Monday, April 22, 2013

PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN

The Twin Diet
I have no real complaints about the care I've received from Lansing OBGYN.  Sure, I would like to get seen more (weekly?  daily?  hourly?!), but all the doctor's we've seen have been knowledgeable and kind and have dealt quite well with  my crazy.  I have, however, felt no different in my twin pregnancy as someone with a singleton pregnancy.  They don't see me more often and have no extra advice on how I should take care of myself.  This has never been good enough for me.  I have continued to read a lot throughout my pregnancy and SWEAR by one book in particular: When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy by Barbara Luke.  This book, in my mind, has been a God send.  Dr. Luke used to run a multiples clinic in Ann Arbor and conducted research just on multiples.  She changed a few variables with her patients, in particular, the kinds of food they ate and how much and came up with stunning results.  Patients following her diet and other advice on average had babies at least 30% bigger than the normal average American multiple pregnancy.  Also, you can read story after story after story on her behalf of people who carried their twins a long time: 37, 38, 39, 40 weeks...even overdue for goodness sakes.  50% of twins are born sometime during week 34. 

I have never been interested in needing my mom's 30+ years of NICU services and have always said it was my goal to "cook these babies for as long as possible."  Dr. Luke's research and extensively great results, made me take this book seriously. 

As I read it, the biggest changes I needed to make was about how much "rest" I was allowing myself to get and also about my diet. 

REST:
For multiples, her advice is for all moms to stop working at 28 weeks (which I knew wasn't going to happen for me) and to also take a morning and afternoon nap.  Basically be on partial bedrest.  This did open up my eyes to the life I lead and if what I was doing each day was really what was best for these babies.  Is working 12 hour days really what's best?  Is continuing to stay for this meeting and that meeting and running this errand and that errand after work really what's best?  NO!  So I began to make some lifestyle changes.  Although I continued to get sucked into school, I did make sure that once I got home, I stayed off of my feet.  I began to utilize our Lazy Boy chair like it was solid gold and also went to bed earlier if for no other reason then to be laying down earlier. 

DIET:
For twins, Dr. Luke recommends consuming 3,500 calories a day with nutritious foods and the biggest component to a healthy twin pregnancy is to eat at least 175 grams of protein a day.  When I first read that, I didn't think much of it.  I had never counted protein, but figured with my normal foods I had to come somewhat close right?  WRONG!!!!!  For a day I ate "normal" and counted protein...I don't even think I made 50 grams happen.  The next day, I decided to try to eat as much protein as possible and see where that took me...I didn't even make 100 grams.  Some serious work needed to be done. 

At a work breakfast on a Friday morning, I was talking to people about this protein thing and how hard it was for me to get what I needed.  Luckily, some fabulous teachers I work with have great knowledge on the subject of protein because they have been on super protein diets themselves.  Next thing I knew, I was getting shakes and bars thrown at me.  I got introduced to a shake you could make that has 50 grams of protein, plus 18 more if you use two glasses of milk to make it.  I also got introduced to a protein bar that has 20 grams.  If I were to eat those every single day, that would already get me to 88 grams before eating a single other thing.  YAY! 

So it began....protein, protein, protein.  Protein is used for many to "bulk" up.  Dr. Luke adapts that same thought  with growing more than one baby.  You bulk up, your babies will bulk up too. 

While I never have gotten the 3,500 calories a day (you think that'd be easy too, but not when you have two humans making your stomach capacity small and you're trying NOT to eat cake for every single meal) I have been counting protein like it's my J.O.B. and with babies now over the 70th percentile for weight, I have seen this pay off! 

What's nice about this diet too is that those bars and shakes have a lot of added calcium and other vitamins and minerals I need plus I will be happy to never EVER see those again once I give birth.  I feel like it will be a little easier for me to loose some baby weight because essentially that will be one of the big things I am cutting out.  It would be a lot harder for me to cut out the extra bag of chips or chocolate or ice cream rather than these only sort of good tasting protein magnets. 

If anyone out there learns they are carrying more than one pregnancy, I would SO HIGHLY recommend this book.  I really do believe it has been one of the keys to success thus far.  It also helped me to feel like I was being proactive on behalf of these little miracles and was giving them a different kind of care than they were getting just at the doctor's office. 

Keep hoping...Keep praying...

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