Multiple pregnancy: when the stork brings more than one baby

Care during a multiple pregnancy

Multiple pregnancies are rare in the human species

Although they may occur naturally, the increased use of assisted reproduction techniques has resulted in abortions of this type in recent years.

We tell you what factors increase the possibility of having a multiple pregnancy.

Types of twins

  • Monozygotes (twins)

They occur when an embryo divides into two identical halves, and two embryos are formed with identical DNA, are of the same sex and have the same blood group.

The division occurs in the first days after fertilization, and depending on the moment in which this division occurs, babies can share the same placenta or not.

  • Dizygotic (twins)

They occur when two ovules are fertilized by two different sperm cells.

The similarity between two twin brothers is the same as between two brothers born at different times. They always have separate placentas.

What factors increase the possibility of having a multiple pregnancy?

The identical twins or monozygotic, which make up about a third of multiple pregnancies come from a single egg and are basically a fluke of nature.

But with non-identical twins or when there are more than two babies, which come from different ovules, if there are some factors that can influence, such as:

  • Family background

If the woman has a family history of multiple pregnancies, there will be more possibilities.

  • Lifestyle

  • Number of children

This is a matter of probability: the more children you have, the more likely it is that at some point a multiple pregnancy will occur.

  • Maternal age

It is more common that twin pregnancies occur naturally in women between 30-40 years.

This is due to the changes that occur in the functioning of the ovaries with age, which can release more than one egg each month.

  • Origin

In Western Europe, 1 in 60 pregnancies is twin, while they are much rarer in Southeast Asia.

  • Fertility treatment

Medications are used to stimulate ovulation and produce more oocytes.

How to have a healthy multiple pregnancy?

The news of a multiple pregnancy can make some women assault many doubts.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental pillar in a pregnancy, regardless of whether they are expecting twins, triplets or just a baby.

It is important:

  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Expecting more than one baby does not mean you can eat more than when a single baby is waiting
  • Do some gentle exercise
  • Drink much liquid
  • Rest

Do you need some kind of special care in a multiple pregnancy?

A multiple pregnancy has more risks, especially when babies share a single placenta, so prenatal care is essential. It is important:

  • The reviews are usually every 2 weeks from 16 weeks
  • It may be necessary for pregnancy monitoring to be carried out by a doctor specialized in high-risk pregnancies
  • Perform all ultrasounds that the doctor recommends

Risks in a multiple pregnancy

The majority of multiple pregnancies are not problematic and result in healthy babies, but they have more risks than when the pregnancy is of a single baby.

In general, a multiple pregnancy usually has a higher risk of all complications associated with pregnancy and delivery:

  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
  • Anemia and hemorrhages
  • Caesarean section
  • Assisted delivery (use of suction cups or forceps during delivery)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Premature delivery (before 37 weeks) and low birth weight baby (less than 2.5 kg)
  • Postnatal death
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Cerebral palsy

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