doesn't mean filling up on empty calories. After all, candy, soda and junk food does nothing for your babies; it just packs the pounds on you! Choose the right foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
The risk of developing gestational diabetes and preclampsia is higher in multiple pregnancies.
Since some health risks are increased to the mom expecting multiple babies, statistics show that these moms spend more time at the obstetrician's office.
Excessive morning sickness and extreme fatigue are very common in multiple pregnancies.
It is important to stay hydrated, and drink lots of water (not sugary drinks) during your pregnancy. Getting lots of rest is also important in a mom expecting multiple babies.
Labor (and delivery) may come early with twin pregnancies.
Doctors confirm that twins are at higher risk of preterm labour and delivery and can, therefore, have higher degree of respiratory issues.
Studies show that if you are expecting multiples, you may feel fetal movement earlier in your pregnancy.
Miscarriage and/or spotting is more common in pregnancies with multiple babies.
Spotting may be more common during twin pregnancies.
"When you spot in the first trimester, you could be undergoing a miscarriage, and miscarriages are more common in mothers of twins, triplets, and quadruplets — so we see more spotting in first trimester with multiples," Al-Khan says.
If you are expecting multiples, you should not get your blood pressure too elevated (ie. perform vigorous exercise, or soak in a hot tub), as this increases your risk of miscarriage.
Caesarean births may be more common, because having multiple babies in the womb, increases the likelihood that one or more of the unborn babies will be in a breech position.
It is important that upon hearing the news that you are expecting multiples, you begin to develop a support network. You may well need all the help you can get during the prenatal stages, as well as post-partum!
Since preparing for one baby is stressful enough, preparing for two (or more) is double the blessing, but also, in many cases, double the stress for the parents.
Sit down with friends and family members, and discuss what each person can and is willing to do, to help you. That way, there will be no conflict among the members of your support network. Be sure to take notes, and to write down any contact information for agencies that could help you preterm and after the babies are born (ie. obstetricians, Foundations for Multiple Births…)
This will make you feel better and calmer about having things planned out and in being more prepared.
Lana Kelly( B.A, SSW, ECE, Montessori). For 20 years, Lana has been dedicated to helping children and families. In 2010, she published a book (The Sheepish Lamb) , aimed at building resilience to childhood anxiety. She is a mom to four daughters, and values her faith and family solidarity.