You have just discovered that you are carrying a multiple pregnancy. Whether you are ecstatic or shocked and overwhelmed, your head is probably spinning with a million questions at this point. One that may be particularly important at this time is how much weight should you expect to gain during the next several months.
Why is weight gain with multiples important?
Eating right and gaining the recommended amount of weight is important in any pregnancy, but this is especially important when carrying more than one baby. This is important because there is a higher risk of preterm labor and low birth weight in a multiples pregnancy. Weight gain is especially important between weeks 20 to 24 of pregnancy. If a mother of twins gains 24 pounds by the 24th week of pregnancy she reduces her chance of preterm labor. Early weight gain is also vital for the development of the placenta which aids in the passing of nutrients to the babies.
How much weight should I gain?
Weight gain depends on a number of factors including height, body type, and pre-pregnancy weight. However, most women who are carrying twins are encouraged to gain 35 to 45 pounds. Women carrying triplets are advised to gain 50 to 60 pounds. At this time there is not enough information on quadruplets and quintuplets to suggest any guidelines. Because opinions vary, it is important to discuss your specific weight gain with your healthcare provider who will be most familiar with you specific healthcare needs.
How fast should the weight gain occur?
Women carrying twins will only gain 4 to 6 pounds during the first trimester. During the second and third trimester they should expect to gain 1½ pounds per week. If you are carrying triplets you should expect to gain 1½ pounds per week throughout the entire pregnancy. Once again, because opinions vary, you need to consult with your healthcare provider and keep them informed on your weight gain.
Reprinted with permission from American Pregnancy Association