Health in your twin pregnancy

Keeping yourself and your babies healthy during your pregnancy is no small undertaking.  For once, you come first  – so make sure you listen to your body, follow a healthy diet and, where possible, allow yourself plenty of rest.  Remember that this booklet is for information only.  If you have any health concerns ring your midwife, maternity department or GP.

General Well-being
Your body is under a lot of pressure carrying two extra people, and twin pregnancy is very different from singleton pregnancy. Your babies get first pick on your body’s resources, so it will be you that is likely to experience problems before your babies.

Eating for Two or More
Be sure you are getting enough food – of the right kind, and that you are gaining weight in a steady and healthy way. Carry healthy snacks with you at all times (especially if you have long waits for hospital appointments).  Try wholegrains, plenty of dairy and a lot of protein like fish, meat and eggs – as well as fruit and veg.  You could carry cereal bars, oat cakes, peanut butter or cream cheese for protein.

“In the first trimester I found a large bowl of porridge got me through the morning. Later on I needed to eat little and often: a lunch at 11.30am – and a sandwich at 2pm too.”

Jessica from Peckham, mum to Teddy, 5 and Nat and Joss, 3

“I struggled to consume enough calories as I don’t suppose there was much room left with three babies in there!  I made an effort to eat healthily with lots of protein and juices and shakes.  I was on bed rest from 24 weeks and went into labour at 29 weeks when the boys were all born perfectly healthily.”

Rachel from Herne Hill, mum to Sonny, Lucas and Devon, 4 and Roman, 5.
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Tiredness and Lethargy
This may have struck hard in the first weeks of pregnancy, and takes some getting used to. Knowing your limits and planning accordingly can help. The third trimester of a multiple pregnancy is harder work. Take stock of all the things you are doing in your life; pick only the things you really want to do.

It may be best to tell your employer early on, so that they can plan. You will have more appointments and scans than normal, and it’s more likely you will need to take time off sick, or need to start your maternity leave unexpectedly early.  See the help section for contacts for advice on your rights, but any appointments in work hours should not result in loss of earning.

“It was great to be told by another twin mum that the last bit of pregnancy is the hardest part: when they are born it’s easier; really tiny babies sleep so much they do give you a bit of a break compared with hobbling along with a full term twin pregnancy. She was right. I did not want to go anywhere after 32 weeks, and I didn’t want to drive either.”

Jessica from Peckham, mum to Teddy, 5 and Nat and Joss, 3

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