Letters From Parents

Since the first edition of When You’re Expecting Twin, Triplets, or Quads was published in 1999, many families have written to me (or posted reviews on Amazon.com) describing how the nutrition and health guidelines have helped their twin, triplet, or quadruplet pregnancies. The letters below are just a few (I’ve edited them to protect each family’s privacy). I’d be very interested to hear your story, too—just send me an email at bluke@drbarbaraluke.com. Keep in mind that nationally the average twin is born at 5 lb 2 oz at 35 weeks, the average triplet is born at 3 lb 10 oz at 32 weeks, and the average quad is born at 2 lb 11 oz at 29 weeks.

“As my twins approach their third birthday, I find myself frequently reflecting on the experience of growing these two little people. I was fortunate enough to discover I was having twins at about 10 weeks...you can imagine the shock of spontaneously conceiving twins and finding out via ultrasound at my very first appointment! Once I got over the shock I began my research, and was fortunate enough to happen upon your book on Amazon. Thanks to the wonderful reviews I read it front to back, and did my very best to follow the guidelines. I must say that it took commitment and dedication, reaching the calorie requirements was really hard...but I did my best! I grew and grew and grew! I'm 5'7'' and pre-pregnancy I was 120lbs...I stayed on track with the weight gain requirements and made a "job" out of healthy eating. I limited my activity as suggested and was put on modified bed rest at about 30 weeks (primarily so I wouldn't have to work, I'm a nurse on a step-down unit...being on my feet all day was cause frequent contractions), so toward the end of my pregnancy I was really able to relax and focus on the job of being a good "home" for the babies. Well, those two decided they didn't want to leave that "home", so at 39 weeks, 4 days, I delivered our twins via scheduled c-section (both were breach so this was the plan all along). Baby A weighed in at 7lbs 15oz, and 20 inches long. Baby B weighed in at 7lbs 14oz, and was 21 1/4 inches long. We were all healthy and well, and went home all together two days later. What success your book brought to my pregnancy and the health of my children. I also have to make a correlation to their health at birth and the fact that they have remained very healthy since, and have also been without any developmental or learning delays that I have seen so frequently diagnosed with twins.

I can't imagine how many success stories are emailed to you each day, but I just thought I would take the time to share and say thanks. I recommend your book to anyone I come in contact with that is expecting twins. Thank you so much for putting such relevant and important information in one place, and taking the time to compile all of your research so a scared/shocked/clueless expectant MOM like me can have such a wonderful resource.

Thank you for all the work that you do and the information that you share!”
“I would like to thank you for your excellent book. I read it immediately after conceiving twins spontaneously. I remember feeling a bit scared about the work ahead of me, and then feeling empowered by all the information you share. You helped me changed my lifestyle - a marathon runner, vegetarian with a very demanding job - with the goal of carrying my twins as long as I could. As an active, hard working person I had difficulty slowing down, but on your recommendation I stopped working long hours and my husband reworked his schedule so he could be home more often to take care of me. The weight gain requirements were extremely eye-opening. I worked hard to gain 20 lbs by 20 weeks, which I achieved by giving up my vegetarian lifestyle of 15 years and by walking or swimming for exercise when I was up to it. I carried to 38 weeks and gained 55 lbs by the end. I went into labor at 38 weeks exactly and after 21 hours of labor had a c-section. I remembered your stories about how sometimes you have to change course during labor and it helped me make my decision. I delivered healthy boy/girl twins weighing 7lbs 7oz/6lbs 7oz. After the doctor made the incision she cried out "These are huge babies!" While I was in the hospital the nurses kept coming by to see the woman who had delivered these large twins (and they were surprised - I'm 5'2" and petite). Because I carried my twins so long they were born with great sucking abilities, and now at 6 months I still exclusively breastfeed. And while I was worried all that weight I gained wouldn't come off, I lost the first 45 within 2 weeks of delivery. I really want to thank you for writing such a no-nonsense book that is full of information. I recommend it to everyone I know pregnant with twins. Thank you for teaching me how to take great care of myself during my pregnancy, and in turn, helping me deliver healthy twins.”  
“Just wanted to say thanks so much for writing this book. As soon as I found out I was carrying triplets I bought this book and followed all the healthy tips especially drinking lots of water and eating healthy. I used many of the recipes in the book. I had no complications during my pregnancy and I had my babies on my scheduled c-section date at 36 weeks 2 days. My babies were born healthy and at healthy weights of 6 lbs 5 oz, 5 lbs 7 oz and 5 lbs 6 oz. My babies spent no time in the NICU and came home with me when I was released from the hospital. Thanks so much for this book and it's a must have for mothers pregnant with multiples.”  
“…Here is my letter of thanks to you. At 39 years of age, I found myself pregnant with twins—a surprise after three singletons. I took your research to heart and worked very hard to drink water, eat lots of protein, took my One-A-Day multivitamins, and vitamins C & E, omega-3s, and got lots of rest. Also, the major point of gaining weight early. I tried my best and I think your plan made the difference in the health of my twins. Thanks to your work, I gave birth at 37 weeks to healthy boy/girl twins weighing 7 lb 8 oz and 7 lb 5 oz. I had no trouble with high blood pressure, diabetes, or preeclampsia. I truly do credit your book for my successful pregnancy, and I recommend it to every woman I meet who is expecting twins. Thank you for the work that you do. Now, at 21 months, my babies are doing wonderfully. every day is filled with surprises as their development skyrockets. Vocabulary, sentences, problem-solving, empathy, humor... It is all amazing to watch.”  
“…I just wanted to tell you how much I value your book. When I first found out I was pregnant with twins at the "advanced maternal age" of 35, I was scared of what lay ahead and searched for a book to advise me through the pregnancy. It is because of following the advice given in your book that I recently delivered my fraternal boy twins via a planned C-section at 38 weeks, without any premature labor, at birthweights of 6 lbs 8 oz. and 6 lbs 5 oz. Thank you so much for writing this book! I referred to it almost every day of the pregnancy and will recommend it to anyone else who is expecting multiples.”  
“…We just wanted to forward a note of thanks. We found out that we were expecting triplets early on through IVF and picked up her book. It really made us focus on diet, eating the right quantities, getting the right calories, drinking a ton of water, and increasing weight. Between the countless high risk appointments, no one brought up the importance of the diet. We delivered via c-section at 35 weeks and 2 days--- not because of pre-term labor but because it was just getting too painful. The babies were born at 5lbs 12 oz, 5lbs 4oz and 4lbs 9.6oz. The smallest one was in the NICU because of a little fluid but was released within two days to the nursery. All three babies came home with us four days later during the regular discharge process. Thanks again for this excellent resource.”  
“…This is a note in praise of Dr Luke's book and her diet.  I closely followed the diet laid out for a healthy triplet pregnancy and managed to go a full 36 weeks with my triplets.  They weighed in at 6 lb 8 oz, 5 lb 12oz and 5 lb 7 oz, and had no health issues—they came home with me after just four days rooming in with me at the hospital.  No NICU time, no tubes, nothing - they were perfectly healthy little ones.  I had an amazingly helpful maternal fetal medicine doctor, who after some educating on my part, signed on to support me in using Dr Luke's diet.  I gained a total of 81 pounds over the 36 weeks and after just 5 months, only have 7 of it left to lose.  My iron levels stayed high through the pregnancy and my overall health and energy have remained high.  I am also nursing my babies and feel that Dr Luke's diet started me off on the right foot with nutrition stores and energy to tackle that challenge as well.  I do give this diet credit for my success story.  Thank you SO much for your part in my amazing little blessings.”  
“…I wanted to just send you a brief but very sincere thank you. Your book was recommended to me six years ago when I was carrying triplets.  I feel that our trio, carried to 34 weeks and 4 days and born at 4 lbs 9 oz; 4 lbs 11 oz; and 4 lbs 12 oz, were born healthy and strong and requiring little but feed and grow time due, in large part, to your recommendations on diet for higher order multiple pregnancies.  My ob and perinatologist regarded the nutrition as almost a non-issue, but I worked closely with a nutritionist and insisted that we follow your recommendations as much as possible (while controlling gestational diabetes).  Thank you so much!  My children are thriving!”  
“…My twins were born 12 months ago, big and healthy!! I wanted to THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the advice you give in your book. When I learned I was pregnant with twins, I was terrified: my 2 older children, even though perfectly healthy, were born IUGR at 4lb 4oz and 3 lb 15 oz. Everyday I tried to eat the "Top 25 Food All-Stars" listed in your guide. Eggs and smoothies were my best friends and helped me gain 50 lbs (I am now back to my petite 95lbs)!! I asked my OB-Gyn to be on maternal leave at 26 weeks which allowed me to rest as much as I could. My husband and friends helped a lot and at 37 weeks my twin boys were born via c-section weighing respectively 5 lb 4 oz and 5 lb 8 oz!! They are good, happy babies, I am blessed.”  
“…I have been wanting to thank you for your book's guidance on my multiple pregnancy!! At first I was incredibly insecure about my nutrition. I had no clue what was needed for my pregnancy and spent hours searching for information. A close friend of mine found your book and I bought it as an e-book!! Best investment ever!! I gave birth at 34 weeks to identical boys weighing 5 lbs 4 oz and 4 lbs 3 oz and a girl, 4 lbs 7 oz. My little superstars wowed the nurses and doctors with perfect Apgar scores and no need for additional oxygen! I never could eat all the 4000 calories but I sure did try!! I gained 77 pounds for my pregnancy and I am only 7 pounds more than I started now (my kids are 14 months). Also I started getting contractions at 20 weeks so your advice helped me deal with my unease about it. My doctor was very blasé about your book. She just said that if I was ok with gaining a whole bunch of weight it's a great book, but when my babies were born she was over the moon at how healthy they were!! I hope all multiple pregnancies follow your golden advice!! Thank you!!”