If you’re mothers-to-be and you are tempted by the question: pre pregnancy diet for twins. You will see numerous important information on that topic, as well as tips, assistance, opinions, and answers to be able to questions regarding being pregnant, correct nutrition and diet programs.
When the pregnant woman receives the news of her double or triple pregnancy, her worries multiply by two (or three). One of the most frequent concerns refers to food: Should we eat for three when we expect twins or twins? Are there foods that I should limit? To resolve all doubts about how to eat during a multiple pregnancy strong> we have spoken with Ana Checa, a nutritionist at the clinic that bears her name in Petrer (Alicante). P>
You should consume more calories than if a single baby is expected
In a pregnancy with a single baby, about 300 calories should be ingested more than in a non-pregnancy situation, therefore, when it comes to a twin pregnancy, it would be recommended to double it, approximately 600 calories ”, the nutritionist explains to us. But they should not be empty calories, that is, they should not come from foods that hardly provide other nutrients (potato chips and other snacks, cakes …). Do you want to know what those extra calories are equal to? Well, for example, a couple of apples, a small handful of nuts, and two skimmed yogurts. As you can see, although they seem like a lot a priori, in reality you just have to eat a little more.
You don’t have to gain twice as much weight as in a single pregnancy
“The weight that the mother should gain is a function of the babies that she carries and the initial weight that she had when she became pregnant,” says Ana Checa. Indeed, if a woman before becoming pregnant had a body mass index (BMI) that places her in a situation of obesity, that is, above 30, she will have to gain less weight than a woman who has an adequate weight (with a BMI in 25). In any case, as Ana Checa says, “the weight increases must be regulated by the gynecologist and managed by the nutritionist and will always be adapted in an absolute way to the circumstances of each patient, being percentage very similar in the case of single pregnancies that twins.
This point is often difficult to understand: the cause of this is that the supporting structures of a pregnancy, such as the placenta, amniotic fluid, etc., of course, increase their weight in multiple pregnancies, but not twice as much as much less. ”
Take care of your diet to avoid deficiencies
In twin pregnancies “nutritional deficiencies may arise, but the diet that the pregnant mother is eating will greatly influence. When we talk about multiple pregnancy, more attention should be paid to folic acid, iron, calcium, essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and vitamin D, the demands of which increase in this type of pregnancy “, says the nutritionist. < / p>
It is advisable to increase some foods …
“I would increase the consumption of vegetables, meat, fish and fruit so that we have a correct supply of nutrients for the mother and he drinks,” says Ana Checa. For example, substitute the side of French fries for salad or stew; Instead of dressing the pasta with sauces made with cream or very fatty cheeses, include vegetables such as fried tomato, peppers or onion; When preparing the meat, opt for the lightest, but full of proteins, such as chicken, turkey or rabbit.
… And avoid other foods
In twin or twin pregnancy “it is advisable to avoid foods rich in sugars and processed foods,” advises Ana Checa. For example, for breakfast change the croissant or Neapolitan for a slice of whole wheat bread with tomato and oil. If you miss out on the pizzas, don’t give them up: make the base yourself with whole wheat flour and complete it with natural fried tomato, cheese and vegetables. The idea is to eat a healthy diet so that the babies grow up without deficiencies, while the mother’s health is not affected.
Raw foods, forbidden
Checa emphasizes that during pregnancy “no raw food to avoid contracting any disease that harms the fetus”. There are diseases that are transmitted through uncooked food and that can be serious for the baby, such as toxoplasmosis. It is an infection by a bacteria that can be found in raw meat. Thus, if in the analysis of the first trimester it is detected that the mother has not had this disease, she should avoid uncooked sausages and other raw meats (marinated, steak tartare) or very little cooked. It is also advisable to do without some unpasteurized foods, such as homemade pâté, since it can transmit listeria, a bacteria that can be very dangerous for the baby.
Increases the need for iron
“In multiple pregnancies the demand for iron is significantly higher, so they must be more controlled throughout the pregnancy, performing blood tests to control that iron stores do not drop and iron deficiency anemia occurs,” he says. the nutritionist. “The iron requirement increases in twin pregnancy, since there is a greater synthesis of red blood cells. It is recommended between 30 and 60 mg / dl, if the pregnant woman previously suffered from anemia, the iron doses would be increased “, she adds. P>
You should take more folic acid
In addition to preventing neural tube defects, folic acid reduces the risk of miscarriage and low-weight children, very common problems in multiple pregnancies. Do not forget to start taking a supplement of this vitamin at least three months before seeking pregnancy and for as long as the doctor indicates. Foods such as dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, eggs, legumes and whole grains are rich in folic acid.
Don’t forget the iodine
This micronutrient is necessary for the formation of thyroid hormones that affect the functioning of all organs and are essential for the normal development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. Any iodine deficiency in the mother during the gestation period has negative and irreversible consequences on the baby’s brain development. It has been shown that iodine deficiencies affect the degree of intelligence of the fetus, which can be seen, at best, resentful. The consequences can be even more serious and cause physical malformations and significant psychomotor retardation. For this reason, today all specialists recommend taking iodine supplements during pregnancy and lactation, and in higher doses if there are two babies.
Necessary nutritional supplements
The gynecologist will recommend supplements of folic acid and iodine, and if the analysis detects a lack of iron, he will also prescribe a supplement with this mineral. Also, some gynecologists advise that the mother take calcium supplements, since the needs of two fetuses are greater than those of a single baby. In addition, in twin pregnancies it is common for the mother to have to rest, which favors the loss of calcium through the urine, hence this need is slightly greater in multiple pregnant women.
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