My wife and I are expecting triplets, but concerned that she can’t eat as much as recommended.

Hi. My wife Cyndee and I are expecting triplets! We’re excited, but concerned that Cyndee can’t seem to eat as much as is recommended in the literature we’ve received from the “Triplet Connection.” During her first pregnancy Cyndee didn’t have any problems with nausea, but this time it is much different (it took 3 babies to make her sick!). Anyway, someone recommended that we try Ensure Plus, so we bought the Wal-Mart brand and she seems to do fine with that as an extra supplement between meals and when she doesn’t feel so well. I know that there has been concern about getting too much vitamin A (more than 20,000 I.U. a day) in pregnancy, but I calculate if she were to drink 6 cans daily and take her prenatal vitamins (Prenate 90) she might be getting 10,000 I.U. daily. She actually drinks about 3 to 4 cans a day (360calories/can) along with eating whatever she can. My question is, “Is Ensure O.K. to use as we have for this pregnancy or do you have a better recommendation?” We’ll be seeing a specialist in a couple of weeks, but she is already about 16 weeks along and I’d like to make sure that we do the right thing early on. Thanks.

WOW! Don’t know the Wal-Mart brand, but Ensure Plus is good. If you check the Wal-Mart Nutrition Facts label against an Ensure label and the percent RDAs are the same, the Wal-Mart brand is probably OK. Also, read the list of ingredients which should be mostly milk products, sugar, oil (to increase the calories) and added vitamins.

You are right about the excess Vitamin A. Most prenatal vitamins though only contain folic acid, iron, and vitamin C to improve iron absorption. Most medically recommended liquid supplements have 100% of the RDA in 1800 calories or about 1200 ml (or about 8 cups). So between pre-natal vitamins, liquid supplements, and her regular food, she is probably OK as long as she doesn’t take beta-carotene or another Vitamin A supplement.

Check out the Healthy Body Calculator. It will calculate the calories Cyndee needs for pregnancy and predict a healthy weight gain. However, I do not know how the calorie needs increase with multiple babies. Also if she decides to breastfeed, it will calculate the calories for lactation. But again, I don’t know how the calorie needs increase with breastfeeding multiple babies. An average baby consumes about 1 quart of breast milk per day.