2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
When you're pregnant, you have to eat better and a little more. When you are pregnant with twins, triplets or quadruplets, you have to eat better… and much more!
Every woman is unique and every pregnancy is unique. However, there are general recommendations regarding several aspects of pregnancy. Weight gain is one of these.
He alth Canada has adopted the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (of the United States) on weight gain during pregnancy. This is an update of the guidelines dating from 1990. They take into account in particular the increase in the number of overweight women, but also the increasing number of twin pregnancies.
The following weight gains, based on pregravid BMI, are considered optimal for both the baby – or babies – and the mother.
|Weight category (BMI)||
Pregnancy a fetus
|Thinness (<18, 5)||12.5-18 kg (28-40 lbs)||
|Weightregular (18.5-24.9)||11.5-16 kg (25-35 lbs)||17 to 25 kg (37-54 lb)|
|Overweight (25, 0-29, 9)||7 to 11.5 kg (15-25 lb)||14 to 23 kg (31-50 lb)|
|Obesity (≧30, 0)||5 to 9 kg (11-20 lb)||11 to 19 kg (25-42 lb)|
BMI: Body mass index=weight (kg)/height (m2)
During pregnancy, weight gain is distributed between the fetus, placenta, fat stores, increased blood volume, amniotic fluid, etc. This is why a woman pregnant with twins does not gain twice as much weight as the future mother of a single baby. Then, for women expecting three or more children, there is not enough data to establish desirable weight gain.
The risks of being overweight… and dieting
The new guidelines also stress the importance of meeting with a nutritionist before becoming pregnant, especially if you are overweight or obese. Since being overweight is associated with increased risks of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and childhood obesity, affected women are encouraged to start their pregnancy with a weight closer to normal. That said, all women would benefit from receiving personalized advice!
One of the things to remember is that he is stronglynot recommended to undertake a weight-loss diet once you have learned the good news of the pregnancy. Dietary restrictions could deprive the fetus or fetuses of essential nutrients for their development. It also seems that diets are downright dangerous, since fat loss can lead to the production of toxic waste products for the brains of small immature beings.
Calories, more calories
You are most tired during the first trimester. Yet your energy needs hardly increase. At most, a large glass of milk is enough to make up for the shortfall of a hundred calories. Add fruit if you are expecting twins.
According to the Institute of Medicine, in the second trimester your energy needs increase by 340 calories per day. This represents an orange, half a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.
While in the third trimester, the baby's growth is very rapid, the needs are 450 more calories per day, which is equivalent to 20 grapes (125 ml or half a cup) as a snack in the morning, 60 ml (1/4 cup) of nuts in the afternoon and a large glass of milk in the evening.
In a multiple pregnancy, approximately 300 kcal per day must be added to this for each additional baby.
The best predictor of adequate energy intake is weight gain and rate of weight gain. Medical follow-ups allow, among other things, to follow the curveweight gain and readjust your diet as needed.
Eat more, yes. But not just anything. Quality is as important as quantity. Babies do not only thrive on calories, but also on vitamins, minerals, good fats, proteins, etc. So focus on nutritious foods, while allowing yourself occasional treats.
As fetuses grow and grow, you have more difficulty eating enough. Your belly says “no vacancy”! To cover your needs, feel free to eat smaller but more frequent meals. It is okay to eat six times a day. On the contrary, you and your babies will be better off for it!
Eating enough will help your little ones develop optimally, and help you conserve your energy reserves. Because if you think you need a lot of energy during your pregnancy, it's nothing compared to the energy you will need afterwards, to take care of your kids!