In years gone by, having a healthy and successful multiple birth was almost unheard of. But with today’s advanced medical technology and support this concern is almost brushed off – after, that is, considering the basic precautions necessary.
The world is seeing an increase in the number of multiple births with more and more women choosing to start a family after the age of 30-35 years old, especially with the easy accessibility of fertility drugs.
Although a healthy single pregnancy is traumatic enough on a woman’s body, carrying twins, triplets, quadruplets or quintuplets need not be an insurmountable task if you take the advice of your doctor and throw in a bit of common sense.
Not eating for two, three or more
As in any pregnancy, the first thing to look at if you are facing a multiple birth pregnancy is your health. Taking care of your health is vital and it starts with your diet, as should be the case in all normal, single baby pregnancies. Remember, you are not eating for two, three or more, but rather you are eating for the healthy development of your growing babies. So it is not actually about increasing your food intake as it is about the quality of the food you are eating.
Just as you would increase your calcium and folic acid intake during a normal pregnancy, so too should your intake be increased for a multiple birth pregnancy.
We all know how important calcium is for developing bones, but we often tend to forget to focus on the importance of folic acid which is vital (especially in the developing foetus’s first three months) to keep the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, at bay.
It goes without saying that your need for extra iron is also an essential need as it’s required to increase the red blood cells that assist the journey of oxygen to all of the babies tissues.
Because protein works to build body tissue, as an expectant mom of more than one baby you will also need to increase your intake of protein.
More than nutrients
But it’s not just these vital nutrients that are necessary. If you are carrying one or more baby you will need to increase your consumption of all vitamins and minerals and this can be done via a healthy balanced diet with added supplements recommended by your doctor. You should always check all health supplements with your doctor while you are pregnant.
Eating properly will take you to great lengths in providing your unborn babies with the best chance in life, especially considering that your gestation time will be shortened. (Multiple births never make the normal 40 week gestation period of a normal, single baby pregnancy.)
But it is an overall view of your health that needs careful attention.
A pregnancy is a great strain on a woman’s body and carrying more than one baby just intensifies the situation. This is why it is so important to get as much rest as possible. Be good to yourself. You owe it to yourself and your babies. Remember – the housework will still be there tomorrow and a couple of glasses in the sink waiting to be washed certainly won’t rot!
Make your babies the winners
Regular and vigilant visits to your doctor are imperative when you are expecting twins, triplets or more such as quadruplets or quintuplets. Get hold of as much reliable information as possible about multiple births – from the pregnancy, through the birth and to taking your little ones home. Knowledge is the key, so ask your doctor questions, and educate yourself as much as you can. As much as this will benefit you, the real winners will be your babies!