whats different about a twin pregnancy

A twin pregnancy requires an extra 600 calories per day

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s typically recommended that you consume 300 calories per day, per child, above your typical calorie intake—so that means about an extra 600 calories for twins. This should equate to an extra 10 to 15 pounds of weight for twin moms of normal BMI, on top of the standard 25 to 35 pounds for an expectant mom of one (roughly 35 to 45 pounds).

Twin mothers have a higher risk of certain pregnancy-related conditions

The biggest risk of twin pregnancy is preterm labor, according to Dr. Rosenn, but mothers of twins are also at risk for other conditions. “They have about twice the risk of preeclampsia, and a higher risk of gestational diabetes,” Dr. Rosenn says. With twins, a pregnant mother should expect more doctors visits and ultrasounds to monitor fetal progress and mom’s health.

Twin moms’ hearts are working harder during pregnancy

With that extra weight gain and extra load up front, moms who are expecting twins may feel slower and heavier, and their center of gravity may be more dramatically off-kilter. In addition, Dr. Rosenn says blood volume can increase by up to 70% during a twin pregnancy. “This means your heart is working harder; it almost feels like you’re exercising,” Dr. Rosenn explains. “It is a bigger physical burden in more than one way… Very often, women feel they can’t work as much, and may cut their work hours around six or seven months.” The doctor says a mom-to-be may find it difficult to climb stairs, fall asleep, and do a number of other tasks, so she needs to listen to her body about how much rest feels warranted.