It is advised that pregnant women take in an additional 300 calories per day… plus 30g of protein… per fetus. So, if you’re pregnant with twins, this would be at least 600 extra calories per day and 60 extra grams of protein per day.
But for those of us that aren’t the calorie-counting type of people, don’t fret! In pregnancies with multiples remember the two golden rules:
1) Eat ENOUGH food
2) Eat the RIGHT foods
Now when you’re eating enough, make sure the real emphasis is the type of foods you eat. Even though your body is going to need a lot more food than usual, you need to make sure the types of food you’re eating are loaded nutritionally!
It is recommended that a woman expecting twins gain about fifty pounds. While this may seem like a hefty number, most women find that it is easy to gain an adequate amount of weight to ensure the health of their babies.
…and keep them handy (especially those high in protein)
Women pregnant with twins need to consume a lot of protein, both to keep themselves alert and energetic and to enhance the babies’ growth. Almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitos (pumpkin seeds), and other nuts make a great snack, since they are also loaded with other vitamins, including Vitamin E, iron, and magnesium.
Papaya, loaded with protein, is a delicious tropical fruit and a great choice for pregnant moms of multiples. The papaya is an amazingly rich source of proteolytic enzymes, which help enable the digestion of protein. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C. It’s known for its digestive benefits, and is also recommended for alleviating morning sickness!
Keep healthy snacks on hand with you at all times… in your car, in your purse, wherever. Almonds, apples, pears, a banana, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, trail mix.
Have snacks in your home ready to eat such as hard-boiled eggs (think protein!). Eggs are a great food for women pregnant with multiples. Eggs are high in folate, and contain Vitamin B12, riboflavin, and other vitamins. Another benefit of eggs is their fat and “good cholesterol” content. Getting enough fat in your diet is essential when you are pregnant with multiples.
Get Extra Magnesium
Magnesium is involved in MANY essential bodily functions: helps build strong bones and teeth, regulates insulin and blood-sugar levels, helps certain enzymes function properly,and controls cholesterol.
In pregnancy, magnesium: helps build and repair body tissue, maintains heart health, works well with calcium, helps reduce physical and emotional stress, and prepares your body for delivery as it optimizes BP levels during pregnancy and increases pain tolerance threshold. It also prevents preterm labor.
Foods rich in magnesium include: black beans, raw broccoli, fish, Brazil nuts, raw plantains, pumpkin, squash, pumpkin seeds, cooked spinach, dried herbs, organic cocoa powder (dark chocolate), flax & sesame seeds, and whole wheat grains/bran.
Read more about the miracle of magnesium in prengnacy and labor HERE.
Folic Acid, Fiber, Iron and Calcium
Green leafy veggies are high in folic acid, an essential nutrient protects babies against many birth defects, including spina bifida. They are also high in fiber and contain other nutrients vital to growing babies, such as calcium and iron.
Leafy green veggies: leaf lettuce, baby salad greens, spinach, and kale (NOT iceberg lettuce).
Calcium is necessary for the development of your baby’s bones and skeletal structure. Yogurt loaded with calcium, and it is also a good source of protein. To get the best nutritional benefits, try a Bulgarian or Greek yogurt. You can add honey or fruit for sweetness, nuts or granola for crunch, and a sprinkle of Brewer’s yeast for added protein.
Antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Manganese
Antioxidants help our bodies fight infection, and get rid of “free radicals” in our bloodstream. A good rule of thumb is that the brighter the color of the fruit, the more antioxidants it contains. Strawberries contain Vitamin C, a great nutrient and antioxidant. Blackberries are high in maganese, and blueberries contain the highest level of antioxidants of any fruit.
Breakfast protein smoothie: Grab some fresh or frozen berries to your morning smoothie… throw in some peanut butter… some raw, organic cocoa powder… some coconut milk. YUM!
A good rule of thumb when seeking out nutrient-rich foods is to seek out a colorful diet. For example, you want your dinner plate to have a red, a green, and an orange. Learn more about phytonutrients HERE.
So… when it comes to Eating For Three, just think “convenient, nutritious, and delicious“.
Do you have any tips for mamas pregnant with twins? What was your favorite healthy go-to snack?
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