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