When a woman becomes pregnant with twins, twice the stress is put on her body as with a singleton pregnancy. Because of recommendations about weight gain during a twin pregnancy, many women who give birth to twins find that they have retained twenty or more pounds after giving birth (I had gained fifty!). Under no circumstances should a woman avoid gaining this weight for her own vanity. It is very important to give the babies the nutrition they need; otherwise, the babies could be born prematurely, which can cause serious lifelong health conditions, retardation, and other problems.
In addition to gaining weight quickly, may women find they are out of shape from extended bed rest or just from limiting their activities. Just one month of bedrest can atrophy a woman’s muscles considerably.
Caring for newborn twins, especially premature ones (as 50% of twins are), is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Most new moms of twins just don’t have the time to invest in exercise during the first few months post-partum. Once the babies start sleeping through the night, and the mother starts getting more rest, she can look into getting back into shape.
One of the most common issues a woman who has given birth to twin faces is an abdominal diastasis. This is a condition where the abdominal muscles that make up the “six pack” you see on bodybuilders has essentially come “unzipped”. Instead of being a firm “washboard”, a woman’s muscles have turned into saggy spaghetti noodle consistency. Doctors can tell a woman if she has this condition.
These muscles are classically hard to tone with focused exercise. However, Julie Tupler has developed a book that details how to address this problem. A link on how to lose your “mummy tummy” is included at the end of the article.
In addition to lost muscle tone, women who have given birth to twins often don’t eat very well. Let’s face it, how many women have time to cook when they are either breastfeeding or bottle-feeding two babies every three hours, changing diapers, entertaining baby, and trying to keep the house uncluttered enough so as not be a hazard? Is it any wonder potato chips, popcorn, and other carbs grabbed on the run are the norm?
A woman has a few options when it comes to eating well. Some twin moms I know swear by SmartOnes or Lean Cuisine meals, which can be popped into the microwave at a moment’s notice. Others clean all the junk food out of the cupboard and stock up on fruit.
If a program sounds more useful, Weight Watchers offers a special program for nursing mothers and post-partum women. I have also had some luck with the Sonoma Diet. Links to both are at the bottom of the article.
The key to getting your body back after having twins is patience and persistence. New moms should be gentle with themselves—their bodies have undergone major stresses and changes, and need time to bounce back. By doing just a little each day, eventually the weight will come off and the muscles will tone up—especially after the twins start to walk and get into everything!
Lose Your Mummy Tummy: Flatten Your Stomach Now Using the Groundbreaking Tupler Technique
Weight Watchers “Bye Bye Baby Fat”: http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/gawi/index.aspx