Having twins, triplets, and four or more babies (high-order pregnancy) is called multiple pregnancy; if there are more than a single egg that has been released during the menstrual cycle, and all of these have been fertilized by a sperm, more than one embryo may possibly embed and grow in the uterus. This kind of pregnancy usually results in fraternal twins, and when one fertilized egg separates, it will result in multiple and identical embryos. Furthermore, this type of pregnancy will also result in identical twins which are less common compared to fraternal twins.
Cause of Multiple Pregnancy
Making use of fertility medications that encourages ovulation usually causes more than a single egg to be released from your ovaries, resulting in twins, triplets, and even more. In vitro fertilization can usually lead to a multiple pregnancy when over a single embryo is set into the uterus. It is also possible to have identical multiples where the fertilized egg splits right after the transfer. For those who are older than thirty-five years are more susceptible to release two or more eggs during the single and regular menstrual cycle compared to younger individuals; this only means that they are more likely to become pregnant with multiple children compared to women who are much younger than thirty-five.
The Signs of Multiple Pregnancy
Most of the multiple pregnancies are usually detected during the ultrasound tests; however, there are a lot of symptoms that can easily determine if you are pregnant with multiple babies and these include the following:
Breasts are extremely sore compared to when you are pregnant with just a single baby.
You feel very hungry or you gain weight faster in just the first semester of your pregnancy.
The movement occurring is felt in different parts of your belly and it happens simultaneously.
The morning sickness that you will be feeling is severe; morning sickness is nausea or the feeling of sickness in the stomach that goes together with vomiting which usually happens during the first few months of your pregnancy. It is also sometimes called the NVP or nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
During your doctor visits, he or she hears more than just a single heartbeat or finds that the size of your uterus is much larger than usual.
There are higher levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin (or more commonly referred to as hCG) or alpha-fetoprotein present in your blood; hCG is known as a hormone that every womans body produces during pregnancy, while the alpha-fetoprotein is a protein the growing baby creates during your pregnancy.
Risks of Multiple Pregnancy
Although it is considered a gift by many, there are some risks that you should know of when it comes to multiple pregnancy:
This is a form of labor that happens much earlier than expected and it usually occurs before thirty-seven weeks of your pregnancy; additionally, preterm labor can also lead to premature birth.
This is an occurrence when you do not have adequate amounts of healthy red blood cells to bring oxygen to the other parts of your body; you may get anemia when your body is not getting enough iron. Iron-deficiency anemia is generally common during multiple pregnancies and this can increase the risk of you giving birth earlier. Your doctor or healthcare specialist can prescribe an effective iron supplement to ensure that you are getting enough iron.
Gestational Hypertension / Pre-eclampsia
This is a form of high blood pressure that only occurs in pregnant women.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that commonly occurs during pregnancy; if untreated, it can become the cause of much serious health problems for both you and your baby.
A severe form of nausea or morning sickness plus vomiting during pregnancy; it is also called NVP.
Polyhydramnios is an occurrence when you have an excess amount of amniotic fluid a fluid that envelops the baby in your uterus.
Miscarriage & Stillbirth
A miscarriage is when the baby dies in the womb of the mother before twenty weeks of the pregnancy while stillbirth is when the child dies in the womb after twenty weeks. There are some who are pregnant with multiples that have a condition called the vanishing twin syndrome which is an occurrence when one or more babies die but there is one that survives.
You and your children are more likely to acquire health complications compared to when you are pregnant with just a single child.
How to Cope with Multiple Pregnancy
When you are having a multiple pregnancy, remember that you should take things easy since having two or more children can be extremely tiring. You do not require extra bed rest or additional hours of sleep but you should ensure that rest is a top priority during your pregnancy. Take a few moments to rest within the day since it will help boost your energy levels and help you sleep better at night. Exercise such as swimming, yoga, and Pilates are ideal for multiple pregnancies but before starting any form of exercise regimen, make sure to speak with your doctor or healthcare specialist to avoid straining your body in the process. If you are working, it is best to take a maternity leave as soon as you can; a lot of mothers of multiples take a break from work at twenty-eight weeks of their pregnancy