Pregnancy and baby

Your healthy twin pregnancy

If you're pregnant with more than one baby, a healthy lifestyle and diet will help you cope with your pregnancy and give your babies the best start in life.

The advice for keeping healthy in pregnancy is similar whether you're expecting twins, triplets or just one baby. Eat well, take gentle exercise, drink lots of fluid and, if you feel stressed, get support from friends and family or talk to your midwife.

It's also important to attend all your antenatal appointments so your maternity team can keep a close eye on you and your baby.

Healthy eating with a twin pregnancy

Expecting two babies doesn't mean you have to eat significantly more than during a single pregnancy. However, it's normal to put on more weight than a woman who is only carrying one baby.

Aim to eat a balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. These will help you avoid constipation as well as providing a range of vitamins and minerals.

You also need some protein foods, such as lean red meat, well-cooked eggs, and nuts and seeds. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are important for calcium.

If you feel peckish, it's best to fill up on healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, low-fat yoghurt or sandwiches filled with grated cheese, lean ham or mashed tuna. Try to avoid foods with empty calories, such as sugary snacks, crisps and fizzy drinks.

You're more at risk from anaemia during a twin pregnancy. You will be offered extra blood tests and may be offered iron supplements. Good sources of iron include lean red meat, leafy green vegetables, beans and fortified breakfast cereals.

Read more about healthy eating in pregnancy and foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Staying active with a twin pregnancy

Gentle exercise will help you tone your muscles and ward off aches and pains. Exercises that won't overstress your joints are recommended, such as swimming, walking, antenatal yoga, pilates and tai chi.

Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly will help your pelvic floor get back to normal after your babies are born.

Read more about how to keep active in pregnancy.

Common pregnancy health worries with twins

It's not necessarily true that you will suffer more morning sickness if you are expecting twins. Although some women expecting twins or more report lots of morning sickness, others don't experience any.

If you do experience morning sickness, you may find it helps to eat little and often, and to avoid getting hungry.

You are more likely to experience piles and varicose veins during a multiple pregnancy because of the weight of your babies pressing on the blood vessels of the pelvic area.

Pressure from your womb (uterus) pushing on your stomach may make you more prone to heartburn and indigestion as well.

You may also find you experience aches and pains, such as backache and pelvic pain, particularly later in your pregnancy. Speak to your midwife, who may refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist.

If you register with Tamba on their website, you can download their Healthy Multiple Pregnancy Guide for free.

You can also find information on:

Pre and postnatal workout

This is a gentle workout you can do during pregnancy and after birth once you have the all-clear to start exercising again.

Media last reviewed: 10/03/2014

Next review due: 10/03/2016

Page last reviewed: 05/06/2014

Next review due: 05/06/2016

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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

User773579 said on 17 May 2013

to say that this is an nhs website i found the info on twins very worrying, off put and negative. after reading this i went to my consultant in a right worried mess and he told me his stats for complications in twin pregnancies and it is not as doom and gloom as this page makes it sound! Thanks for causing me so much worry

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Nika2013 said on 06 February 2013

I am with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and they offer scans for a twin pregnancy every 5 weeks (not four as written above). I wonder why there is different information given here and at the hospital.

BabyCentre also suggests that with twin pregnancies there will be scans every 4 weeks.

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