Hearing the news of pregnancy brings with it a roller coaster of emotions. But when your doctor shows you an ultrasound image of two or more babies growing inside your body, you are intimated, excited, nervous, and confused, all at the same time. Being pregnant with twins or multiples is something that many women find confusing. New mothers have no idea what’s to come and their minds are flooding with questions.
If you want to find all about carrying multiple babies, then look below!
How to find out if you are Pregnant with Multiples
After conducting a home pregnancy test, you found out that you are pregnant. Now, if you want to check whether you are pregnant with one baby or multiples, here’s a list of signs that will help clear your confusions.
- You feel very hungry most of the time.
- You gain a lot of weight in your first trimester.
- You have severe morning sickness or nausea.
- Your breasts feel very sore.
- You feel movements in different parts of your belly.
- If you have very high levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) or alpha-fetoprotein in your blood.
- The doctor hears more than one heartbeat.
- Your doctor tells you that the size of your womb is large.
These are just the signs that might increase the likelihood of you being pregnant with multiples. In order to get confirmation on it, you will need to get an ultrasound done. An ultrasound image will clearly show the picture of your womb and tell you whether you are pregnant with one baby or multiples.
The Risks Involved with Multiples
When you are pregnant with multiples, you will need to be careful about a lot of things throughout your pregnancy. Because this pregnancy is different from the norm, there are complications and risks involved. Carrying multiples means intense prenatal care and more visits to the doctor. You will also need to go for special prenatal check-ups, blood tests, and regular ultrasounds.
You will also need to get your babies checked every few days and be extra mindful of your condition. Even the littlest of problems should be discussed with the doctor or your midwife. If you had complications in your previous pregnancies or you struggled in getting pregnant, then you should talk about this to your doctor who will refer you to an obstetrician. This obstetrician will examine you and your babies closely to ensure that they are growing in health.
Multiples and Pre-Mature Birth
Premature births are most common when you are carrying multiple babies. A normal and full-term pregnancy is about 40 weeks, but if you are pregnant with twins or multiples, then the full-term might be counted till 37 weeks. Premature labor and birth is the biggest complication with multiple babies.
There is a 50% chance that your babies will be born in the 37th week. In more complicated conditions, multiples are often born in the 32nd and 30th week of pregnancy, which is quite early. This means that your pre-mature babies will be spending a lot of their early time in special care at the hospital.
Who is more likely to get Pregnant with Multiples?
When you have two or more babies, it is regarded as a multiple pregnancy. This type of pregnancy is not very common and only a certain percentage of women carry multiples. Take a look at the list of factors for women getting pregnant with multiples below.
- You have crossed your ideal age of getting pregnant.
- There are twins or multiples on your maternal side.
- You had fertility treatment.
- You are of African descent.
- You were on birth control pills.
Is the Diet Different from Multiples?
There is no change in the diet that you eat when you are pregnant with multiples. However, you might feel hungrier and consume more food than someone who is pregnant with one baby. You will need to increase your intake of certain nutrients like folic acid, iron, protein, and calcium. Because you have multiple babies growing in your womb, they will require more nutrition as compared to a single baby.
If your doctor or midwife has given you prenatal vitamins, then make sure you take them as per the prescribed schedule.
Women who are pregnant with multiples are more likely to go through a caesarian or a C-section. C-section is a surgical procedure in which the doctor cuts your belly and uterus to take the baby out. However, if both your babies are in the head down position, then you might also have a normal vaginal birth. But if any one of the babies is not in the head down position or if there is any other complication, then you will be having a C-section.
Health Concerns for Mothers
Being pregnant with multiples is not a usual scenario. Carrying one baby itself makes a huge change in your body, and when you are carrying multiples, you might come across a number of health issues. But remember, if you are in touch with your doctor and midwife, these health concerns can be avoided.
- You might get anemic due to lack of red blood cells and iron.
- You might get gestational diabetes.
- You might suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a severe kind of morning sickness.
- You might be delivering your baby before the due date.
- You might suffer from Polyhydramnios, which is a condition in which you have a lot of amniotic fluid in the sac that holds your baby.
- You might have miscarriage or still birth.
Carrying multiple babies might make you prone to some health conditions and complications, but if you stay in touch with your doctor throughout your pregnancy, you will be able to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and birth. It is true that having multiple babies brings a lot of joy to the parents, and makes them learn new things about the whole process. So, instead of getting overwhelmed, try to stay calm and follow your doctor’s advice.