Having twins or more puts your pregnancy into a different category. With so many elements of the pregnancy out of your control, it's important to do everything that you can to ensure an optimal outcome for you and the babies. Here are some things to avoid during your pregnancy with twins or multiples.
1. Take Risks
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If you're a fun loving, adventurous sort of person, you may have to hold back a bit during pregnancy. This is simply not the time to try sky diving, mountain climbing or scuba. Any activity that puts you at risk also puts the two, three or more lives growing inside you in harm's way. With your body busy building the babies, you won't have your usual stamina and agility, anyway. Save the adventure for later.
2. Eat Too LittleYou've heard the phrase "eating for two" during pregnancy. If you're having multiples, you are literally eating for three or more, and your caloric intake needs to reflect that. While it is a great time to implement a healthy approach to eating, it's not a good idea to start a diet or restrict your food intake in any way. You need at least 300 extra calories -- PER BABY -- so fill up your plate!
3. Eat Too MuchJust because you've got a license to eat more doesn't mean you should pull up to the all-you-can-eat buffet with a wheelbarrow. It's important to increase your caloric intake, but you've got to make those calorie count. Filling up on candy, soda and junk food does nothing for your babies; it just packs the pounds on you! Choose the right foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
4. Get DehydratedIt's not just food that you need more of, it's drink too! Your pregnant body needs lots and lots of fluid -- especially water -- to keep your blood circulating. Dehydration can induce contractions and the onset of preterm labor; it's a very real risk.
5. Exercise ExcessivelyExercise is usually considered a "do" for most women, but during pregnancy with twins or more, it can be a definite "don't.' High impact aerobic activity like dancing or running put strain on the pelvic muscles that hold the babies in! Strenuous workouts can cause you to overheat and stresses your heart, joints and muscles. Talk to your doctor about what type of activity is most appropriate for your situation and save the heavy duty exercise for after the babies are born.
6. Party HardIt's never advisable to drink alcohol excessively, smoke or take drugs, but it's pretty heinous to expose your unborn babies to those toxic substances while they're in your womb. You're putting them in grave danger, raising their risk of birth defects and potentially causing them to suffer severe chronic illnesses. Don't do it. Period.
7. Soak In a Hot TubIt may sound relaxing, but it's not recommended. Studies have shown a connection between frequent hot tub soaking and miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. At any rate, it is widely accepted that hot tubbing raises the mother's internal thermostat and can temporarily elevate her temperature, similar to having a fever. That puts the babies at risk for birth defects.
8. Clean the Cat BoxThey used tell pregnant women to get rid of their cats. Now we know that it's perfectly okay to pet and feed your kitty. Just stay out of the litter box. That's because cats can carry a disease called toxoplasmosis that can cause birth defects. It can be transmitted to you if you come in contact with feline feces. You probably won't mind asking someone else to clean out the litter box anyway. Maybe they'll carry on that chore even after the babies come!
9. Get OvertiredYou're pregnant body is working overtime to grow those babies. There's not much energy left over for you to accomplish your daily activities. You'll probably feel pretty tired at times, and it's important to give your body the rest that it needs. Don't over do it. If you're assigned some level of bed rest, take it seriously. Accept your doctor's advice and don't push the limits.
10. Ignore the Signs
The risk of preterm labor and premature birth is very real when you're having multiples. Don't be fooled into thinking, "That can't happen to me." Know the signs
and take them seriously. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any indications of preterm labor: cramping, backache, contractions, vaginal discharge, low pelvic pain or rectal pressure.