Multiple pregnancies occur when you are pregnant with more than one child at the same time. Twins are two babies carried in the same womb. Triplets are three babies born at the same time during one pregnancy. You can also carry three or more infants at once (high-order multiples). It usually carries higher hazards than a singleton pregnancy (carrying only one kid). Being pregnant with two infants at the same time is a lot of work, but the payoff is worth it. You may be thinking that if you are expecting several children, you will need to drastically change all your conceptions of pregnancy. This is not always the case. In multiple pregnancies, all the beneficial activities that you would perform in a typical pregnancy apply. In addition to the regular lifestyle changes that come with pregnancy, there are a few other things you need to know and can do to keep happy and healthy during your pregnancy.
What causes multiple pregnancies?
Multiple pregnancies can take place in one of two ways:
- Before implanting in the uterine lining, one fertilized egg (ovum) separates into two.
- At the same time, different sperm fertilize two or more separate eggs.
Depending on whatever type of multiple pregnancies you have, you will end up with identical or fraternal siblings. The distinction between identical and fraternal babies stems from the process of multiple pregnancies.
When a single egg is fertilized and then splits, identical twins or triplet’s result. The embryos that have just been separated are identical. Children that are identical multiples will have the same appearance and be of the same gender.
Fraternal multiples are created when two eggs are fertilized by two distinct sperm.
The genetic material is different since these are distinct eggs and sperm. These children will not appear to be identical and may be of different sexes.
How do you know if you are pregnant with multiple kids?
An ultrasound check-up with your healthcare practitioner is the only way to find out if you are pregnant with multiple babies during your pregnancy. During this procedure, your doctor will examine photos of the inside of your uterus to check the number of kids within.
Symptoms may be more severe during multiple pregnancies than during a single pregnancy. These can include the following:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and severe nausea and vomiting (morning sickness). During the first trimester of pregnancy, you acquire a lot of weight quickly. Breasts that are sore or extremely sensitive.
Excessive amounts of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) – this hormone is produced during pregnancy and detected by a pregnancy test. Your blood contains high levels of the protein alpha-fetoprotein. If more than one heartbeat is found during a fetal Doppler scan, your provider may suspect multiples in addition to ultrasound.
How to stay healthy:
- Increase your weight gain
In the case of twins, the caloric recommendation increases to 600 calories per day (300 for each baby). That is a lot of food. A woman of normal weight should gain 37 to 54 pounds during her pregnancy, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, but women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant should gain less. Early weight gain is also beneficial because it can influence the birth weights of kids, even those who arrive prematurely. During a twin pregnancy, gaining less than the necessary amount of weight is linked to a higher likelihood of preterm delivery and low birthweight. Eat as much as you can while you still can. Because your abdomen is full of your baby later in pregnancy, you may lose your appetite.
- Know what High Risk means
Mothers who are expecting twins are frequently placed in a high-risk category. This can be terrifying. High risk does not imply that you or your children will suffer harm.
It indicates that there is a larger likelihood of something occurring. Preterm labor, bed rest, and cesarean birth are all important factors to consider. How probable any of these are to materialize is determined by a variety of personal characteristics. Overall health, past childbearing history, genetics, lifestyle, and sometimes just bad luck can all play a role. Talk to other twin moms but proceed with caution. Choose ones that are realistic but not too frightening. Yes, horrible things can happen with every pregnancy, but you need someone who can help you through it.
Find a doctor who can answer your questions and knows when to refer you to a perinatologist, also known as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Make an appointment to get to know your local high-risk expert so you will know who to ask if you have any issues.
- Take plenty of rest
It is exhausting to be pregnant with multiples. Every day, make a relaxation time. Simply make it a habit to lay still and be quiet for a few minutes each day. This is an excellent time to practice fetal kick counts or simply relax. And after you have gotten into the habit, it will be normal by the time you need it.
- Build a Support system for yourself
Every new parent needs a support system, but it is even more crucial when the babies arrive in pairs. Many people will offer to be of help; be sure to accept it. Anyone who comes over can help, you do not usually need babysitters. It is suggested that you hire a postpartum doula. This is someone who can assist you in adjusting to your new home life.
- Know Everything There Is to Know About Twins
It can be twice the workload if you do not know what you are doing. Do not be so hard on yourself; you will make it. Take a lot of photos. Accept assistance. Simply sit and chat with a friend at least once a week or once a month, whichever works best for you. Every few days, try to get out of the house with or without your babies. Also, take a shower every day! These survival tips are going to help you a lot.
Here are a few things to know about multiple pregnancies:
- When you are in your 30s and 40s, you are more likely to naturally become pregnant with twins-
Ovulatory cycles become irregular once you reach the age of 25, and then again in your 30s and 40s. You could be ovulating two follicles at the same moment if you are not on a regular cycle. Without the use of assisted reproductive technology, a twin pregnancy is possible.
- You might need more folic acid-
Women who are expecting twins may require additional folic acid to help prevent birth abnormalities. Folic acid has been shown to lower the risk of neural tube birth abnormalities such as spina bifida.
- Women who are expecting twins spend more time at the obstetrician’s office-
Pregnancies with twins necessitate greater monitoring than pregnancies with only one child. In twin pregnancies, the risk of miscarriage after amniocentesis is greater. You are sticking the mother twice, so if the risk of miscarriage is one in 1,000 in singleton pregnancies, it will be one in 500 in twin pregnancies.
- With twin pregnancies, morning sickness may be more severe-
High levels of human chorionic gonadotropin are thought to cause morning sickness, and because levels of this hormone are higher in twin pregnancies, women carrying twins have a higher incidence of nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. Additionally, parents who are pregnant with twins have an increased risk of maternal anemia and postpartum hemorrhage (bleeding) following delivery.
- During twin pregnancies, spotting may be more common-
You could be having a miscarriage if you spot it in the first trimester, and miscarriages are more likely in mothers of twins, triplets, and quadruplets, therefore there is greater spotting in the first trimester with multiples.
- With twin pregnancies, you do not feel the babies kick any earlier-
Fetal movements become more obvious during weeks 18 through 20 of pregnancy in twin pregnancies, and the same is true in singleton pregnancies.
- Moms who are expecting twins may gain more weight than moms who are expecting a single kid-
Because there are two infants, two placentas, and more amniotic fluid with twins, mothers gain more weight. They also require more calories.
- Twin pregnancies have an increased risk of gestational diabetes-
In twin pregnancies, the risk of gestational diabetes is increased; the main danger of gestational diabetes is having larger twins and needing a C-section birth.
- Twin pregnancies have an increased risk of preeclampsia throughout pregnancy-
People have no idea what causes it. However, we do know that it is more common with twin pregnancies.
- With twin pregnancies, labor (and delivery) may occur sooner than expected-
Most twin moms go into labor between 36 and 37 weeks, compared to 40 weeks for a single pregnancy, and some may go even earlier.
Diagnosing twin pregnancies
During an ultrasound, the majority of twin or multiple pregnancies are identified. Sound waves are used to make images of your uterus and baby or babies during this test.
Sometimes a twin pregnancy that appears to be normal turns out to be simply one baby. The condition is referred to as vanishing twin syndrome. An experience like this can be painful, infuriating, and perplexing. Often, there is no obvious reason for the loss.
The demands of healthy multiples are the same as those of normal ones. However, you may require more rest and support than you anticipated, particularly if your children are born prematurely or require special medical attention after birth. You are also more likely to have postpartum depression. Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the signs of postpartum depression. Take time to enjoy your children, and enlist the support of friends, family, and others when you need it.
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