Proper Weight Gain for Twin Pregnancy
Most expectant mothers do their best to ensure they are eating well and getting enough vitamins and supplements to ensure the arrival of a healthy baby. When there is only one baby in the womb it seems to be an easier task than when two or more babies are due to arrive. Surprisingly, moms of multiples seem to have a harder time gaining the necessary weight - unless they were already carrying excess when they conceived. Now, that may seem like a thing to be happy about, but quite the opposite is the fact. Inadequate weight gain in mothers who are carrying multiples means a tougher time for the babies, premature delivery, low birth weight, smaller babies and other possible problems.
How Much Weight Should Women Gain in Twin Pregnancies?
Eating right is important whether you're carrying one baby or more, and ensuring you gain the recommended amount of weight is equally important for the sake of your babies. The most important period of weight gain is in the second trimester, between weeks 20 to 24. A simple thing to remember is that if a mother gains 24 pounds by her 24th week of gestation, then the chances of a preterm labor and early delivery are reduced. The placenta gains nutrients from early weight gain because the babies rely on the placenta for nourishment and if the mother hasn't gained enough weight, the babies are not being nourished properly.
Dr. Nathan Fox of Maternal-Fetal Medicine Associates of New York City says, "A woman should gain about a pound a week; less than that, and we had smaller babies and more pre-term births." This comment was in response to the question of whether the changes in the updated pregnancy weight gain guidelines of the Institute of Medicine (2009) made a difference in birth outcomes.
The recommendations propose a range of weight gain that is based on the weight of the mother at conception of the twin pregnancy. Their recommendations are:
· A woman of normal weight should gain between 37 to 54 pounds
· An overweight women should gain between 31 to 50 pounds
· An obese woman should gain between 25 to 42 pounds
Negative Outcomes When There Is Not Enough Weight Gained in Twin Pregnancies
When Dr. Fox and his colleagues reviewed 281 mostly normal weight women who had given birth to twins, they found that those women who gained the recommended amount of weight had much better pregnancy outcomes than those who did not achieve the proper weight gains.
Premature birth, usually at around 32 weeks, was more prevalent in women who did not gain enough weight. Compared with women who did gain enough weight during their pregnancies only five percent delivered early while 14 percent of women who did not gain sufficient weight delivered prematurely. The babies of those women who did not gain adequate weight were also underweight.
When a woman is pregnant with a single baby, weight gain does not seem to be a problem. If anything, gaining to much weight can be an issue. However, when there are two babies in the womb things change and gaining weight is a real challenge, and it isn't easy for many women.
Exceeding the Limit Isn't a Bad Thing in Twin Pregnancy Weight Gain
In another study done by Dr. Fox and his colleagues they looked at 170 pregnant women who delivered twins after 37 weeks, considered to be full-term pregnancies, between 2005 and 2010 in order to determine how weight gain affected their pregnancy outcomes. They found that women who started their pregnancies at normal weight and gained more than the recommended amount of weight according to the guidelines did not have higher rates of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia than women who put on less weight. Additionally, mothers who gained more weight had larger babies and lower incidence of low birth weight.
"Not only did we find that it didn't appear to be bad to gain more weight, it actually appeared to be good," said Dr. Nathan Fox.
People Need to Know the Risks of Not Gaining Enough Weight with Twin Pregnancy
He went on to say that, "The public should know there is more and more mounting evidence that in twin pregnancies, nutrition plays a key role in the outcome, much more than we may have originally thought. And that focus on nutrition may help improve outcomes with twin pregnancies."
Generally speaking, twins are born very small, suffering from restricted growth area because of crowding in the womb. Then tend also to end up in the neonatal unit because they have trouble breathing, eating, and they have other problems.
Find out how you can ensure you're getting all you need for your twin diet by checking the articles in this section.