Pregnant with Multiples
Are you pregnant with multiples? If so, youre hardly alone. There has been a significant increase in the number of multiple births since the 1980s and 90s.
The number of pregnancies involving three or more babies has more than quadrupled since the 1980. There are a number of reasons why we are seeing more multiple births. The two more significant are:
Women waiting until later in life to have babies. Older women are statistically more likely to have twins or multiples than younger women. Many women are waiting to have children until after they have finished their college education and established themselves in the workforce. An increase in multiple births is one byproduct.
Increase in infertility treatments. IVF and other fertility treatments are well known to raise the likelihood of multiples. With more women having fertility treatments, we end up with more multiple births.
Risks Faced When Carrying Multiples
Expectant moms who are carrying multiples face a number of potential risks. The most common labor and delivery problem with multiples is premature labor. Twins are often born between weeks 35 and 37. A single pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks. Multiples which are both before the full 40 week term face the same health problems that other premature babies face, including:
Increased likelihood of developmental delays
Increased likelihood of cerebral palsy
Low birth weight
Moms who carry multiples also face higher likelihood of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
If you are pregnant with twins or multiples, you can expect to see your health care provider more often. You may require special prenatal care above and beyond what most expectant mothers need. Pregnancies involving multiples are always considered high risk and treated as such.
Its especially important to follow your doctors advice regarding nutrition if you are pregnant with multiples. The standard advice regarding eating for two applies, except youre eating for three or more.
Double (or Triple) the Joy
Of course, being pregnant with multiples isnt all about extra risk. While twins or multiples are more work (in some ways) than single babies, they can also be a lot of fun. Be careful to follow your doctors orders and take good care of yourself while youre pregnant with multiples. Soon youll be holding those precious little ones in your arms.