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Should a woman expecting multiples gain extra weight?

Eating right and gaining the recommended amount of weight reduces the risk of having a premature or LBW baby in singleton, as well as multiple, gestations. A healthy weight gain is especially important if a woman is pregnant with multiples because they have a higher risk of premature birth and LBW than singletons.

Women who begin pregnancy at a normal weight and who are expecting one baby usually should gain 25 to 35 pounds over 9 months. Women of normal weight who are expecting twins usually should gain 37 to 54 pounds; overweight women, 31 to 50 pounds; and obese women, 25 to 42 pounds (10). For normal-weight women, this breaks down to about 1 pound per week in the first half of pregnancy, and a little more than a pound a week for the remainder of pregnancy. Women pregnant with triplets or more may need to gain more. Women pregnant with multiples should discuss their weight-gain goals with their health care provider.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women with multiple pregnancies consume about 500 more calories a day than usual (a total of about 2,700 calories a day) (11). Women pregnant with multiples should discuss with their health care providers the number of extra calories they should eat.

Women pregnant with multiples should take a prenatal vitamin that is recommended by their health care provider and that contains at least 30 milligrams of iron. Iron-deficiency anemia is common in multiple gestations, and it can increase the risk of premature birth.

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