Healthy Pregnancy Diet When Having Twins
A healthy pregnancy diet is important for the growth of your babies and a healthy you.
Being pregnant with twins requires extra nutritional needs even more so than with a single baby pregnancy. Of course this means making the calories count and not having that extra helping of dessert but making healthy choices. Having a healthy diet can also help lower the risk of complications during your pregnancy or the severity of those that may arise.
If you are like me and find it hard to eat big meals, then eat smaller meals more often about, 6 times a day. This can also help with morning sickness during the first trimester
It’s important to eat regularly throughout the day and not to skip any meals, if you are hungry then have a healthy snack like dried fruit, cheddar cheese and crackers, a pot of yogurt or carrot sticks.
Special nutritional needs
**If you have special nutritional needs, for instance you may be diabetic or vegetarian then talk this over with your practitioner to arrange an appointment to see a dietitian.**
A Healthy Pregnancy Diet Should Include:
Protein – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Protein is important for the placenta(s) functionality as well as the cell growth of your twins. The best high protein foods are:
- Lean Beef & Poultry
- Whole Grains
- Beans, Peas & Spinach
- Peanut Butter
- Milk & Cheese
- Though Fish is great for protein it should be eaten in moderation. Also check with your doctor for the types of fish that’s safe to eat during pregnancy. Some fish are high in mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Fish with the highest mercury levels include:
- Orange Roughy
Iron is Essential – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Due to the increase of blood flow, getting enough iron is essential. You may have regular blood tests done during pregnancy to check your iron levels. When pregnant with my two I was very low in iron and I felt very tired, so this could be an indicator for you. Low levels of iron can bring on anemia, Iron tablets can be prescribed by your practitioner.
These are some foods that are a great source of iron:
- Red Meat & Dark Poultry
- Dark green leafy Vegetables like Spinach
- Potato with the skin on
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Kidney Beans, Lima Beans & other Beans
- Dried Apricots & Raisins. Great for snacking on
- Eggs, when pregnant they need to be hard boiled
- Iron Fortified Cereals
For better absorption of iron vitamin C is the best thing, try drinking a glass of orange juice with your meal or even throw in some tomatoes.
There are some foods that will decrease your iron absorption, like the caffeine in coffee and colas, so it is a good idea to avoid these especially while eating an iron enriched meal or snack.
Calcium – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Your twins demand for calcium is high and can be taken from your bones, to prevent any loss of calcium from your bones you will need to have about 4 servings a day, from things like:
- Milk, Yogurt, Pasteurized Cheese. Opt for low fat varieties
- Spinach, Broccoli any dark green vegetables
- Almonds which I loved snacking on
- Soy Milk
- Even Cereals & Orange Juice
Folic Acid – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Getting enough folic acid in your diet is important to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida. You can get this from the drug store over the counter. There are also foods that contain folic acid like:
- Oranges, Grapefruit, Banana, Strawberries
- Dark green Vegetables, Spinach
- Sunflower Seeds & Nuts
- Asparagus, Corn, Bok Choy, Beets
- Fortified Cereals, Pasta & Bread
If you’re trying to conceive you can start taking folic acid beforehand, and then continue during the first trimester of your twin pregnancy.
Fiber – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Twin pregnancies can make many of us experience constipation, a supplement may be prescribed by your doctor but there are foods that are a great source of Fiber:
- Peas, Broccoli, Artichokes, Brussels Sprouts, Pears, Spinach, Raspberries
- Beans such as Black Beans & Kidney Beans
- Barley, Oat Bran, Shredded Wheat & Wheat Flour
- Baked Beans
- Dates & Prunes
There are of course other foods like apples, carrots, whole wheat bread, rice, potatoes with the skin on, figs, strawberries among others that have some fiber in them. You can always check the labels whilst trying to avoid high fat foods.
In fact, we have a whole post dedicated to foods to avoid during twin pregnancy
Water – Hydration – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Drinking plenty of water is important during pregnancy, keep a water bottle with you all the time and just sip away, before you know it you will need to top it up. If you have trouble drinking enough water you could try putting a slice of lemon, orange or cucumber in, it gives it a great refreshing taste.
Staying hydrated helps with constipation and avoids urinary tract infections which can trigger preterm labor. It also helps will replenishing the amniotic fluid around your babies.
Prenatal Vitamins – For a Healthy Pregnancy Diet
Often you will be advised to take a prenatal vitamin supplement when having twins or more. This will ensure your two babies are getting enough nutrients vital for their growth. You could choose a multivitamin that also contains folic acid. Talk to your health care provider with any questions or concerns regarding vitamin supplements.
Have you got any further questions, then check out our Twin Pregnancy FAQs