Twin Pregnancy | Multiples
Can you imagine having eight babies at once (octuplets), like a woman in California did back in 2009? A pregnancy that involves carrying more than one baby is called a multiple birth. As women increasingly continue to get pregnant at older ages, multiple births become more common as a result of fertility treatments. These treatments stimulate ovulation and egg development for women who have trouble getting pregnant, leading to unpredictability of the number of fertilized eggs.
Multiple births can be very exciting and rarer as the number of fertilized eggs increase, but this type of pregnancy puts further strain on the mother’s body as it works to keep everyone healthy.
How Do Multiple Pregnancies Happen?
There are two main avenues to having more than one baby:
- Two or more eggs are released and fertilized by different sperm, resulting in fraternal multiples
- One fertilized egg splits into multiple embryos before implanting in the uterus, resulting in identical multiples
Other causes leading to the increased possibility of having more than one child include in vitro fertilization, a family history of multiple pregnancies, and previous pregnancies – whether they produced a singleton or more. More interestingly, being over the age of 35 increases likelihood as well as race, with African American women being more likely to have twins than any other race.
What Are the Risks of Multiple Pregnancies?
Pregnancies involving more than one baby put extra stress on the mother’s body, increasingly so with each additional fetus. It is possible for an array of complications to arise during this type of pregnancy, but understanding risks ahead of time will prepare and begin to put you at ease as you progress through your term. Possible risks and complications associated with a multiple pregnancy include:
- Preterm labor
- Gestational diabetes
- Chronic hypertension
- Anemia – Results in a lack of red blood cells that help deliver oxygen to other cells in the body
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- Postpartum depression
How Can My Obstetrician Guide Me Through a Multiple Pregnancy?
There are so many pieces to take into consideration when your obstetrician is caring for and helping you plan a healthy pregnancy for you and your babies. From prenatal care to labor to delivery, we provide empathetic care to ensure your comfortability and understanding of your pregnancy. From your first visit, until you have your babies in your arms, we will closely monitor your health and the growth of the babies with special tests and ultrasounds. Our providers will help you map out a healthy diet, prioritize proper rest, and set expectations for things like weight gain and baby positioning.
Twin Pregnancy Prenatal Care in Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Barrington & Bartlett, IL
To begin understanding your multiples pregnancy and a plan of action, call Women’s HealthFirst at (847) 808-8884 or request your appointment now. We have five locations near Chicago, Illinois, to serve you. Established patients are encouraged to visit the convenient online patient portal to request an appointment, message our team, update their records, and more.