Multiple pregnancies are associated with higher rates of perinatal mortality and morbidity than singleton pregnancies, mainly due to an increased risk of preterm birth. Because fetal outcome is best at a particular range of maternal weight gain, it has been suggested that women with multiple pregnancies should take special diets (particularly high-calorie diets) designed to boost weight gain. However, 'optimal weight gain' in the mother in retrospective studies may merely reflect good growth of her babies and delivery at or near term (both associated with a good outcome) and artificially boosting weight gain by nutritional input may confer no advantage. Indeed, a high-calorie diet may be unpleasant to consume, and could lead to long-term problems of being overweight. It is therefore important to establish if specialised diets are actually of benefit to women with multiple pregnancies and their babies.
To assess the effects of specialised diets or nutritional advice for women with multiple pregnancies (two or more fetuses).
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (15 June 2015).
Randomised controlled trials, 'quasi-random' studies, and cluster-randomised trials of women with multiple pregnancies (two or more fetuses) either nulliparous or multiparous and their babies. Cross-over trials and studies reported only as abstracts were not eligible for inclusion.
We identified no trials for inclusion in this review.
A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register found no potentially eligible trial reports.
There is no robust evidence from randomised trials to indicate whether specialised diets or nutritional advice for women with multiple pregnancies do more good than harm. There is a clear need to undertake a randomised controlled trial.