10 Things NOT to Do When You're Pregnant With Multiples

Having twins, triplets, 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 you can to ensure an optimal outcome for you and your babies. Here are ten things to avoid doing while pregnant with twins or multiples.

Take Risks.

Woman pregnant free diving underwater
Getty Images/M Swiet Productions

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 diving. 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.

Eat Too Little.

Black pregnant woman eating peanut butter in kitchen
Getty Images/JGI/Jamie Grill

You'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 is 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!

Eat Too Much.

Pregnant woman wearing red vest top eating cakes, mid section
Getty Images/Gavin Kingcome Photography

Just because you've got a valid reason to eat more doesn't mean you should pull up to the all-you-can-eat buffet with a wheelbarrow and totally gorge. Yes, you need to increase your caloric intake, but you've got to make those calories count.

Filling up on prepackaged food and empty calories does nothing for your babies... but it packs the pounds on you! Choose the right foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.

Become Dehydrated.

Pregnant woman on bench drinking water, side view
Getty Images/Superstudio

It's not just food that you need more of... It's fluids, too! Your pregnant body needs lots and lots of fluid - water, in particular - to keep your blood circulating. Dehydration can induce contractions and the onset of preterm labor. It's a very real risk.

Exercise Excessively.

Pregnant woman riding a bike
Getty Images/Steven Errico

Exercise 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 activities like dancing or running put strain on the pelvic muscles that hold the babies in.

Strenuous workouts can cause you to overheat and it 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.

Party Hard.

Pregnant Woman Smoking and Drinking
Getty Images/JoKMedia

Of course it's never advisable to drink alcohol excessively, smoke, or take drugs, whether your pregnant or not, 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.

Soak In a Hot Tub.

Pregnant woman smiling in hot tub
Getty Images/Anne Ackermann

Sure, it sounds relaxing, but it's definitely not recommended. Studies have shown a connection between frequent hot tub soaking and miscarriage during 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.

Clean the Cat Box.

Two greyish-brown kittens (Felis silvestris catus) in green plastic litter tray
Getty Images/Jane Burton

They used to 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!

Get Overtired.

Pregnant woman asleep in bed
Getty Images/Tetra Images - Jamie Grill

Your 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.

So 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.

Ignore the Signs.

Pregnant woman timing contractions in hospital
Getty Images/JGI/Jamie Grill

The risk of preterm labor and premature birth is very real when you're expecting 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.

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