How multiples are made
Sometimes a twin or triplet pregnancy just happens. In other cases, specific factors are at play. For example, a twin pregnancy is more likely as you grow old because hormonal changes can cause quite one egg to be released at a time. Use of assisted reproductive technologies — such as in vitro fertilization — also increases the odds of twins or other multiples.
Fraternal twins — the foremost common quite twins — occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm. Each twin has his or her own placenta and amnion . The twins are often two girls, two boys, or a boy and a woman.
Identical twins occur when one embryo splits and develops into two fetuses. Identical twins might share a placenta and an amnion or the twins might share a placenta and every have separate amniotic sacs. Genetically, the two babies are identical. They'll be the same sex and share physical traits and characteristics. Rarely, identical twins fail to completely separate into two individuals. These babies are known as conjoined twins.
Triplets and other higher order multiples can be identical, fraternal or a combination of both.
Diagnosing a twin pregnancy
Most twin or multiple pregnancies are discovered during an ultrasound. During this exam, sound waves are wont to create images of your uterus and baby — or babies.
Sometimes a seemingly normal twin pregnancy is later found to possess just one baby. This is known as vanishing twin syndrome. Such an episode can be heartbreaking, frustrating and confusing. Often, there's no clear explanation for the loss.
What multiples mean for you
Taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your babies. If you're carrying multiples, you can expect:
More-frequent checkups - You'll see your health care provider often to trace your babies' growth and development, monitor your health, and await signs of preterm labor. You might need frequent ultrasounds or other tests, especially as your pregnancy progresses.
More weight gain - Gaining the proper amount of weight can support your babies' health. For twins, the advice is usually 37 to 54 pounds (about 17 to 25 kilograms) for ladies who have a traditional weight before pregnancy. This can typically be accomplished by eating an extra 600 calories a day. Work together with your health care provider to work out what's right for you.
Earlier delivery - If labor doesn't start on its own first, your health care provider might recommend labor induction or a C-section at a certain point in your third trimester to decrease the risk of complications in the third trimester.
Healthy multiples are born every day. Still, it's important to be aware of possible complications. For example:
Premature birth - The more babies you're carrying, the less likely you're to hold your pregnancy to term. If you've got signs of preterm labor, you would possibly tend injections of a steroid medication to hurry your babies' lung development. Even then, your baby might experience complications, including breathing and digestive difficulties, vision problems, and infection. Interventions to prolong pregnancy, like bedrest, aren't recommended because they haven't been proved to decrease disease and death in newborns.
Gestational diabetes - If you're carrying multiples, you're at increased risk of gestational diabetes. This condition causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your babies' health. An endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator can help you learn to manage your blood sugar level during your pregnancy.
High blood pressure - If you're carrying multiples, you're at increased risk of developing high vital sign disorders during pregnancy.
C-section delivery - For twins, vaginal delivery is usually possible if the primary baby is during a head-down position. If not, a C-section might be recommended. In some cases, complications after the vaginal delivery of the primary twin might require a C-section delivery for the second twin. For higher order multiples, the more common route of delivery is a C-section.
Twin-twin transfusion - With identical twins, it's possible for a vessel during a shared placenta to end in one baby receiving an excessive amount of blood and therefore the other insufficient . This is a significant complication for both babies which may end in heart complications and therefore the need for fetal procedures while you are still pregnant.
Caring for multiples
Healthy multiples have an equivalent needs as other newborns. But you would possibly need more rest and support than you imagined, especially if your babies are born prematurely or need special medical aid after birth. You're also at higher risk of postpartum depression. If you experience any symptoms of postpartum depression, talk to your doctor.
Take time to enjoy your babies — and ask friends, loved ones and others for help when you need it.
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