Updated August 03, 2012
Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.
Most people have heard about the weight gain guidelines for a singleton pregnancy, but they also exist for moms pregnant with more than one baby. These new guidelines are actually BMI specific and have been researched and are presented by the Institute of Medicine (IMO).
These recommendations are made from looking at healthy gestations of other twin mothers, using their weight gain records and their BMI to calculate the safest weight gain ranges available. The thing that is absolutely critical to remember is that every woman is an individual. If you and your doctor decide that there is a targeted weight gain for you that is different than this list, then that is what you should shoot for in your pregnancy.
One thing that Dr. Barbara Luke, a nutritionist who specializes in multiple pregnancy, has long recommended from her studies is that you gain 24 lbs by the 24 week mark. This has been shown to have a greater impact on gestation than lower weight gains. Though when many moms look at this they may be worried.
Many twin mothers only gain about six pounds in the first trimester, so don’t panic and think that if you haven’t put on a pound a week in the beginning that you are doomed. In fact, you will typically gain about a pound and a half in both the second and third trimesters.
Some early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, food aversions or even hyperemesis can make it really difficult to gain weight. If you are having trouble gaining weight it is best to talk to your practitioner. They may even suggest that you talk to a nutritionist to help you figure out how to add more calories to your diet.
Some of the best dietary advice comes from other moms of multiples who have been there. Many of the suggestions are easily employed:
Here’s the thing, make every bite count. Know when you’re having problems and ask for help. Realize that you will have better days and days that aren’t so great. Always talk to your doctor about questions you have, even if for additional resources, like that nutritionist referral.
IOM (Institute of Medicine) and NRC (National Research Council). 2009. Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.