Pregnancy takes a lot out of your body – physically and emotionally. With a single baby, it’s tough enough, but when you’re pregnant with triples or multiples, this takes pregnancy to another ballpark. All your pregnancy symptoms are worse when you’re carrying multiples. From severe bouts of morning sickness to extreme fatigue to horrible backaches, a multiple pregnancy is tough.
High Risk Pregnancy
In addition to having the worst pregnancy symptoms, a triplet pregnancy puts you at higher risk for pregnancy complications – including increasing your risk of gestational diabetes (diabetes that suddenly develops when you’re pregnant, and then disappears after your baby is born), pregnancy-related hypertension (high blood pressure), uterine bleeding, c-section delivery, and pre-term birth. In fact, 75 to 100 percent of all triplets are born premature.
Did you know that the average length of a triplet pregnancy is about 32 weeks? That’s why you are considered a “high risk” pregnancy when you have three lives growing in your womb.
Lifestyle Modifications when Pregnant with Triplets
Sadly, there is not much that you can do to avoid pregnancy complications when you’re pregnant with triplets. Doctors often prescribe bed rest for women carrying triplets.
Up until 20 weeks pregnant, doctors allow you to continue living your life normally. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will probably recommend that you get bed rest for at least one hour in the morning, and one hour in the afternoon. Your exercise will be limited to casual walking or swimming – not too strenuous.
On the positive side, you can continue working full-time until your body tells otherwise or you display any signs of preterm labor. If you have any signs of preterm labor or other pregnancy complications, you will probably be placed on bed rest to keep your babies inside your womb for as long as possible.
Fun Fact: By the time that a woman pregnant with triplets reaches the middle of her second trimester (25 weeks pregnant), her “bump” makes her look like she’s a full-term with a single baby. (Those three babies are really crowding the uterus!)
Triplet Pregnancy and Nutrition
To ensure that you have the healthiest and longest pregnancy possible, women who are pregnant with triplets should aim to gain between 50 to 60 pounds. Your doctor will help you set healthy weight gains throughout your pregnancy, but as a rule of thumb, the 50 to 60 pound range is the typical recommended pregnancy weight gain for triplets.
Don’t be alarmed at the large amount of weight you should gain, think of the health benefit to your child. Triplets have special nutritional needs, and they need their mom to consume enough calories and weight to meet these needs.
To make sure that you hit your recommended weight gain for triplets pregnancy, you should aim to add an extra 900 extra calories a day. This puts your daily calories to about 3,100 total calories.
(If you’re pregnant with one baby, you only need to add about 300 additional calories to your diet. Women carrying twins only need to add roughly 600 calories to their regular diet.)
While 900 calories sounds like a lot of food, these calories should not come from fatty foods – such as French fries of chocolate bars. These types of food will not benefit your baby. You should get a majority of your additional calories from nutrient-rich foods and a balanced diet.
Eating enough cheese, milk, meat (and protein), eggs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and oils will help your babies grow and develop strong. You should follow the Food Guide Pyramid and this will help you have the healthiest triplet pregnancy possible.
Check out my Pregnancy Nutrition category for other related pregnancy health blog posts, including Pregnancy Food Guide: Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy and Eating for Two – Weight Gain During Pregnancy.
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