You have just discovered that you are having a multiple pregnancy. Whether you are ecstatic, shocked, or overwhelmed, you may have many questions at this point. One question you may have pertains to how much weight gain with twins or other multiples you can expect during the next several months.
Why is weight gain with twins important?
Eating right and gaining the recommended amount of weight is necessary for any pregnancy, but this is particularly important when carrying more than one baby due to the increased 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 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, discuss your specific weight gain with your healthcare provider who will be most familiar with your specific healthcare needs.
How quickly should I gain weight?
Women carrying twins will only gain 4 to 6 pounds during the first trimester and 1 ½ pound per week during the second and third trimesters. If you are carrying triplets, you should expect to gain 1 ½ pound per week throughout the entire pregnancy.
Once again, because opinions vary, consult with your healthcare provider and keep them informed on your weight gain.