Twins, Triplets And Quadruplets... Oh My!

February 24, 2011

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Pregnant women carrying multiples are at higher risk and have different requirements when compared to those carrying a single fetus.

In November 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published new guidelines regarding weight gain during pregnancy and provisional guidelines for women carrying multiple fetuses. The guidelines do not address women carrying triplets or more, but the provisional guidelines for women carrying twins are based on body mass index (BMI) and are as follows:

  • Women with a normal BMI should gain between 37 - 54 pounds
  • Women with a BMI in the overweight category should gain between 31 - 50 pounds
  • Women with a BMI in the obese category should gain between 25 - 42 pounds

The patterns and rates of weight gain are as important as the total amount of weight gained in twin pregnancies. Research on twin pregnancies has shown that the amount gained before 28 weeks gestation (about 25 - 30 pounds) significantly influences the babies' growth rates before and after 28 weeks.

Nutrition intervention is the only method that has been consistently shown to improve outcomes in multiples, including a decreased risk of premature delivery and increased birth weights of babies!

Enter the Program for Multiples — a new, first-of-its-kind, comprehensive evidence-based program designed for women pregnant with twins or more between the gestatioProgram For Multiplesnal period of 11 - 13 6/7 weeks. The program consists of a half-day consultative services consisting of 4 appointments including a 1st trimester ultrasound, genetics counseling, individualized nutritional assessment and recommended weight gain pattern, and consult with a maternal fetal medicine doctor (high risk obstetrician). This program is designed to be consultative and care should be continued with each woman's primary obstetrician.

What can you do? If you're pregnant with twins or more make an appointment with the Program for Multiples and get your pregnancy off to a great start. You can visit our Program for Multiples website to learn how to self-refer yourself to the program.

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