When you find out you’re having more than one baby you may go through a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from surprise and sheer terror at the thought of coping with more than one baby, to excitement at having double, or even triple, the fun! Birthing and raising multiple babies has a unique set of challenges so it’s important to prepare your mind as well as your body. See our top tips below.
- Read as much as you can about twins or triplets and how to care for them. There are some great online blogs and forums written by mothers of multiples that might be useful for you. Also visit the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) for extra support and information on how you can join a local club with mums and dads in similar situations.
- Attend all your scheduled prenatal visits so your healthcare specialist can monitor you and your babies and identify any concerns or the need for extra rest. Having more than one baby usually means the birth will be earlier1 so stay in touch for peace of mind.
- Morning sickness can be more of a problem with multiple pregnancies so try and eat small regular meals, sip on ginger tea, keep plain biscuits or simple snacks by your bedside and have some extra protein like a boiled egg before you go to bed.2
- You will probably feel emotionally and physically drained at times, so make rest a priority and accept any help you can get from your loved ones.
- Because of the possibility of needing extra rest and of an earlier birth, you’ll also be on a shorter time frame for getting everything ready. You might want to finish your nursery and baby preparations a little ahead of schedule. Preparing and freeze some meals in advance is also a great idea as it’s unlikely you’ll have the time or energy for cooking when you’re juggling two or more newborns.
- Consume a healthy diet to keep yourself feeling good and to give your babies the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Your energy requirements increase about 600kJ a day for one baby in the second and third trimesters,3 which translates to around 1200kJ for twins, 1800kJ for triplets and so on. It’s best to make sure these extra kilojoules come from additional servings of nutritious foods like lean meats and fish, whole grains, dairy products, fresh fruit and veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds. As an example, 1200kj is roughly the same as a piece of wholegrain bread with avocado and a piece of fruit. A banana smoothie is another good kilojoule top up.
- Exercising can also help with your physical and emotional health but when you’re pregnant with more than one baby it’s important to take it easy. Ideal forms of exercise for multiple births include swimming, yoga and pilates.4 Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises.
- Consider taking a specialised pregnancy supplement with folic acid, iron and omega 3 DHA such as Cenovis Once Daily Multi Plus Pregnancy & Breastfeeding for nutritional support before, during and after birth.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.