Being pregnant with a baby is a wonderful blessing for an expecting couple. But what’s more wonderful? Expecting twins or multiple, just like the saying “the more the merrier”. But with multiple pregnancies, the mother needs to take special care of herself and the fetuses as it has a higher risk than a single pregnancy.
Cause of Multiple Pregnancies
In multiple pregnancies, babies are identical, non-identical or both. This type of pregnancy occurs due to two reasons. It may be due to either genetic and non-genetic factors. Identical twins or triplets are conceived when a single fertilized egg later splits into two or three identical embryos. Identical twins or triplets share the same genetic material, are of the same sex and look alike. Non-identical or fraternal twins or triplets form when different eggs are fertilized by different sperms at the same time. Fraternal twins are of either the same or different sexes and might not necessarily look alike.
Chances of Multiple Pregnancies
Multiple pregnancies do not always occur. So, what factors exactly contributes to the possibility of multiple pregnancies? Let's find out.
- Higher the age of the mother, the higher the chances for her to conceive fraternal twins or triplets.
- Infertility procedures.
- Family history i.e. from the mother’s side if there were any twins previously or the mother is a twin herself.
Diagnosis of Multiple Pregnancies
So, how soon can you find out if you are carrying more than one child? Here are some of the facts worth mentioning.
- This is initially detected during an ultrasound check-up itself, commonly in the 1st trimester.
- The development of the uterus is larger than usual.
- Rapid weight gains by the mother.
- Early delivery.
Tips for Being Healthy During Multiple Pregnancies
Carrying more than one baby surely requires some special attention. Follow these tips for a healthy delivery.
- Consumption of a healthy diet full of nutritious food is of utmost importance.
- Regular exercise of any kind but only with the doctor’s consultation.
- Getting enough rest and sleep.
- Frequent visits to the doctor for regular check-ups.
Having a healthy and proper diet during pregnancy is necessary so that the growing fetus receives the needful supplements. And during multiple pregnancies, the mother requires much more nutrition both for herself and the fetuses. Both quality and quantity are equally essential. According to the commonly followed principle, consuming extra 300 calories a day for a single fetus is advised. So, it is definitely important that a mother conceiving twins or triplets follow a proper diet of sufficient quantity.
Birth of twins or triplets is nowadays common, so there’s no worry about that. But being aware of some of the complications associated with multiple pregnancies is a good thing for the parents.
Gestational diabetes: The chances of suffering from this complication is high while carrying twins or triplets. Hence, it is wise for the mother to control her sugar levels by consulting with an endocrinologist.
High blood pressure: Mothers during this type of pregnancy is most likely to suffer from high B.P mainly because of the occurrence of gestational diabetes. Other complications include pre-term labor and delivery, twin-twin transfusion, anemia, and possibly Caesarean delivery.
Even though vaginal delivery is possible, it depends upon the position of the babies inside the womb. In most cases, the position of the babies is different than being head down. This is one of the reasons, multiple pregnancies require to have an increased rate of cesarean cases. Other factors considered include the weight of each baby, the health condition of the mother and the babies’ health. Hence, parents should research and inquire properly before choosing a doctor. It is important that the doctor and the medical staff have prior experience with twins’ or triplets’ delivery.
What to Expect after Birth?
Specialized healthcare should be sought so that both the mother and the babies receive guaranteed optimum care. Also, as a reminder, babies, if born prematurely before 34 weeks, may require assistance in breathing and feeding. The mother is susceptible to suffer postpartum depression, which is common and should be dealt with properly. In multiple pregnancies, prenatal care is of top priority. It is highly recommended to appoint a family doctor who can regularly keep a check on the mother and the babies’ health for at least some time.
Pregnancy is a beautiful journey experienced by parents, especially the mother. The moment should be cherished and spend the time happily while keeping in mind to eat properly, do some exercises if possible, visit the doctor for routine tests and ultrasound checks and get ready to welcome the babies.