10 Things Not 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.

If you're expecting twins, don't skip your prenatals. In fact, you might need to take higher levels of folic acid. Don't forget to drink plenty of water and make sure you eat enough nutritious foods. Go easy on yourself and always reach out to your healthcare provider if anything feels off.

Here are ten things to avoid doing while pregnant with twins or multiples.

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Take Risks

Woman pregnant free diving underwater

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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 skydiving, 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

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You've heard the phrase "eating for two" during pregnancy. If you're having multiples, you are literally eating for three or more.

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 about 300 extra calories per baby per day, so fill up your plate!


Eat Too Much

Pregnant woman wearing red vest top eating cakes, mid section

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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

Superstudio / Getty Images

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. Drink throughout the day, not just when you are thirsty. Aim for 8 to 12 cups of water a day.


Exercise Excessively

Pregnant woman riding a bike

Steven Errico / Getty Images

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 a 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.


Drink Alcohol, Use Drugs, or Smoke

Pregnant Woman Smoking and Drinking

JoKMedia / Getty Images

It's never advisable to drink alcohol excessively, smoke, or take drugs, whether you are pregnant or not. When you are pregnant, doing so exposes your unborn babies to toxic substances, raising their risk of birth defects and chronic illnesses. Alcoholism and nicotine addiction are medical conditions, and your doctor or an addiction specialist can help you treat them.


Soak In a Hot Tub

Pregnant woman smiling in hot tub

Anne Ackermann / Getty Images

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.

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 anencephaly and gastroschisis, which are life-altering birth defects.


Clean the Cat Box

Two greyish-brown kittens (Felis silvestris catus) in green plastic litter tray

Jane Burton / Getty Images

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

Tetra Images - Jamie Grill / Getty Images

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 overdo 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

JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

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.

8 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Pamela Prindle Fierro
 Pamela Prindle Fierro is the author of several parenting books and the mother of twin girls.