What to Eat When Pregnant with Triplets

Eating for four might seem to be an easy task… especially if you like eating! But with the effects of major hormone changes, and the reality of your stomach getting squashed, this task is quite daunting!

As you begin to feel uncomfortable with the weight you are carrying, you are experiencing daily nausea, and you even feel like vomiting all the time, eating is no longer fun. However, you must keep eating because those babies need to grow! So you say what to eat when pregnant with triplets?

Here is the healthy pregnancy diet for those carrying multiples, advised by a dietitian. This plan can help you and your babies get through your pregnancy and gain the weight needed for healthy triplets. 

A Healthy Multiple Pregnancy Diet

1. Dairy Foods or Soy Milk

Eat dairy foods or soy milk 3-4 serves per day when pregnant with triplets

Serves per day: 3-4
Example of one serve is:

  • 1 glass (250ml/8 ½oz) milk
  •  1 tub (200ml/ 6 2/3oz) yogurt
  •  2 slice (35g/0.08lb) cheese
  •  1 glass (250ml/8 ½oz) soy milk with added calcium

2. Meat, Chicken, Fish and Meat Alternatives

Eat 2-3 serves of meat, chicken, fish, and meat alternatives per day when expecting triplets

Serves per day: 2-3
Example of one serve is:

  • 100g (0.2lb) meat/chicken
  •  150g (0.33lb) fish, 2 eggs
  •  ½ cup legumes/pulse
  •  ½ cup tofu
  •  ½ cup nuts/seeds

3. Fruits and Vegetables

Eat 4-8 serves of Fruits and Vegetables per day when eating for triplets.

Serves per day: 4-8
Example of one serve is:

  • ½ cup vegetables
  • 1 cup salad
  • 1 medium fruit
  • 2 smaller fruit

4. Bread and Cereals (preferably wholegrain)

Eat 6-8 serves of Bread and Cereals (preferably wholegrain) per day when pregnant with triplets.

Serves per day: 6-8
Example of one serve is:

  • 1 slice bread
  • ½ bread roll
  • ¾ cup cereal
  • ½ cup cooked pasta/noodles/rice

5. Extra Foods

Have a small amount of extra food like sweet and fatty food when having triplet pregnancy.

Serves per day: Have in small amounts or occasionally
Example of one serve is:

  • Fats and oils
  • Sweet and fatty food
  • Fried food
  • Cakes
  • Potato chips
  • Cream
  • Soft drinks

6. Water

Serves per day: 8-10
Example of one serve is:

  • 250ml (8 ½oz) glass of water 
  • Other fluids like juice, soda/mineral water

7. Iodine

Iodine is important for normal brain and nerve development. Ways of increasing iodine include:

  • Eating fish 2-3 times per week
  • Using iodised salt
  • Taking iodine supplement
  • Taking a pregnancy multivitamin that contains iodine

8. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are needed in high amounts during pregnancy for:

  • Formation of the brain and nervous system
  • Helps with eye development
  • Reduce risk of preterm birth
  • May reduce the risk of asthma and food allergies

To increase the essential fatty acid intake:

  • Eat fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, trout or herrings, at least 2 times per week
  • Include more dried beans, particularly soy and baked beans
  • Eat plenty dark green vegetables e.g. spinach, green peas and beans
  • Include linseed or flaxseed, walnuts, pecans and almonds

Fish oil capsules are safe to take during pregnancy. Avoid fish liver oil capsules, as liver oils contain higher levels of vitamin A than is recommended in pregnancy.

Healthy Plate Model

A healthy plate model for triplet pregnancy

1/2 plate salad or vegetables

  • Lettuce/salad greens
  • Broccoli, zucchini, peas
  • Carrot, corn, pumpkin
  • Eggplant, beetroot
  • Cauliflower, cabbage
  • Tomato, reddish, pepper

Aim for 3 or more colours

1/4 plate carbohydrates

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 medium roll
  • 1 pita bread
  • 1/2 Lebanese bread
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 1 cup mashed potato
  • 1 medium potato

1/4 plate protein

  • 100g meat/chicken
  • 200g fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup legumes or tofu
  • 1/2 cup nuts

Guide for weight gain for multiple pregnancies

Source: The Royal Women’s Hospital

It is difficult to be specific about weight gain for multiple pregnancies. Here is a guide for twin pregnancy:

BMI = Weight (kg)/ Height (m2)

  • BMI 18-24, weight gain range = 17-25kg (37-55lb)
  • BMI 25-29, weight gain range = 14-23kg (31-51lb)
  • BMI 30 and over, weight gain range = 11-19kg (24-42lb)

As a general rule 4-6kg (8.8-13lb) is gained during the first 3 months, followed by 2-3kg (4.4-6.6lb) per month during the last six months.

Weight gain for triplet pregnancy is less clear, but weight gain of at least 16-21kg (35-46lb) is associated with fewer pregnancy complications.

Have you heard about Listeria?

Do you like cold meats, cold cooked chicken, pate, salad, chilled seafood, soft cheeses (e.g. brie, camembert), ice-cream, raw goats milk? If you said yes to these, please make sure you are informed about the risks of Listeriosis.

Listeria are bacteria that can cause a serious illness called listeriosis in some people. Listeriosis is usually caused by eating food contaminated by certain types of Listeria bacteria. The Listeria bacteria are found widely in nature. Storing contaminated foods, even in the refrigerator, may allow the Listeria bacteria to grow.

Pregnant women, their unborn babies, and newborn children, are at higher risk of listeriosis. Listeria is managed by hygienic preparation, storage and handling of food. For more information on making safer food choices and safer alternatives, visit this website: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/publications/Pages/listeriabrochuretext.aspx

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