If you’re pregnant with triplets, you’re one in somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 pregnant women, estimates KidsHealth.org, an online health and parenting resource maintained by the Nemours Foundation. That fact puts your pregnancy into a special category where the regular guidelines may not always apply. Doctor visits, weight gain and even your pregnancy diet may be different from women who are pregnant with one baby.
In most cases, a growing fetus needs about 300 calories a day to develop and thrive. So you don’t need to eat for three plus you, but you probably do need to add about 900 calories a day to your diet to nourish your growing triplets. If you typically eat around 2,000 calories a day, you’ll need to increase your diet to reach 2,900 calories per day. That means you should expect to gain between 50 and 60 lbs. over the course of your pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant with triplets, you’ll want to be sure you’re increasing your intake of certain key nutrients as well as increasing your calorie count. If you are expecting triplets, increase your folic acid intake to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, consume plenty of calcium to help the babies’ bones and teeth develop, and make sure your diet contains enough protein for the cellular development of three babies. You’ll also need to increase your iron intake maintain a healthy oxygen supply for your babies. Your doctor can help you evaluate your current diet to determine exactly how much you need to change it during pregnancy.
Your pregnancy diet should include a mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Look for foods that are nutritionally rich, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, cheese, milk, nuts and oil and avoid high-calorie foods that don’t have solid nutritional value.
In addition to a healthy diet, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough water to drink. Not getting enough water to drink can cause dehydration and increase your risk for premature labor. You should drink enough water so that your urine is only faintly yellow. For most women, that means drinking between eight and 16 8-oz. cups of water per day.
You may think that more babies means you need to take an extra prenatal vitamin, but doing so is a bad idea. A standard prenatal vitamin should be fine. Adding an extra one to your regimen actually has the potential to cause problems. If you’re concerned about your prenatal nutrition, talk with your health care provider.