Beyoncé’s announcement of her twin pregnancy several weeks ago broke Instagram records for the most-liked post. Even Twitter exploded with over half a million tweets within the first hour, congratulating the couple on their double bundles of joy. Life is about to get a whole lot busier for the Knowles-Carter household, but I’m certain if anyone can handle a kindergartener and two newborns it’s Beyoncé and Jay-Z!
Since the announcement, the conversation has moved to the realities of having twins, including what it means for big sister, Blue Ivy, the realities of parenting multiples as well as what it means for Beyoncé’s pregnancy health.
A twin pregnancy, and a pregnancy after the age of 35, is considered high-risk and requires special care in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy and lower risk of developing complications. Here’s what I recommend for Beyoncé and other soon-to-be twin moms.
Trade the booty shakes for sneakers. As long as it’s cleared by her doctor, Beyoncé should engage in moderate exercise every day. Going for daily 30-minute walks is a great low-impact exercise routine. She can even do this with Blue Ivy to spend some extra bonding time together before the babies arrive.
Don’t sleep like a baby. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. Babies don’t sleep! Research shows that sleeping less than 6 hours per night during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth. We’re all excited to meet Beyoncé’s babies but not until they’re ready to come! Go to bed every night and wake up every morning at the same time - yes even on weekends! Massaging your face with lavender lotion can help you relax into slumber. She should also make sure she has a comfortable set of pillows all around her to support her body when she’s feeling pregnancy aches and pains.
Indulge, but be smart. For a twin pregnancy, Beyoncé will have to gain more weight than during a singleton pregnancy. Doctors recommend on average gaining 35-45 pounds in a twin pregnancy compared to 25-35 pounds when carrying just one baby. This doesn’t mean diving into a box of Krispy Kremes, but it does mean it’s important she is eating clean, healthy, higher-calorie foods more frequently throughout the day. Two of my favorite snacks to recommend are full-fat Greek yogurt topped with granola, dried fruit, and dark chocolate or a fist full of walnuts and berries drizzled with honey.
Be on red alert for pregnancy blues. The blues don’t just hit moms after the baby is born. Up to 15% of women experience antepartum depression, which has been associated with pregnancy complications such as developing gestational diabetes and preterm labor. If Beyoncé notices herself crying, feeling down or uninterested in things that used make her happy, she should reach out for professional support to ensure she continues to have a healthy pregnancy.
Forget self-care. When there’s a nursery for two to design and a family that will almost double in size to prepare for, plus a little girl to prepare for her new role as big sister, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and even easier to try and push through to get everything done. But stress and anxiety have been shown to increase the risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. For the days that she feels overwhelmed by her growing family and like she doesn’t have time to slow down, Beyoncé should remind herself that massage isn’t just good for her, it is also critical for the health of her babies.
Listen to your body. With every pregnancy, moms worry if everything is ok with the baby or the pregnancy, whether it’s t heir first or their fifth. It’s only natural! During those moments that Beyoncé worries if the babies are kicking enough or if she’s eating enough, I encourage her to take time to sit quietly, take a few deep breaths and check in with her body to see what it needs. More sleep? Less sugar? More laughter? Less stress? Our bodies carry deep wisdom and will always tell us what they need. It’s our job to listen.
Parijat Deshpande is a high-risk pregnancy expert and lifestyle medicine practitioner who guides women to have a safer pregnancy so they can focus on bringing home a healthy baby. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, visit www.parijatdeshpande.com