Health

PREGNANT WITH TWINS AND TRIPLETS, OR OTHER MULTIPLES

Why do you get pregnant with multiples of your child?

Multiple pregnancy is when you have more than one child.

When more than one egg has been fertilized, multiple pregnancy is common. This can also happen when one egg fertilized is split into two or more embryos, which then grow into multiple babies.

The babies are known as identical twins when one fertilized egg is split into two. They are almost identical and share exactly the same genes. Fraternal twins are babies whose eggs are fertilized with two different sperm. They are not identical and don’t share the same genes.

The most common type is singletons. This refers to one baby. But, people are now more likely to get pregnant with multiples than ever before. This is due to the fact that more people have babies later in life and multiples are more common for parents who are over 30. To get pregnant, more people are turning to fertility treatment. People who undergo fertility treatment are more likely to have multiples.

How can you tell if you are pregnant with multiples of your baby?

If:

  • Your breasts are extremely sore.
  • In the first trimester, you may feel hungry or gain weight quickly.
  • Feel movement in multiple parts of your stomach at once.
  • Morning sickness is severe. Morning sickness refers to nausea and vomiting, which can occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your doctor may hear more than one heartbeat, or find that your uterus has grown larger than normal.
  • Your blood levels are high in a hormone called human-chorionic gonadotrophin (also known as hCG) and a protein called alphafetoprotein. Your body produces HCG during pregnancy. Alpha-fetoprotein (or Alpha-fetoprotein) is a protein your developing baby makes during pregnancy.

To determine if you are pregnant with multiples, your provider may use ultrasound. Ultrasound is a combination of sound waves and a computer monitor to display a picture.

If you are pregnant with multiples, what kind of prenatal care is required?

You may require additional medical care if you are pregnant with multiples. Prenatal care may require additional visits to ensure your baby’s safety. To monitor your baby’s growth throughout pregnancy, you may also need additional prenatal tests (such a ultrasound).

Your provider may refer you to a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine if you have had any pregnancy complications or are at high risk. This specialist is trained in high-risk pregnancies. You are more likely to have problems during your pregnancy than the average pregnant woman. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have problems during your pregnancy if you are referred to this doctor. This is just to make sure they are more attentive in checking you and your babies for any possible conditions.

What can multiple pregnancies do to your health?

These complications are more common for women who are pregnant with multiples.

  • Preterm labor. Preterm labor is premature birth that occurs before 37 weeks. Preterm labor (birth before 37 weeks) can cause premature birth.
  • Anemia occurs when there are not enough red blood cells for oxygen transport to your body. Iron-deficiency Anemia, which is common in multiple pregnancies, can increase your chance of having premature babies. To ensure you get enough iron, your provider might recommend an iron supplement.
  • Gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes is only for pregnant women. It can lead to serious health problems in your baby and you. Diabetes refers to excessive sugar in the blood (blood sugar, glucose).
  • Preeclampsia or gestational hypertension. These types of high blood pressure are only available to pregnant women. High blood pressure refers to blood pressure that is too high. This can lead to problems in pregnancy. Preeclampsia can occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy, or immediately after. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure. It can also indicate that their organs like the liver and kidneys may not be functioning properly.
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum. This is severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (also known as ICP) ICP is a liver condition in which the normal flow of the bile slows down, leading to bile buildup in the liver. Bile is a fluid that aids your body to break down fats, and the liver eliminate poisonous substances (toxins). The buildup of chemicals known as bile acids can lead to severe itching.
  • This refers to excessive amniotic fluid. The fluid that surrounds the baby’s uterus is called amniotic fluid.
  • Stillbirth or miscarriage. A miscarriage occurs when a baby dies within 20 weeks of being born. Stillbirth occurs when a baby is stillborn after 20 weeks. A condition known as vanishing twin syndrome is a condition in which multiple pregnancies can result. One or more babies may die in a pregnancy, but one survives.
  • PPD (postpartum depression) is also known. This is a type of depression that can be experienced by parents after having a child. PPD can be described as a strong feeling of sadness that lasts a long time. These feelings can make caring for your baby difficult.
  • Postpartum hemorrhage. This is when there is heavy bleeding after giving birth. This is a rare but serious condition.

How can multiple pregnancies affect the health of your baby?

Multiple pregnancies increase the likelihood of health problems for your baby, such as:

  • Preterm birth. Preterm babies born before 37 weeks may experience more health problems and need to be admitted to the hospital for longer periods of time than babies born closer to their due date. Some babies may need to spend time in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (also known as NICU). Premature babies may also have health issues that could affect their lives later on. Nearly all twins, and almost all triplets and higher-order multiples, are born before the recommended time.
  • Birth defects. Birth defects are conditions that can be present from birth. They can cause a change in the function or shape of one or more body parts. Birth defects can affect the way the body develops and works. Multiple birth defects are twice as common as singleton birth defects. This includes neural tube defects (such spina bifida), cerebral paralysis, congenital heart defects, and birth defects that affect digestion.
  • Growth problems. Multiple babies are often smaller than singleton ones. Prenatal care checks can include ultrasounds to assess your baby’s growth. Discordant twins are those in which one twin is smaller than the other. Health problems in pregnancy and after birth are more common for discordant twins.
  • Low birthweight. Low birthweight is when your baby weighs less than 5 pounds (8 ounces) at birth. Babies born with a lower birth weight than they should are are more likely to develop health problems such as retinopathy or prematurity. High blood pressure and other health issues later in life are also more common. Nearly all twins and most higher-order multiples are significantly lighter than their birth weight.
  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome. This is when identical twins share their placentas and one baby receives too much blood flow while the other doesn’t. Your babies receive food and oxygen from the placenta, which grows inside the uterus. Laser surgery can be used to treat twin-twin transfusion syndrome. This involves closing off blood vessels between babies and performing amniocentesis, which allows fluid to drain away.
  • Neonatal death. Neonatal death is the death of a baby within the first 28 days after birth. The leading cause of neonatal deaths is preterm birth.

Are you more likely than others to become pregnant?

If you have more than one child, it may increase your chances of getting pregnant.

  • You are undergoing fertility treatment. It is important that you only have one child if you are having fertility treatment. In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, allows you to have one embryo in your uterus. This is known as single embryo transfer. IVF is where an egg and sperm (or sperm) are mixed in a laboratory to create an embryo. This embryo is then placed inside the uterus. Talk to your provider if you are undergoing any type of fertility treatment. They can discuss ways to reduce the chances of getting pregnant with multiples.
  • Your 30s and 30s are a good time, especially if you’re in your late 30s. You are more likely to release multiple eggs during your menstrual cycle if you’re older than 30.
  • There are relatives who have multiples. You may also be more likely to have twins if you or your relatives have had fraternal siblings. Multiples are also more likely if you have been pregnant before with multiples.
  • If you are obese, it means that you are overweight. Your body mass index, also known as BMI, is greater than 30. Go to cdc.gov/bmi to find your BMI.
  • It doesn’t matter if you are white or black. Blacks are more likely than whites to have twins. Higher-order multiples are more common in white people, particularly those over 35.

How can multiples be born?

Most babies are born via vaginal birth. Vaginal birth is when the uterus contracts in order to push the baby out.

Multiple babies can make you more likely to have a c-section (also known as a c-section). C-sections are performed by a doctor who makes a cut on the abdomen and uterus in order to take out the baby. C-section is used for most triplets and higher-order multiples.

Twins pregnant women may require a c-section, if either baby is not in the head-down position or you have other complications. If:

  • You can keep both babies in the head-down position.
  • The head-down position is for the lower twin, while the higher twin is not.

Are you a pregnant woman with multiple children?

No. However, you need to have more nutrients such as iron, folic acid and calcium. Healthy eating and daily prenatal vitamins are two ways to get the correct amount. Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that are specifically designed for pregnant women. They have more nutrients than a regular multivitamin. At your first prenatal checkup, your provider will be able to prescribe you a prenatal vitamin. You only need one prenatal vitamin per day, even if you are pregnant with multiples.

What weight should you gain when you have multiple children?

Multiple babies can make you gain more weight than you would if you were just one. Your weight before pregnancy and the number of babies you have will determine how much weight you gain. Discuss with your provider how much weight you should gain.

Here are some tips to help you gain weight when you have twins.

  • You should gain 37 to 54 pounds if you were a healthy weight prior to pregnancy.
  • You should gain between 31 and 50 pounds if you are overweight prior to pregnancy.
  • You should gain between 25 and 42 pounds if you have been obese before you get pregnant.

Are you unable to exercise if you are pregnant with multiple children?

Talk to your provider about which activities are safe. High-impact activities such as jogging or aerobics that cause you to jump or stress your joints may be banned. Some activities may still be possible, including swimming, prenatal yoga, and walking.

You may have to stop doing any physical activity after your pregnancy. People who have multiples are often forced to rest on their backs. You can reduce your activities during pregnancy by going to bed rest. Bed rest could be as simple as sleeping in your bed for the entire day, or simply resting for a few hours each day.

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