Multiple Pregnancy

What Is a Multiple Pregnancy?

A multiple pregnancy is a pregnancy with more than one fetus. This means having twins, triplets or more.

Types of Multiple Pregnancies

The most common types of multiples include:

  • Fraternal Twins - Two separate eggs are fertilized and implanted in the uterus. The babies may look similar or different and may the same or different gender. 
  • Identical Twins - One egg is fertilized and split in half. Identical twins will share many of the same characteristics as they share the same DNA.
  • Triplets or Higher Order Multiples (HOMs) -Triplets or more can be fraternal, identical or a combination of the two. 

Causes of Multiple Pregnancy

Natural causes of multiple pregnancy include:

  • History of multiple births in your family
  • Age – women who get pregnant over the age of 35 have a greater chance of having multiples
  • You’ve had a multiple pregnancy before

Reproductive technologies may also increase your chances of having a multiple pregnancy, such as:

  • Ovulation-stimulating medicine
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or other methods used to help couples get pregnant

How Common Is Multiple Pregnancy?

On average about 3 out of every 100 pregnancies is a multiple pregnancy. The occurrence of multiple births has become more common in recent years due to an increase in the use of IVF.

What to Expect with a Multiple Pregnancy

Like with any pregnancy, taking good care of yourself is important for the health of your babies. With multiples, you can expect:

  • Frequent checkups – You’ll visit your doctor often to track the progress and health of your babies. You’ll also want to watch for signs of preterm labor.
  • More weight gain – It’s generally recommended with multiples that you gain more weight than if you were carrying just one baby. Be sure to work with your doctor to determine what a healthy weight gain is for you.
  • Early delivery – A c-section may be recommended to help lower the risk of complications during delivery.

Complications and Risk Factors of a Multiple Pregnancy

Many women experience a multiple pregnancy with little to no complications. However, multiple pregnancy can increase your risk of certain conditions such as:

  • Premature delivery
  • Gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia 

It’s important to us that you have a happy, healthy pregnancy and delivery. If you have any questions about multiple pregnancy, talk to the Banner team of experts today.