In this video, Dr. Siobhan Dolan talks with a woman about fertility treatment and how to lower one’s chances of getting pregnant with twins, triplets or more.
Posts Tagged ‘multiples’
Being pregnant with one baby has its ups and downs, but twins, triplets and up can be a big challenge.
Today, more than 3 percent of babies in this country are born in sets of two, three or more; about 95 percent of these multiple births are twins. The high number of multiple pregnancies is a concern because women who are expecting more than one baby are at increased risk of certain pregnancy complications, including premature birth (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy).
Women who are expecting multiples generally need to visit their health care providers more frequently than women expecting one baby. These extra visits can help prevent, detect and treat the complications that develop more often in a multiple pregnancy. Health care providers may recommend twice-monthly visits during the second trimester and weekly (or more frequent) visits during the third trimester.
Starting around the 20th week of pregnancy, a health care provider monitors the pregnant woman carefully for signs of preterm labor. He/she may do an internal exam or recommend a vaginal ultrasound to see if the woman’s cervix is shortening (a possible sign that labor may begin soon).
Even if a woman pregnant with multiples has no signs of preterm labor, her provider may recommend cutting back on activities sometime between the 20th and 24th weeks of pregnancy. She may be advised to reduce her activities even sooner and to rest several times a day if she is expecting more than two babies.
As a multiple gestation progresses, the health care provider regularly checks the pregnant woman’s blood pressure for preeclampsia. He/she also may recommend regular ultrasounds starting around 20 weeks of pregnancy to check that all babies are growing at about the same rate.
During the third trimester, the provider may recommend tests of fetal well-being. These include:
- The non-stress test, which measures fetal heart rate when the baby is moving
- The biophysical profile, which combines the non-stress test with an ultrasound
The chance of a cesarean birth is higher in twin than in singleton births. However, a pregnant woman has a good chance of having a normal vaginal delivery if both babies are in a head-down position and there are no other complications. When a woman is carrying three or more babies, a cesarean birth usually is recommended because it is safer for the babies.
To learn more about multiples, read this article.
Remember my girlfriend who had the twins? Those little monkeys are now four and half months old and are absolutely precious. Well, I’m meeting her with the babies at the mall this Sunday for a work-out. You read correctly! We’re not browsing or window shopping, but going for a brisk walk to get the heart rates up. Hopefully, we’ll arrive before it gets crowded to avoid plowing into shoppers with the double stroller!
Let’s face it…the holidays are stressful. The financial strain, coping with family drama and the pressure to make everything appear picture perfect is down right draining. Managing stress with high-calorie, holiday meals is not a great coping strategy either. Trust me…I tried to do this with mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m still paying for it.
It’s getting chilly outside and our activity level may change, but don’t abandon the importance of physical fitness during the holiday season (especially if you’re pregnant). Be creative. Buddy up with a friend. With twelve weeks left until my due date, I can’t let up either and need to stay in shape for the big day.
Click here to watch a video on managing stress during pregnancy with Dr. Dolan.
The rising number of multiple pregnancies is a concern because women who are expecting more than one baby are at increased risk of certain pregnancy complications, including preterm delivery (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy). There are a number of steps a pregnant woman and her health care provider can take to help improve the chances that her babies will be born healthy.
To help couples achieve the best outcomes from fertility therapy, the March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have prepared the paper “Multiple Pregnancy and Birth: Considering Fertility Treatments.”
To download the paper (pdf, 1.1mb), click here.
A very dear friend delivered twins on Sunday afternoon. The babies are doing great, but she had an extremely difficult pregnancy. With the help of various medications and twelve weeks of bed rest they were born full term at 38 weeks. They didn’t even require a trip to the NICU. I quickly ran over to the hospital during my lunch hour to see everyone. I’ve been an aunt for almost 18 years, but it was the first time I held newborn twins. I was completely mesmerized by them. Twenty fingers and twenty toes! What a gift.
Becoming pregnant in the first place was a real challenge for my friend. After a long, frustrating year of trying to conceive naturally, her OB/GYN recommended that she speak to an infertility specialist. She and her husband were told that she was a candidate for IVF (in vitro fertilization). They educated themselves about the process, cost, and risks associated. They weighed the benefits and decided to go for it. I learned a lot from their experience and found some useful websites that guided my understanding of what they were going through such as http://www.theafa.org/ and http://www.sart.org/
By the way…she had a boy and a girl! How cool is that? And I should probably explain the title of this post, too. Well, it’s a nickname we lovingly assigned the babies before they were born. Throughout her pregnancy my friend managed to maintain her sense of humor even under the most demanding circumstances. I truly believe that’s what got her through this whole thing. Trying to keep her mind off the threat of delivering too soon, we would joke around and say that she was going to end up with the chubbiest and most hyper kids. Thus, the name Fat Monkees emerged.