Having a baby brings tremendous joy to the parents. The joy doubles and triples manifold if the woman conceives with twins or triplets. Multiple births are rare. More often than not they are said to occur when the woman undergoes fertility treatment options like IUI and IVF.
Women who have undergone IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) have a higher chance of getting pregnant with twins or triplets. Although Mother Nature can comfortably support and nourish two or more foetuses in a woman’s body,the risks of complications associated with a twin pregnancy are much higher than a single foetus pregnancy. Some of the risks associated with multiple births are as follows.
Due to over-crowding or a hostile uterine environment, women having twins or triplets have a higher risk of miscarrying. They may miscarry all or one single foetus. Sometimes the hormone levels are not optimal to support two foetuses and this may result in a miscarriage. In such cases women may be advised bed rest and hormonal supplementation especially during the first three months.
If the woman has had a less than optimal diet, one or both the foetuses may be malnourished and not grow properly. More often than not one foetus is always seen to thrive in a multiple pregnancy at the cost of the other.
This is especially true when the foetuses are sharing a common placenta. Most babies born out of multiple pregnancies are underweight and may require intensive neo-natal care after their delivery.
These are some of the other problems associated with multiple pregnancies. Women are more predisposed to obesity which puts them at a higher risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. This may entail careful monitoring throughout the pregnancy.
A lot of women carrying multiples are diagnosed with an incompetent cervix during their second trimesters. An incompetent cervix cannot take the strain of a multiple birth and opens up prematurely often resulting in a miscarriage. This can be treated by stitching up the cervix.
One of the most common risks of multiple births is delivery of the babies much before their due date. The woman is likely to go into labour in her 7th or even her 8th month. In such scenarios the doctors may have to administer steroids to help mature the babies’ lungs. A normal birth also becomes much more difficult in a multiple pregnancy necessitating the need for a c-section.
Women giving birth to multiples encounter a host of problems in feeding their children. They may have insufficient milk and also may suffer from breast engorgement. Most mothers have to supplement feeds by giving formula milk.
Getting back into shape also takes a considerable amount of time. A lot of women get severe water retention and gain lots of weight in multiple pregnancies. Shedding a copious amount of weight becomes arduous and a herculean task post delivery.
These are just some of the common problems experienced in multiple births. Depending on the uterine health and previous history of the woman she may suffer from fewer complications and have a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy.
Photo Credit: anuttymom.com